Following the suspension of mobile broadband services in Pakistan on Tuesday, telecom operators have so far reported a loss of Rs820 million, with the government losing around Rs287 million in tax revenue, a source in the telecom industry told Business Recorder.
It is pertinent to mention that the government of Pakistan blocked mobile broadband and social media websites in the aftermath of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest. Protests erupted throughout the nation and some areas also witnessed violence due to which the government took the decision.
Meanwhile, ride-hailing and online food delivery businesses in Pakistan stated that their operations got “drastically affected”. Major internet connectivity issues were reported across Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and other major cities of the country. An official from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) confirmed that mobile broadband services were suspended in the country, refraining from giving a timeline for restoration.
The source in the telecom industry cited that “the disruption of internet has a devastating impact on the economy and results in substantial losses for telecom operators, the government and the people of Pakistan”. Additionally, individuals who depend on digital apps such as Careem, InDrive, FoodPanda and others saw significant loss in earnings while digital payments have come to a standstill. The suspension caused widespread inconvenience and hardships to the masses, the source added.