Jazz Maintains Strong Investment in Pakistan Despite Economic Headwinds

Islamabad, – Jazz, a leading telecommunications company in Pakistan, reported a 27 percent year-on-year growth in local currency revenues, despite a 3.5 percent decline in USD terms during the third quarter of 2023. This downturn is largely attributed to a 31 percent year-on-year devaluation of the Pakistani Rupee and an increase in business costs, including a 7 percentage point rise in interest rates and higher network energization expenses. Despite these macroeconomic challenges, Jazz has continued its commitment to digital and financial inclusion in Pakistan, investing PKR 20.6 billion in the first nine months of 2023, primarily under its "4G for All" initiative.

According to Jazz, this investment has contributed to significant network expansion, including the addition of over 1,000 new 4G sites. This expansion has been pivotal in growing Jazz's 4G customer base by 6.4 percent year-on-year, reaching 43.2 million users, and its overall subscriber base to 70.5 million. Jazz CEO Aamir Ibrahim emphasized the positive impact of these continuous investments, noting significant growth in the company's fintech, entertainment, and cloud platforms. He expressed confidence in the trajectory of these ventures, underscoring their contribution to Pakistan's broader digital transformation.

Ibrahim also raised concerns about the financial health of the telecom industry, citing the adverse effects of pegging telecom spectrum prices to the US dollar. He called for a resolution of the policy linking the telecom license fee to the US dollar to ensure the sector’s sustainability and the continued provision of essential digital connectivity for Pakistan’s progress.

Jazz's digital services showed impressive performance in the quarter. JazzCash, Pakistan’s leading mobile fintech application, reached 15.4 million monthly active users and facilitated 1.3 million digital loans, achieving a revenue growth of 77.3% year-on-year with a Gross Transaction Value of PKR 5.3 trillion over the last twelve months. Mobilink Microfinance Bank, part of Jazz's portfolio, remains Pakistan's largest digital bank, issuing 35,000 loans during the period to support microentrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises.

In addition, Jazz's cloud platform Garaj is enabling over 100 enterprises with advanced cloud and cybersecurity solutions. Its entertainment platform, Tamasha, gained notable popularity, becoming the top downloaded app during the Asia Cup on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. It attracted 14.4 million unique viewers during the tournament, setting a record for audience figures on a digital video platform for a sporting event in Pakistan.