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Pakistan - Major Telecommunications Operators


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Pakistan - Major Telecommunications Operators

With the mobile market in Pakistan has been experiencing a period of healthy and sustained development on one hand and the fixed line market languishing badly on the other, not surprisingly the operators in the respective market segments are experiencing contrasting fortunes. In fact the Pakistani mobile market has become highly competitive, with all five of the major operators vigorously battling for market share. The market newcomers have been particularly strong in asserting their presence. Zong and Telenor have both grabbed significant market share quickly, and market leader Mobilink continues to add subscribers to its network, reaching 39 subscribers by mid-2014. (There were 140 million subscribers in the mobile market overall by that stage.) In recent times, the operators have seen a slowing in the growth rate of subscribers, but revenues were continuing to increase with high usage by customers. In the meantime, the struggling fixed-line market in Pakistan is still dominated by Pakistan Telecommunications Company Ltd (PTCL). The end of PTCL's monopoly status in 2002, and with it the licensing of competing operators, has done little to change the commercial landscape. By 2013 PTCL's fixed wireline subscriber base had fallen to under 3 million, its subscriber base representing around 95% of the total fixed wireline market. The private operators are a little better represented in the fixed wireless market with about half the subscribers in that segment. (The total fixed line market including fixed wireless services was just 5.5 million for a teledensity of around 3%.) This report presents an overview, including subscriber statistics, for the major telecom operators in Pakistan.

Key developments:

The government had reportedly settled its long standing dispute with Etisalat over the purchase of PTCL; however, the Etisalat rejected the government's offer and the dispute remained unresolved;

In November 2014 Etisalat again said it would not pay the US$800 million it owed the government until a property dispute was entirely resolved;
Mobilink remained the largest mobile player by subscribers in Pakistan with 28% market share;
at the same time second placed Telenor was closing the gap with a 26% share of the market;
having reached a high point of 18 million subscribers by 2009, Warid Telecom had since experienced a declining subscribers base, holding just under 10% of the market after what had been a promising start';
Warid Telecom was looking like a serious target for acquisition in the second half of 2013;
Revamped operator Zong expanded its mobile subscriber base by 63% in 2011, by 34% in 2012 and by over 50% in 2013; the operator was continuing strong growth in 2014.

Companies covered in this report include:

Pakistan Telecommunication Co Ltd (PTCL); Mobilink (PMCL); Ufone (PTML, PTCL subsidiary); Telenor Pakistan; Warid Telecom; Zong (formerly CMPak); Instaphone (Pakcom).


1. Synopsis
2. Fixed network operators
2.1 Overview
2.2 Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL)
2.2.1 Overview
2.2.2 Background
2.2.3 PTCL and the regulation of tariffs
2.2.4 Financial performance
2.2.5 Privatisation of PTCL
2.3 Other fixed network operators
2.3.1 WorldCall group
2.3.2 TeleCard
2.3.3 Wateen Telecom
2.3.4 Licensing in Azad Jammu and Kashmir
3. Major mobile operators
3.1 Overview
3.2 Mobile operator statistics
3.3 Mobilink (PMCL)
3.3.1 Overview
3.3.2 Financials
3.3.3 Third Generation (3G)
3.3.4 Background
3.3.5 WiMAX
3.4 Ufone (PTCL)
3.4.1 Overview
3.4.2 Third Generation (3G)
3.4.3 Background
3.5 Telenor Pakistan
3.5.1 Overview
3.5.2 Background
3.5.3 Network development
3.5.4 Third Generation (3G) licence
3.5.5 Telenor's Rabta Centres
3.5.6 Solar-powered network
3.6 Warid Telecom
3.6.1 Overview
3.6.2 Fourth Generation (4G) / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
3.6.3 Background
3.6.4 Solar-powered network
3.7 Zong
3.7.1 Overview
3.7.2 Background
3.7.3 Millicom's exit
3.7.4 China Mobile takes control
3.8 Instaphone (Pakcom)
3.9 Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)
4. Related reports
Table 1 Fixed-line' licences issued by PTA 2014
Table 2 Fixed-line (wireline) subscribers by operator September 2013
Table 3 Fixed-line (wireless) subscribers by operator 2013
Table 4 PTCL fixed wireline subscribers 2000 - 2013
Table 5 PTCL WLL (fixed wireless) subscribers 2005 - 2013
Table 6 WorldCall's WLL (fixed wireless) subscribers 2005 - 2013
Table 7 WorldCall's fixed wireline subscribers 2005 - 2013
Table 8 TeleCard's WLL (fixed) subscribers 2005 - 2013
Table 9 Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change May 2014
Table 10 Mobile operators, subscribers and market share May 2014
Table 11 Mobilink (PCML) subscribers 2000 - 2014
Table 12 Ufone (PTCL) subscribers 2001 - 2014
Table 13 Telenor Pakistan subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 14 Telenor Pakistan - ARPU 2009 - 2012
Table 15 Warid Telecom subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 16 Zong subscribers 2000 - 2014
Table 17 Historical - Instaphone (Pakcom) subscribers 2000 - 2010
Chart 1 - PTCL fixed wireline subscribers - 2000-2013
Chart 2 - Mobile operators and subscribers May 2014
Chart 3 - Mobile operators and market share May 2014
Chart 4 - Mobilink (PCML) subscribers - 2000-2014
Chart 5 - Ufone (PTCL) subscribers - 2001-2014
Chart 6 - Telenor Pakistan subscribers - 2005-2014
Chart 7 - Warid Telecom subscribers - 2005-2014
Chart 8 - Zong subscribers - 2005-2014
Exhibit 1 PTCL subsidiary companies
Exhibit 2 Joint ventures and affiliated companies

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