Pakistani telecom operators are not in favour of 3G because of a limited subscribers’ base, high cost of investment involved and an unfavourable investment climate in the country.
Introduction of 3G is costlier for the existing operators and the dwindling average revenue per user discourages them to invest in this new technology. Industry has its reservations for high licensee fee. “For the cellular industry of Pakistan, the time is not ripe to venture into the high-cost technology,” Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a cellular company said, “The actual active subscribers are not more than 70 million against Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) claim of 100 million.” Another top official of a cellular company rejected the PTA’s claim of over 56 percent mobile penetration in a population of 177 million.
“The actual subscribers’ base is not above 65 million. You can’t gauge the number of users through connections for many Pakistanis have multiple connections which they seldom use,” he added. The official claimed that up to 40 percent users keep more than one connection, which is why the mobile penetration in Pakistan is highly inflated. People having three connections at a time are also huge in number. The average revenue per user has decreased just because of many people bearing multiple connections and the same revenue is being divided amongst a larger customer base.
CEO Mobilink: 11 Pakistanis go mobile every minute
PTA is Changing Lifestyles - With more than a 100 Million Mobile Users
PTA Completes Targets for Year 2010
PTA organized seminar on 3G, in collaboration with ZTE (Zhongxing Telecom)
3G Services to be Available by the End of 2011
"3G in Pakistan" – but When? – PTA held a Seminar in Lahore