Mobile Cellular operators ready to launch 3G technology
Karachi (June 26, 2012) – Almost four out of five operators have upgraded their networks on 3G technology in major cities of Pakistan for launching high speed data telephony services to their customers by next year.
Industry sources said that operators including, Mobilink, Telenor and Ufone have carried out advancement in their infrastructure during past one year in six to 10 cities whereas Zong is working aggressively to develop its network for 3G enabled services.
These cellular operators have already invested heavily on physical infrastructure in the past and are likely to capitalise more money on the advanced network as part of their expansion plans.
The cellular companies have rolled out 3G systems on their network and they will not require much additional investments, except for the payment of licence fees, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) also stated in its recently released report.
The auction of 3G mobile spectrums has potential of generating significant revenues for the government in the upcoming months, which can fetch minimum $785 million if the base prices are considered at $210 for three licences and $155 for one licence having separate terms and conditions.
The SBP earlier estimated that the licences auction will create an opportunity to pocket nearly $1 billion for the national kitty whereas the volume of investment may increase more than the quoted amount if foreign cellular operators do participate in the auction process, industry experts said.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) earlier scheduled licences’ auctions on March 28 and 29 separately, however the government delayed its bidding process to review its policy, terms and conditions.
The cellular companies that fail to get licence of 3G will lose their potential part of subscription, as their valued subscribers will likely migrate on the networks having 3G services. The factor will make a strong business case for operators with 3G services despite low but increasing demand of Internet on mobile at present. The revenue growth of cellular operators could jump up with the introduction of value-added services via 3G technology through high speed Internet access and video streaming.
The cheap 3G-enabled handsets and availability of mobile applications in Urdu is necessary for the pickup in demand for 3G services. The demographics of Pakistan’s population, with a large share of young adults hints at the possibility of strong demand for 3G services for infotainment purposes.
The 3G depends upon a competitive environment in the industry, however it will be a challenging stage for companies to offer services at low prices initially
The shifting of new technology horizon and success of business will depend upon the pricing policies of the firms that introduce new applications, the quality of service, and the pace of marketing of 3G services.
(Published in DailyTimes Lahore)