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Published on September 6th, 2008 | by Babar Bhatti


Criticism Of Telecom Policies By Telenor

Recently we have been discussing the recent slowdownin telecom growth in Pakistan. In a recent interview, Irfan Wahab Khan, Executive Vice President Telenor Pakistan, sharply criticized the recent policies of Pakistan government and PTA. He mentioned the high rate of tax – 21% – as a major issue for telecom industry. He also talked about the Rs. 500 subsidy provided by mobile companies for each SIM card sold and the controversy over handling of illegal SIM sellers.

We tend to agree with him. The last budget went overboard with the tax increase on telecom services. If an industry is doing well and is successful in bringing foreign investment to Pakistan (Wahab pointed out that Telenor alone invested $2 billion in last 3 years), let it work without the burden of unnecessary taxes.

There were other grievances as well. Irfan also said that his company was not against the quality surveying of the service providers but it should be transparent and impartial. I think Telenor did not do very well in the QoS surveys and there has been criticism of the way these surveys were conducted.

He appealed to the government to call a roundtable conference of all the service providers to get rid of the illegal sims being used for crime and the terrorist activities while the police action against retailers and franchisers should be stopped.


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0 Responses to Criticism Of Telecom Policies By Telenor

  1. Pingback: Telenor Bluntly Adds 5 Percent Charges on all Services - ProPakistani

  2. Babar Bhatti says:

    I see. One thing is clear that Telenor pricing is THE most complex of all!

  3. WeAreLooneyWeAreToony says:

    I think what is meant by last ditch pricing is of the fact that Telenor is not adhering to the ethical marketing practices of pricing (Jazz 1 vs. A-1 pricing) and want to become a ‘short-cut leader’. They are vevy cunning, I’m telling ya. I just want to tell Telenor that You’re no sheviff! You’re that scwevy wabbit!.

  4. Babar Bhatti says:

    Can you write more about the last-ditch pricing? and how does it ruin the market?

  5. I-saw-an-angel says:

    How about Telenor ruining the market with last-ditch pricing? Mr Wahab can’t seem to notice that.

  6. Babar Bhatti says:

    Shariq – completely agree. Sadly there’s a disconnect between the ground reality and Islamabad.

    Riz – I am with you on fixing the illegal SIM problem. And the title could have been better too :)

    I appreciate the comments!

  7. Riz says:

    Babar, Please check the post title.

    The best way to stop selling of illegal SIMs is to send those at home address. Otherwise franchises and retailers must verify the ID Card from Nadra first using their online service before selling it.

  8. Shariq Syed says:

    Babar, the post budget policies have been extremly discouraing for telecom industry in general. The handset industry is currently going through a very critical phase with implication of different taxes on cell phones (which amounted to Rs. 750 per handset) have dented the growth & penetration of handsets. The recent step which is not been highighted as such is the imposition if 100% duty on handset import which will certainly affect the total market size in days to come. I believe govt should sooner than later realize that the growth of telecom industry is most vital for Pakistan’s overall economic growth.

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