Service Providers

This page is a compilation of list and links for Telecommunication Services Providers (mobile voice, wireless data, Wimax, wireless local loop and VOIP – excluding fixed line) in Pakistan, with links to related posts on my blog and additional references listed at the end. Also see the Pakistan Telecom Wiki for more information.

The latest QoS results from 2009 are in. Take a look at the details by clicking on the image below. In the latest news, PTA issued show cause notices to all the mobile operators for not meeting the required standards.


1. Market Overview Of Mobile Companies in Pakistan
The Pakistan market has nearly 97 million subscribers as of  Nov2009 (PTA data).The growth slowed down in 2009 but has picked up again gradually. See more about the recent competition among mobile network providers.


For those interested in the change from last year, the chart below shows the market share of mobile phone companies of Pakistan, as of September 2008. Compared with July, the market share changed little. Mobilink lost 1% share (35%), picked up by Zong which is cash rich and has a ready-to-invest attitude.

The ARPU in Pakistan remains low and is not projected to go up. The year 2008 was marked by changes in SIM sales and registration process, enforced by PTA, the government regulator.

If you are interested in the actual numbers and analysis, leave a comment for me.

Now let’s review some recent history. At 2006 year end the total subscribers were 48.2 million. In June 2007 the total mobile users reached over 63 million. Based on numbers published at PTA website for 2007, the total number of subscribers (technically it is the number of SIMs issued) was 76.6 million, a teledensity of nearly 49%. In 2007 the average growth rate was about 2.5 million new subscribers each month! After second half of 2007 it seemed as if the growth had slowed down but overall it was fine. One remarkable achievement was by Zong (formerly Paketl) which launched very successful campaigns towards 2007 end completed rebrand launch in April of 2008. See this chart for a breakdown of market share by mobile companies at the end of Q1 of 2007.

Click for higher resolution image

For detailed one-page tariff information for all the packages (pre-paid and postpaid) offered by the mobile companies, refer to the consumer notice from PTA below – posted as of August 4, 2008.

Here’s a brief description of the top mobile companies in Pakistan.

MobilinkAt the top is Mobilink, the Pakistani unit of Egypt-based telecom company Orascom. It has been operating in Pakistan since 1994. Subscriber share is 35% at the end of Sep 2008.

ufoneUfone, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pakistan Telecommunication Co. Ltd (PTCL), is now under the control of Etisalat group of UAE. It has 21% of subscriber share and added the most lines (2.4 million) from 2006-07. For those in Pakistan it is the one company where they can easily invest locally.

waridtelWarid, owned by the Abu Dhabi group of the United Arab Emirates and sister of Wateen group is number 4 with 18% market of subscribers. Recently it sold 30% share to SingTel.

telenorNorway’s Telenor, a recent entrant with about a billion US dollar investment in Pakistan has been doing well, based on its recent earning report. It has about 20% of the market share. Telenor stock is listed in the Oslo stock market (TEL) and in US(TELNY.PK).

paketlCMPak (Zong brand), formerly Paktel, was the latest target of foreign acquisition. After it got acquired by China Mobile it was rebranded as Zong and launched one of the most successful and aggressive campaigns. Within a matter of few months, Zong has achieved a 6% market share.

2. Fixed Wireless (WLL)
vfone-nolr.jpgPlease see this post for an overview of the WLL operators and technology. Wireless local loop services are based on CDMA and are considered an alternative to copper lines. Recently rebranded Vfone service by PTCL is the market leader and recently there have been many intersting marketing and pricing moves. You may also follow this link for a list of WLL providers from PTA site.

3. WiMAX
wimax-s.JPGThis post provides a summary of WiMAX situation in Pakistan. Wateen has emerged as the largest player and has started advertising for its WiMAX services though as of Sep 2007 the pricing had not been announced. Mobilink Infinity also started commercial WiMAX service in Karachi. Dancom used to be an independent provider but it was acquired by Mobilink. Wi-tribe is another player.

4. Voice over IP
Companies providing VOIP and call forwarding services. In other words: International calls, local rates. See my posts about VOIP related issues for Pakistan.

References and Resources

  1. Information of providers from PTA site
  2. Mobile phone tariffs available at this PTA page.
  3. Wikipedia – Communication in Pakistan

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