Telecommunication in Pakistan has skyrocketed since last 10 years. Close to 125m people in Pakistan have cell phones and the need for landlines has in the large been eliminated. Gone are the days when you had to wait for months for a PTCL line and that was after you had bribed the officials! Pakistan has become an attractive place for foreign and domestic investors in the telecom sector. Tough competition between cellular companies has allowed users to enjoy advanced features at very low rates. So low in fact that the Mobile companies are complaining that they cannot introduce many new features as the cost economy is not there. Currently, there are five cellular networks are operating in Pakistan.
Top Cellular Companies on the basis of their number of active users.
In 1990, a new GSM cellular service was started in Pakistan that was called Mobilink. This company is the Pakistan’s largest company that provides data and voice services and brings a lot of people together by its best products and services. Through the largest portfolio of services and strongest brands in the industry and with 51.88 million subscribers, Mobilink always maintained its leadership in the market. It provides uninterrupted connectivity to all over the country. Last year it bought Warid Telephone company to further expand its market reach.
Mobilink has launched Mobilink Foundation that promotes and supports health, education and environmental initiatives. Exclusive and personalize tariff plans are also offered by Mobilink. Mobilink offers prepaid and postpaid offers, packages, mobile internet, international services and other value added services.
Telenor Group is present in 13 markets in Europe and Asia that provides data, high-quality voice and content and communication services. Telenor Pakistan is the brand of Telenor Group. It is the second largest mobile operator of Pakistan possessing 39.75 million total subscribers. After getting the GSM license in 2004, Telenor started its operation commercially in March 2005. About $2.3 billion was invested in the local economy and the company created about 25,000 indirect and 2,400 direct jobs. This company has a network of franchisees, retailers and sales, and services that provide the jobs opportunities to thousands of Pakistanis. Its headquarters is in Islamabad and regional offices are in Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Hyderabad and Peshawar. It provides the services of mobile banking, 3G and 4G internet service, call and SMS packages at the low rate.
China Mobile Pakistan (Zong) pan Pakistani mobile network. Its headquarter is in Islamabad offering the services of postpaid and prepaid plans, data services, mobile banking, 2G, 3G and 4G services as well. It’s the first Chinese mobile company to operate its network in Pakistan. Zong currently holds 27.71 million subscribers.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) started its new brand named Ufone. In 2006, Ufone became the part of Emirates Telecommunication Corporation Group after the privatization of PTCL. Ufone currently has 18.46 million active users. Ufone claims it has the best network and services, clear sound, and the lowest call rates. It offers its customers simplified tariff without charges. The network coverage of Ufone is ruling over 10,000 locations and highways of Pakistan. Ufone is offering the fast growing 3G network. Some of the Ufone offers are 3G prepaid tariff, 3G postpaid tariff, SMS services, Intl direct dialing etc.
Pakistan’s fifth largest cellular service provider is Warid. It was owned by Warid Telecom Abu Dhabi group and Singtel but is now owned by Mobilink. Warid telecom has 12 million registered nationwide users. Like others, it offers both prepaid and postpaid services to the consumers. And like others, it is currently using GSM 900/1800 networking technology and plans to move to UTMS 3G/HSPA 3.5G in the coming months.