The telecommunication arena has undergone rapid
metamorphosis with the advent of avant-garde technological
advancement. Keeping abreast of emerging trends, Pakistan's telecom
scene has witnessed a revolution as well that was furthered with the
deregulation policy of the government applied at the telecommunication
sector. New horizons opened up for the multinationals and foreign
investors, and the private sector which was on strong grounds
attracted many key regional and global players.
A brief review of the mobile industry in the past
decade illumines that the cellular service in Pakistan has come a long
way. It was first introduced in 1990 by Paktel, a joint venture
between Hassan Associates of Pakistan and Cable and Wireless of U.K.
It was followed by Instaphone in 1991 which was launched by Arfeen
International in collaboration with Millicom of Sweden. In 1994
Motorola and Saif Communications joined hands to introduce Mobilink
with the GSM technology. It was the single entity at that time
enjoying the service of GSM it provided until 2001 when Ufone, a
subsidiary of Pakistan telecommunication Company (PTCL) launched its
service on GSM 900 platform.
The latest figures compiled by the Pakistan
Telecommunication Authority suggest cellular phone connections are
growing by a staggering pace of 120 per cent annually. If the same
pace of growth is maintained, the number of subscribers that are
expanding by 9.58% a month will double in one year's time. The mobile
tele-density has crossed 5.14 per cent and according to conservative
estimates the number of mobile phone users would be approximately 15
million by December 2005.
OVERVIEW OF OPERATORS:
In the past three years the pace of the progress
became much faster as the government opened its doors by issuing
licences and two new companies.
Telenor and the upcoming Warid Telecom entered the
scene. It was the conducive atmosphere in terms of fiscal and
structural incentives and a regulatory environment that compelled
these two new companies to venture into Pakistan's complex market.
This led to the growth of healthy competition that fostered as Telenor
alone attracted 6,53,170 customers in two months. This competition has
led to the realization that mere hindrances and vague campaigns are
not the recipe to success. The one who would provide consumer
satisfaction and trustworthy services would reap the bounties of the
cellular sector. This in order to grab the top notch cellular
companies have significantly reduced their tariffs and expanded their
infrastructure to compete with the newly inducted parties. The
government also reduced activation charges from Rs 2000 to 1000 to
facilitate the intending customers and boost the growth of cell phone
connections. The companies had withdrawn roaming charges throughout
the country. Due to these measures an increase of 173 per cent was
seen in the mobile sector and the total number of mobile phone users
reached 7.9 million by the end of 2004. Existing mobile companies
provided more than 5.5 million new connections during the year.
OVERVIEW OF MANUFACTURERS:
If we compare our growth with our immediate
neighbour, the number of telephone lines in Pakistan is growing faster
than in India which is the world's fifth largest telecom market where
a total of hundred million people use both cellular and fixed line
phones. The tele-density in India suggests that the country has one
phone user per 120 habitants while in Pakistan every 10th person is
either a user of the cell phone or fixed line. Hence the mobile phone
market is enormously expanding and the number of cell phone
subscribers in the country has crossed the ten million mark for the
first time ever outnumbering those using the 50 years old fixed
telephony service by hundred per cent in just ten years. According to
market sources, approximately 0.7 million mobile phone sets are being
imported and marketed and this figure is expected to reach the one
million mark with the new cell phone operators in the country.
Spearheading the mobile phone distribution is Mobile Zone, the largest
mobile phone company in Pakistan. It is the only authorized
distributor of 4 leading international brands, namely: Nokia,
Sonyericson, Samsung & BenQ.
With this prestigious and high standard portfolio
of international brands MZ stands at 60% market share in cellular
Over the time Nokia has held strongly to its post.
Sonyericson has shown the most phenomenal growth in Pakistan market
and has come up very aggressively.
Samsung continues to launch its stylish and
innovative mobile phones. BenQ has shown significant market
penetration in low-end segment thereby eating market share of Bird,
Viva, Sendo & Daewoo.
Mobile Zone has been recently rated as the 'Best
Growing Distributor of Nokia' for the year 2004 in MENA region. Its
products by combination have 60% share in cellular phone market of the
country. With head office in Karachi, Mobile Zone has sales and
service centres in Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Afghanistan, Quetta
and now in Gujranwala and Rawalpindi. MZ has nationwide more than 35
REFURBISHED MOBILE PHONES
As the market is inundated with mobile sets, the
problem of refurbished sets sold at the rate of new ones glares in the
face. Complaints of these substandard, faulty phones being sold are on
the rise and the consumers have no place to go for help or assistance.
This is not only making the customers lose trust but the manufacturers
might also lose interest due to lack of protection of their brands'
integrity. Though these problems are just hiccups in the way of mobile
boom, they need to be dealt properly and with immediate effect.
All in all, Pakistan has made phenomenural progress
in the last three years in the telecom sector and the liberalization
policy that the government has employed has sufficient capacity for
all to expand and develop. This had, in turn, highly benefited the
economy as well. The latest figures show that the Foreign Direct
Investment (FDI) in telecom sector reached US $207.1 million last year
and is expected to reach between US $5 to 8 billion in the next three
to five years. Furthermore, the two new licences awarded by the
telecom regulator PTA to cellular phone operators through open and
transparent bidding generated revenue that reached approximately US $
582 million. The revenue can increase manifold if the government takes
further initiative and set up a mobile phone industry. This would
enable Nokia, Sonyericson, Samsung and other companies to set up their
plants in Pakistan, create job opportunities and give a vital boost to
the economy. The Progress continues - - - - - - - - - -
* Mobile Zone:
* Achievement & Awards
* Introduced first camera phone in Pakistan Market - Nokia 7610
* Introduced 1st Mega pixel camera Phone in the Market - S700i
* The only authorized distributor of leading brands Nokia, Sonyericson
, Samsung & BenQ.
* Winner of performance award of Mobilink.
* Winner of Fastest Growing Partner for Nokia in 2004
* Launched the Mobile Phone TVC concept in Pakistan.
* Wide spread business operations in Afghanistan.
* Strategic alliances with Mobilink, Telenor, & Paktel.
* Strategic alliances with HBL, Standard Chartered Bank, Union Bank,
Pak Libya & Bank Alfalah.
* Strategic alliance with Roshan telecom operator in Afghanistan.
* Launched M-Track: Tracks your stolen mobile phone via IMEI number.