MOBILINK

One of the fastest growing entities in Pakistan

By SADAF KHAN
June 19 - 25, 2006

If one has to ask any business student to name one of the fastest growing companies in Pakistan, the instant answer invariably would be Mobilink. The phenomenal growth pattern of the company has been such that today, on a daily basis, no less than 45,000 people from across of the country select Mobilink as their first-choice cellular service provider.

This kind of performance, recognized not just in Pakistan but in the Asia Pacific region, has been nothing short of world-class where the company has invested millions of dollars to install state-of-the-art equipment and technologies to bring global excellence in telecommunications to Pakistan.

The company stands out prominently in the local market place as one of the most successful entities in business today, both from an investment and revenue points of view, in a very short span of time. Its success defines the success of the telecom industry in Pakistan; and the success of the telecom industry in Pakistan is being recognized on the international front. With a commanding 55% market share in the country, the company's power-packed initiatives are a challenging benchmark in the industry.

At a recent GSMA Worldwide Conference held in Barcelona, Spain; the world body showered upon Pakistan the prestigious award of 'Most Progressive Telecom Country' in the world. Although, the government deserves all the accolades in deregulating, supporting and promoting the telecom industry in Pakistan, it is Mobilink that had driven the unprecedented growth.

Having surpassed US$ 1.5 billion mark in capital investment since starting operations 12 years ago, Mobilink has emerged as the single largest private sector investor in the telecom industry in Pakistan. The speed with which the company is growing and the potential of cellular growth in the country shows that the real challenges in the industry are yet to come.

The company's subscriber base has surged to an unparalleled 16 million customers and still growing at a brisk pace. With Mobilink's pioneering marketing initiatives, the growth percentage of cellular users in the country in terms of number of customers was a phenomenal 123% in 2005. "It is the confidence of our 16 million family members and the stability and transparency of the present governments' policies that has led our shareholders, Orascom Telecom to continue investing so heavily in this sector", said Zouhair Khaliq, President and CEO, recently.

"The continuous investment of Orascom reflects the desire of our shareholders to remain a long-term player in the market. The billion and a half dollar investment is also reflective of Pakistan's stature as a growing, stable and lucrative market for foreign investment, fueled by stable and steady macro economic indicators." He added.

Until last year, Mobilink had pumped well over US$ 1.3 billion in the telecom sector by the end of 2005, in addition to the huge investments being made by other players in the market. It continues to invest by expanding its capacity and coverage across the country, driven by phenomenal growth in its subscribers' base. Infrastructure and advanced technology up gradation are on the priority list of developmental initiatives taken up by the company with an additional investment of US$ 1 billion in the offing.

These major developmental initiatives will take Mobilink's coverage from its current presence in 750 cities, towns and villages to well over 1000, including all major roads and motorways, by the end of the year. With a total investment to-date of over US$1.5 billion, the company continues to consolidate its position as the clear market leader in the mobile sector in Pakistan. In addition Orascom Telecom is investing heavily in establishing an optic fiber backbone, and an undersea cable project in the country, as well as in other sectors of industry such as real estate and construction.

A recently published independent report by Senior Analyst of Pyramid Research states "Despite the sudden increase in competition, the country's largest operator continues to add subscribers at breakneck speeds and defy analyst expectations."

On the technology side, Mobilink is determined to remain ahead of competition by adding on relevant technology innovations and conveniences. Through its 'Mobink World' it has once again proved to have the best and most advanced cellular service in the country by launching its GPRS powered services with a WAP portal.

Bilal Munir Sheikh, Director Marketing said, "GPRS and MMS technology has been in the market for a couple of years now but may not have been really relevant to the customer. GPRS alone is not what matters, what one can do with this technology does. Mobilink has continued to make its customers' life more simple, productive and interesting".

He further added, "Since the launch of GPRS powered services, 'The Mobilink World' has introduced for the first time in Pakistan, a WAP portal from which you can get updated news from Reuters, BBC and The Nation. Customers can get information on travel, weather and business updates, download music, polyphonic ring tones, animated greeting cards, games, and much more to keep one engrossed for hours". Interestingly, there is a Media section with reviews on the latest movies and the trailer for an upcoming movie; and if one is a sports fan, one can view all the latest sports news and reviews just by visiting the WAP portal.

TELECOM SECTOR SHARE IN GDP (%)

YEARS

%age SHARE OF GDP

2000-01

1.6

2001-02

1.6

2002-03

1.7

2003-04

1.7

2004-05

1.9

The Mobilink World, powered by GPRS, is our platform for new and innovative services which changes the way customers experience their mobile connection. It provides them access to more services from their mobile phone and reduces the time they spend on searching the web!"

Furthermore, being the industry's technology leader, the company recently rolled out the world's most powerful mobile communications tool - BlackBerry - it is a global most-favored wireless application, offered by over 100 networks across the universe. Mobilink subscribers are now able to stay connected with secure wireless access to corporate email and enterprise data, anytime.

With the phenomenal growth of the telecom sector in the region, its contribution to the GDP in Pakistan's economy, intense competition amongst the six leading cellular operators and consumer demand for technically-advanced communication tools, the launch of the Mobilink-BlackBerry partnership is an industry first, and an exclusive privilege of the company's customers.

Explaining the salient features of the Mobilink and BlackBerry partnership, Bilal Munir Sheikh, Director Marketing Mobilink informed, "Blackberry offers Indigo's target audience comprising of savvy entrepreneurs, business men and high profile corporate individuals, with a full suite of productivity enhancement applications including; Push-based Email, Phone & Text Messaging, Connected Organizer, the Internet and Corporate Data Access."

Currently, the company is providing direct employment to as many as 3000 people in the country. Similarly over 20,000 people are earning their livelihood in indirect employment through Mobilink. The company also has a visible profile as a socially responsible entity donating generously to a number of charity organizations and other development programmes in the country.

It is worth mentioning that Mobilink supports the arts, music, sports and charity in a manner very few entities in Pakistan do, it goes out of its way in being where it is needed most - to help alleviate the needs of the under-privileged, to help preserve culture and the arts that are attributable to the country, provide much needed entertainment to music enthusiasts, to be present at prestigious sporting events from golfing to cricket, and lastly to bring about a meaningful change in people's lives by being an environmental partner in major cities of the country.

It goes without saying that beauty lies within the human soul. But at the same time majority of the people opine that the inner beauty gushes out provided an integrated environment is provided. Being a responsible corporate player, Mobilink, again provided that pioneering fillip to industry by introducing a pleasant new look to the Flowers Market in the Capital. This new addition has, no doubt, added to the beauty of the Federal Capital, which is branded as the "Green City" of Pakistan.

TELECOMMUNICATION

FISCAL
YEAR

TELEPHONES
(000 NOS.)

INTERNET
CONNECTIONS
(MILLION)

NO .OF INTERNET
CITIES CONNECTED

NO OF
PCO

MOBILE
PHONES

1990-91

1188

..

 

3,861

 

1991-92

1461

..

 

4,676

 

1992-93

1548

..

 

5,618

 

1993-94

1801

..

 

6,422

 

1994-95

2126

..

 

4,600

 

1995-96

2376

..

 

9,410

6 8,038

1996-97

2558

..

 

10,040

1 35,027

1997-98

2756

0.01

 

10,071

1 96,096

1998-99

2861

0.20

 

10,107

2 65,614

1999-00

3124

0.50

 

10,400

3 06,463

2000-01

3340

0.80

 

66,968 7

42,606

2001-02

3656

1.00

 

97,751

1 ,698,536

2002-03

4940

1.60

1350

139,493

2 ,404,400

2003-04

4460

2.00

1898

180,901

5 ,022,908

2004-05

5191

2.10

2210

217,597

1 2,771,203

Jul-Mar

         

2004-05

5052

..

1900

217,597

1 0,542,641

2005-06

5174

 

2339

236,166

27,344,938

Source: (i): Pakistan Post Office

(ii): Pakistan Telecommunications Company Ltd

** : July-April 2004-05 (iii): Pakistan Telecommunication Authority

POST AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

.. Not Available

* Included Card pay Phones

No of Telegraph

Offices

 


 

TOTAL LOCAL LOOP SUBSCRIBERS BY COMPANY

 

Jan - Mar 05

Apr - Jun 05

Jul - Sep 05

Oct - Dec 05

Jan - Mar 06

PTCL

4,838,061

5,190,899

5,227,455

5,157,653

5,174,480

NTC

81,027

81,027

83,805

85,467

87,067

Brain Limited

-

1,520

1,920

2,500

2,980

WorldCall Braodband

-

4,000

5,000

6,000

8,853

WorldCall Multimedia*

-

100

300

400

600

Total

4,919,088

5,277,546

5,318,480

5,252,020

5,273,980

Source* PTA
Figures of Jan - Mar 06 are estimated.

 


 

WIRELESS LOCAL LOOP SUBSCRIBERS

 

PTCL

SCO

TELECARD

WORLD CALL

GREAT BEAR

TOTAL

2004

 

 2,364

 

 

 

2,364

2005

163,681

2,535

98,469

2,678

200

267,563

Nov-05

238,202

 

141,239

43,114

3,533

426,088

Dec-05

286,877

2,535

150,985

54,181

5,250

499,828

Jan-06

344,078

2,535

154,281

64,983

7,200

573,077

Feb-06

374,646

2,535

159,319

73,525

9,100

619,125

March-06

396,580

2,535

159,319

80,246

10,705

649,385