Norwegian-backed cellco Telenor Pakistan has completed its network modernisation programme, replacing its entire network with new equipment and boosting all of its roughly 7,500 cell sites to be 3G-ready, Pro Pakistani cites the provider’s CTO, Cyorgy Koller, as saying. Telenor expects the overhaul to solve issues relating to quality of service (QoS) and claims to have already noticed an improvement in quality-related key performance indicators (KPIs). Koller explained that the upgraded system consumes 25% less energy than its predecessor, which not only helps reduce operating expenditure, but also addresses energy supply issues, a particular problem in markets such as Pakistan, where lengthy power cuts are a fairly common occurrence. Commenting on preparations for the potential launch of 3G/4G services, the official added that whilst the entire network is ready for 3G, some minor upgrade work is required at a core level to make the network 4G-ready. In the wake of the licence tender next month, the actual extent of the company’s expected 3G footprint will, however, depend on a number of factors, including the cost of licence, market dynamics, customer uptake, licence obligations and management decisions.
The CTO stressed the complexity and magnitude of the upgrade project, noting that more than 21,000 elements were replaced and upgraded on a live network of more than 33 million subscribers. Keller added that with the expected influx of new users anticipated to coincide with the upcoming launch of 3G services and with large areas of Pakistan still underserved by wireless networks, Telenor intends to continue expanding its network.