Warid looks to side-step spectrum auction with LTE launch

22 Apr 2014

Pakistan’s fifth-placed wireless provider Warid Telecom plans to launch 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in five cities, The News International cites an unnamed senior company official as saying. Warid, which has opted not to take part in the ongoing auction for 3G and 4G licences, will apply to sector authority the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for permission to offer LTE in Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and Karachi using its existing 1800MHz spectrum holdings. Warid has reportedly initiated talks with vendors with regards to the deployment of infrastructure and the provision of LTE handsets: ‘Since the price of LTE-enabled handsets starts from USD500 on average globally, Warid is negotiating with two large Android phone manufacturers to provide the same to their customers.’

Commenting on the announcement, a PTA official confirmed that the watchdog would consider Warid’s request if the cellco does indeed choose to apply, adding that: ‘Launching LTE services is a difficult proposition as LTE [hand]sets are very expensive; 3G handsets are more common in Pakistan as well as the rest of the world.’

Pakistan, Warid Telecom (Jazz)