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3G subs hit 2.5 million; Warid lines up Ericsson for 4G

13 Oct 2014

Pakistan’s cellcos have signed up around 2.5 million 3G users since the service was first introduced in May this year, Pro Pakistani writes, citing a senior Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) official. According to the unnamed source at the regulator, the volume of subscribers is much higher than anticipated, given the comparatively limited coverage of networks. The official noted, however, that the regulator remains a little sceptical of the figures – which defined an ‘active’ subscriber as a user that has paid for 3G data services within the last 90 days – suggesting that the reported numbers might not be representative of actual 3G use. Indeed, the PTA is reportedly considering altering its definition in the future. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Pakistan Telecommunication Mobile Ltd (PTML), which operates under the Ufone banner, was the first to launch 3G services, activating its network in May 2014, rivals Zong and Telenor followed suit the following month, whilst Mobilink launched its own offering in July.

In related news, Warid Telecom’s CEO Muneer Farooqui announced at GITEX Technology Week that the cellco has selected Ericsson to handle its 4G rollout. The executive revealed that Warid has already invested USD100 million on the deployment, adding that the company has begun internal tests and will shortly announce a date for the start of public trials of the system. Warid has already begun distributing free 4G SIMs to subscribers with compatible handsets.

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