Cellular subscribers cross 92 million mark
Source: Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX
The cellular subscribers are showing an upward trend and the cellular subscribers crossed the 92 million mark as the month of May touches its conclusion, the APP has learnt reliably. Though the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) sources confirm that the cellular subscribers have crossed 92 million mark, the officials say they would post the latest digits within a weeks time. However, the PTA spokesman said the telecom sector registered a total of 91,978,760 in the month of April, 2009. The telecom sectors upward growth brings a sigh of relief for the telecom sector. As per latest stats issued by the PTA, the Month of April showed a upward trend with 0.6 percent growth – thats second highest since November 2008.
As per details, Zong stood first by capturing most customers in April 2009, while all the cellular companies collectively added 536,419 customers. In Pakistan, currently five cellular mobile operators i.e. Telenor Pakistan, Pakistan Mobile Communication Limited (PMCL/Mobilink), PTML (Ufone), Warid Telecom and China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak/Paktel) are providing services using GSM technology whereas the sixth operator i.e. Instaphone is providing services using D-AMPS technology.
Instaphone has, however, internal issues and could not launch CDMA/WCDMA as originally planned by the operator. The GSM operators have also launched GPRS services whereas Telenor and Mobilink are also offering EDGE services in most part of their networks. In the core network, some operators have deployed and some are in advanced stage of deployment of R4/NGN network. As a result of progressive network rollout by the operators, the facilities are now available to over 90 percent population of the country. In Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) and Northern Areas (NAs), there are six cellular mobile operators, five Pakistans GSM operators and Special Communication Organization (SCO) providing services.
SCO is the incumbent mobile operator since 2003. After the earthquake of 2005, mobile licenses were issued to operators of Pakistan. Now, the AJ&K and NAs are at par with the Pakistan in terms of mobile facilities and competition in the sector. The operators have covered most part of the AJ&K and also extended services to main localities of NAs. Now, as a result of this, mobile services with GPRS facilities are available in far flung mountainous areas of the country.
Since GSM technology is used by the mobile operators in Pakistan, therefore, UMTS is preferred for 3G mobile. Frequency Allocation Board is in the process of clearing the core 3G band/spectrum and will complete the task very soon. Information Memorandum is being prepared and will be forwarded to existing mobile operators of Pakistan. The spectrum is arranged in blocks of 5 MHz each and will be auctioned amongst the existing operators.
Through auction spectrum would be assigned to only three operators. The spectrum so assigned through auction will contain certain condition regarding rollout, QoS, etc. It is expected that soon the process of 3G spectrum auction will be completed and, thereafter, the PTA would launch 3G mobile services in Pakistan.