Pakistan market not ready for 3G mobile

'Pakistan market not ready for 3G mobile'


KARACHI (May 31 2008): Marwan Zawaydeh Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Warid Telecom has said that presently Pakistani market is not ready for 3G mobile services because the cost of a mobile phone for this service is over Rs 50,000.

In an interview with Business Recorder on Friday, he said that a 3G mobile set is out of buying reach of common men due to which market does not show potential for service providers to make huge investments prematurely.

"3G service is a commodity for very few people. The feasibility of 3G services in Pakistan will depend very much on the license fee as well as network rollout cost," he maintained. He said "therefore, the mobile phone operators ask the government to consider 3G not as a licensing opportunity, rather an allocation of additional spectrum linked with rollout obligations."

However, he said that mobile operators use GPRS and Edge technology, which requires minimum investment and most of the available handsets support it can offer broadband connectivity and high-speed data services.

He pointed out that a lot of geographical locations in Pakistan are currently without basic voice services. However, cellular service providers are investing for providing phone connectivity for remote areas.

Warid Telecom has invested 1.3 billion dollar in Pakistan during the last three years. Its total investments and commitments will reach 1.5 billion dollar by the end of 2008. It will invest additional one billion dollar by the end of 2009, Marwan pointed out.

About the company's expansion plan, he said that Warid started pouring money heavily to double our network capacity and coverage to take our installed cell sites to more than 5,000 by the end of this year. "The latest addition has taken the number to 5000 destinations in Pakistan," he added.

Warid Telecom has signed two contracts with Huawei. They cover purchase and installation of 422 cell sites and will add 137 cities and 27 roads to the Warid Telecom's coverage network before the end of 2008, he said.

"These network expansion plans would be mainly, focusing the rural and the far-flung areas of the country," he added.

Recently, Warid Telecom has awarded a 300 million dollar contract to Sweden's Ericsson to expand its network in Pakistan. The GSM network extension will give additional capacity for five million subscribers and coverage of additional 100 cities before the end of current year, he said.

Warid Telecom has always brought innovations and convenience for its subscribers. Some of them have been launched while many of them are in the process considering the new innovations as an ongoing activity, CEO Warid Telecom said. It has recently revised post-paid tariffs with many new features. Similarly, it is the first operator providing scratch-card payment facility for post-paid subscriber, he said.


Depends on who you ask. All the infrastructure vendors love 3G (great for their business) but the mobile carriers dont want to pay for the licences because they dont see a payback. Here's a post I wrote on this topic:


Isn't 3G also termed as UMTS? And most new mobile sets support UMTS. e.g. the Nokia N Series. And no, they do not cost above Rs.50000.

Yet another example of a CEO not worth the pay he is getting and who is technically incompetent.

UMTS is part of 3G along with other standards like

[quote=", post:, topic:"]
3G networks (UMTS FDD and TDD, cdma2000 1x EVDO, cdma2000 3x, TD-SCDMA, Arib WCDMA, EDGE, IMT-2000 DECT) are the latest cellular networks that have data rates 384kbit/s and more

Courtesy: UMTS World (

^ So what is stopping them from implementing the UMTS standard (European, IIC) for 3G?

Phones like the Nokia 6120 support 3G, and are about 14K. There are other Nokia phones in the 8K-12K range with 3G support. Other companies also make 3G phones at the 10-20K price range.

It's not the set price, its the license fee and the equipment upgrade costs. Heck, none of companies even provide true GPRS/EDGE speeds, 3G is pretty far away.

So ultimately, it comes down to excuses for not purchasing the license for the spectrum.

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

Phones like the Nokia 6120 support 3G, and are about 14K. There are other Nokia phones in the 8K-12K range with 3G support. Other companies also make 3G phones at the 10-20K price range.

It’s not the set price, its the license fee and the equipment upgrade costs. Heck, none of companies even provide true GPRS/EDGE speeds, 3G is pretty far away.


totally my words. i have even bought a Nokia 6233 for only 8000 and i will buy nokia 6680 which is only availale for 5500 second hand so i think we should slap him on his face (beta MBA booti laga k pass kia tha?) and look at the CEO’s own comments that if PTA provide it as an upgrade then they will consider.

no one needs 3G. FULLSTOP!

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

no one needs 3G. FULLSTOP!

thats not true man

rural areas where wired communication is either not posiible or really difficult really need it

and besides if 3G does come there will be more competition which is always good for consumers

Benefits of 3G would come through data services. For voice services, GSM is already effective.

ha! people here don't know what edge is and you say 3g is gonna come handy! do a bit of research.

see wateen and ptcl's "halat" and then say what is needed here! we don't need 3g or 4g .

I agree with Lash here.Companies wants to make profit...Nobody is here to provide something to us because we need it.They need to look at the profit and i am sure at this time the 3g License from PTA is not worth it.

@SECC: Although that may very well be true, companies and their representatives should have the guts and decency to tell the truth to the public. This CEO lied or was misinformed about cell phone prices to cover for the fact that 3G would not be a profitable venture for cell phone service providers at this point in time in Pakistan.

lol.. lets say Mobilink gets the license of 10 crores and then 2 or 3 more crores for setup.

now coming to our new gen guys and grls like me, how much? 1 or 2 million? for the heck of it put 10 million people...

for the money they spent if they get like 10 lakh r.s a month, then i don't think thats such a good idea.

well i wont care less if its 3g... edge is good enough for me. forget about this imo, they are still thinking.

didn't you read the interview of Telenor's ceo's. well get flare then.

i am still with no 3G banner.

Yeah, it is true that these companies here to make profit and in service there is no profit or they cant make payback period in short time than they will not provide service. As far edge or 3g service, i would say that it is the individual person himself who has decide what he need.

50,000 is bullcrap. I'm sorry, but I have to agree. I would have written the same thing unless someone else hadn't posted before.

Pakistan - well - not sure if people are ready for 3G or whether it'll help the economy, since the basic utility costs for accessing 3G services is high. Not 50,000, but 13,000 and more, if you ask me. And 13,000 is just the ultra-low end.

In fact, it's got to be more than 14 or 15k (the handsets).

And yeh - if companies fail to provide adequate EDGE speeds (which includes Telenor), I'm not sure 3G will be successful. Telenor supplies around 10-15KB/s, while the theoretical max is supposed to be around 22 or so.Even 18 is fine... but it's rare in the case of EDGE.

Well - that's my experience with EDGE. I'm not looking forward to 3G in Pakistan, but I don't mind it's presence.

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

no one needs 3G. FULLSTOP!

Actually alot of people want or need 3G. i personally love the freedom of mobility. Cant sit in front of my pc all day long.

Regarding warid’s ceo, that moron is a jerk if he thinks 3G mobiles cost 50k. Get a darn k 810 for 17k or k 800 for <9k used. Both have 3G.

posted from a K790

sorry but no one wants it. go get a wifi enabled cellphone.... we don't need 3G cra!p

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

sorry but no one wants it. go get a wifi enabled cellphone… we don’t need 3G cra!p

Unless you have something useful to contribute, please refrain from posting needlessly in threads.