Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Another one bites the dust

As I have mentioned before , we have 5 major telecom operators ( GSM ) in Pakistan , Mobilink ( Orascom - Egypt Group ) with 20 million subscribers , Waridtel ( Abu-Dhabi based ) with 7 million connection , Telenor ( Norway based ) with 7 million and Paktel ( Milicomm - UK ) subscribers not disclosed and Ufone ( PTCL pakistan and Etisalat Dubai )
Now to compete they have started different schemes , Warid offers unlimited SMS and MMs for only USD 2.5 per month ( last time i talked to one of their executives they are having problems becasue of this - a guy has sent above 150,000 SMS in a month and there are plenty like him ) , Ufone offers 1 cent a minute to 5 numbers across country while others are also offering cheap packages . Outof all 5 , Paktel offered unlimited night time talking , money back ( .0008 cent back to call receiver on every minute ) etc and now they are going down
just reported by GEO News ( our local CNN / BBC alternative )

STOCKHOLM: Global telecom investor Millicom International Cellular SA said Monday it is considering strategic options for Pakistani telecom company Paktel Ltd., citing challenging business conditions in the Pakistan mobile telephony market and frequency interference issues.

The Luxembourg-based company said Paktel has been granted an additional 1800 Mhz spectrum to resolve these issues, but the grant was not permanent and, as part of an overall discussion with the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority to resolve these interference issues permanently, Paktel requested a deferral of the latest installment of its license fee, totaling $29.1 million.

This request wasn't granted.

As a result, Millicom is considering a sale of its 88.9 percent stake in Paktel, or possible closure of the company. Millicom said either sale or closure may impact its bottom line, but it believes any such cost would be lower than the loss it expects to incur in 2007 and 2008 if it continues to fund Paktel as a going concern.

Millicom has named Lazard as its financial adviser.

Millicom has operated in Pakistan since 1990. As of Sept. 30, Paktel had 1.53 million total subscribers, up 62 percent from 944,718 the year prior. Paktel is currently the fifth largest operator in Pakistan, by number of active subscribers.

Shares rose $1.39, or 2.7 percent, to $52.76 in morning trading on the Nasdaq, having earlier hit a new 52-week high of $52.78. Previously, the stock traded in a 52-week range of $19.99 to $52.46.

so gone is Paktel following the footsteps of Intaphone the APMS / CDMA based company , soon to be liquidated and gone , lets see who buys their license SingTel was eyeing the Pakistan market so was Voda Phone and Orange let's see who tries to woo the Pakistani mobile phone user next .

P.S. an average phone in Pakistan cost USD 33 for a Nokia 1110 , 1110i or 1100 afforable by almost everyone a new connection range between USD 0.00 ( yes 0 ) to USD 4.2 ( with USD 2.5 ) balance , usually no identification documents are required to get a connection , every major street market is offering SIM Cards , call rates are cheap , it costs the same if I call a local number or call US , UK , Canada , China , Hongkong and whole of western Europe max going upto USD 0.03 ( 3 cents) a minute plus 25 % tax , so the industry growth is phenomenal , people carry 1 - 3 mobiles with different numbers ( for me the reaon is Mobilink has severe connectivity problems but offers unlimited GPRS at only USD 9.5 so I also carry Warid which offers 150 minutes across Pakistan at only USD 2.5 per month beside unlimited SMS / MMS at only USD 2.5 per month )

Still awaiting 3G to arrive

Keeping my fingers cross and my blog open


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