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Telecoms: Sector Analysis Apr 2010

Etisalat maintained highest standards of transparency in PTCL privatisation
Commenting on media reports attributed to the Government of Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Privatisation: Senator Waqar Ahmed Khan, The Chairman and Managing Director of Emirates Telecommunication Corporation — Etisalat: Mr Mohammad Omran recalled that Etisalat’s investment in PTCL came in the wake of a welcome invitation and encouragement by the Government of Pakistan to participate in the privatisation process, which the Corporation was pleased to accept given the special and brotherly relations between the UAE and Pakistan. He said that in addition to financial valuation and other formal commercial considerations, the governance and strict procurement rules of Etisalat (the Corporation being a listed entity in the UAE, 60% of which is owned by the Federal Government of UAE) required that before approving an acquisition of an asset, its Board of Directors obtained a legal opinion from International and country National external counsel which confirmed in no ambiguous terms that the requisite steps for the sale of that asset had been followed and that the acquisition is legally valid under the laws of the relevant country.
He stressed that as a UAE public corporation and one of the largest listed entities in the country in addition to its status as a leading regional Telecom operator, Etisalat applies the highest standards of transparency in conducting its business operations and International expansion strategy and a mission to add value wherever its reach took it.
Alluding to the above press reports, Mr Omran pointed out that the commercial agreements with the Government of Pakistan call for the transfer of the properties in question to PTCL and not to Etisalat. Mr Omran added that when the properties are transferred to PTCL, the Government of Pakistan, being the 62% shareholder of PTCL, will be the single largest beneficiary.
Referring to the withholding of instalment payments, the Chairman and Managing Director of Etisalat added that under the agreed terms of the transaction, Etisalat is entitled to withhold payments until the property titles were transferred to PTCL.  “Our aim is to ensure that PTCL receives clean title to and possession of all properties,” said Mr. Omran.  He added, “We are confident that when the Privatisation Commission fulfils this obligation, Etisalat will immediately release the instalments.”

National Bank of Pakistan and Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited join hands to provide the largest financial network for Pakistan
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) Pakistan’s national  converged services telecom operator, and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Pakistan’s largest banking institute have joined hands to deploy the largest Financial network in Pakistan. This is via NBPs “Online Connectivity Services for Network Expansion” project.
PTCL will provide an end to end solution with enterprise-wide network connectivity architecture, all necessary hardware, software & management of the network, on the basis of managed services. The established of this State-of-the-art Wide Area Network will ensure enhanced reach, operational efficiency, customer retention & systematic growth and development for NBP. The WAN will be used for various banking applications, emails, internet and ATM’s across NBP’s 1300 branch network and other offices over Pakistan and AJK.
President PTCL Mr. Walid Irshaid during the ceremony said’ National Bank of Pakistan is a valuable addition to PTCL’s  portfolio of its customers. This project is another milestone in PTCL’s perpetual pursuit for providing its customers with the best solutions based on the latest available technology in the market with unmatched services. It is also an opportunity for PTCL to deliver innovative, secure & reliable solutions for Pakistan’s largest banking institute.”
Commenting on the occasion NBP President, Mr. Ali Raza said that “this is an unparalleled achievement for Pakistan’s banking establishment. The introduction of this level of technology will not only provide immense facilitation to our customers but also make NBP a technology leader not only in Pakistan but in the whole region.”
—  April 14 2010

Advisor to PM for IT, Latif Khosa appreciates Telenor’s contribution
Islamabad, April 9, 2010. Advisor to Prime Minister for Information Technology, Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa met with a three member delegation of Telenor headed by Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor Asia Region, Sigve Brekke to discuss the expansion of the Telecom Sector. CEO Telenor Pakistan, Jon Eddy Abdullah and Chief Strategy Officer & Vice President Corporate Affairs, Aamir Ibrahim were also part of the delegation.
Latif Khosa appreciated the contribution of Telenor Pakistan for providing basic telephony and data services in Malakand Division and said. “Ministry of Information Technology is putting all efforts to promote the development of telecommunication services in un-served and under-served areas throughout the length and breadth of the country”. He added,” Pakistan has a friendly working atmosphere as there is a lot of potential to invest in the telecom sector. We want cooperation of cellular companies to achieve our targets for the expansion of information technology and telecom sector.”
Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor Asia Region, Sigve Brekke also appreciated the support of the IT and Telecom Ministry. He said, “Telenor Group has a long-term perspective on its investments in Pakistan. We appreciate the support extended by Government of Pakistan, specifically Ministry of IT & Telecom, towards the development of the Telecom sector in the country. We look forward to continued government support especially on rationalizing the tax regime and bringing it at par with other sectors, in the upcoming budget.”
In the meeting, the Advisor and the delegation expressed their views on further development in the Telecom sector and sought mutual cooperation for deep and wide telecommunication penetration within the country.

About Telenor Pakistan
Telenor Pakistan is a provider of high quality telecommunication services in Pakistan. Telenor Pakistan acquired its GSM license in 2004 and launched its services in 2005. Currently, Telenor Pakistan has 22.50 million subscribers, a nationwide network encompassing 8,000 plus cities and 2,500 employees. Telenor Pakistan is 100% owned by Telenor ASA and adds on to its operations in Asia.
Growth comes from truly understanding the needs of people to drive relevant change.
For more information

PTCL NOC Ensures a Fault Resilient and Highly Available Network
Islamabad: As part of its on going infrastructure development, Network Operations Centre established by Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) facilitates a highly available, adaptable and fault resilient network, that can meet the market demand and ensures customer satisfaction.
In order to effectively overcome the operational challenges like absence of centralized network management, mechanisms for root cause analysis and ad hoc based fault resolution, PTCL established NOC. This has enabled PTCL to address these issues by proactive identification and resolution of faults through real-time network monitoring and status visibility. Escalation policies, work orders and maintenance of secure activity logs ensures increased accountability, transparency and enhanced quality of service.
President and CEO PTCL Walid Irshaid marked NOC a rich addition in to already thriving portfolio of PTCL services, which are especially designed to provide customers speedy, effective and sophisticated service.
According to CTO PTCL Nasrullah, NOC has provided a complete convergence of entire network on a single platform that helps in controlling, monitor and managing the entire PTCL network. He further added NOC has also been used in the diversification of services and customer base. Services provided by NOC are modification of SOPs for DSL, IPTV, provisioning of SLA support for all domains, management of DXX corporate customers and outsourced data centers and many others.
The main building of NOC is located in Islamabad, with regional NOCs in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi with disaster recovery facilitation also done in Karachi.

ZONG makes largest telecom investment in Pakistan
China Mobile Communications Corporation (CMCC), the world’s largest mobile telephony operator and the parent company of ZONG will invest $300 million in Pakistan in 2010 which is the largest investment by any telecom operator in the current year, as revealed by Mr. Wang Jianzhou, Chairman CMCC who is heading a delegation to Pakistan.
ZONG has invested $1.66 billion so far in Pakistan and has generated more than 1700 direct and over 40,000 indirect jobs in Pakistan. China Mobile, which has made the largest investment among all the Chinese investments in Pakistan, is also the only offshore company operating in Pakistan, which has invested more than $721 million in Foreign Direct Investment so far in the current year.
ZONG now stands third in terms of the number of base stations, and the company has established more than 5000 cell cites in Pakistan showing rapid growth. ZONG is China Mobile’s first venture outside of China and has attracted attention, not only in the global cellular arena but also with the international finance experts and investment houses.
The company continues to invest heavily in the construction of GSM networks, support systems and transmission facilities, and for development of new technologies and businesses and has maintained a leadership position in the telecom industry.

ZONG’s CSR initiative to help students 
As part of its corporate social responsibility initiatives, ZONG initiated a programme of scholarships last year. It has just selected ten students at the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore for this programme. The students will receive their tuition fees and other expenses for the entire four years of engineering.
This is the second year of the ZONG scholarship programme which aims to enable talented, deserving young people to acquire quality technical education from one of the most prestigious engineering universities in the country. The scholarship amount covers all the academic and other expenses of every selected student.
The emphasis of the ZONG scholarship will be to financially support students who are motivated in enhancing scientific and technological research.

Telecom sector monthly update
After a sequential decline in cellular subscribers in Jan ‘10 (down 2.22%MoM), cellular subscribers have eked out a marginal growth of 0.86%MoM in Feb ‘10. As a result, total cellular subscribers have reached 96.2mn with cellular teledensity clocking in at 58.7%. However, total fixed teledensity has remained static at 3.7%. Looking at individual cellular service providers, Telenor which continues to leverage on its growing presence, increased its subscriber base the most, by 1.37%MoM in Feb ‘10. While reportedly 2.38mn requests have been furnished through PTA’s (Web and SMS) 668 service, industry sources have revealed that the telecom regulator plans to roll out two more phases of the successful 668 service. The WLL segment has posted a third sequential decline in Feb ‘10 as total WLL subscriber base decreased by 0.5%MoM. Within the sector, we prefer PTC which offers exposure to landline, WLL and the cellular industry (Ufone). Current price implies an Accumulate stance with a target price of PkR24.31/share.
— AKD Research
23 April 2010

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