Malaysia’s company to invest $100m annually in Pakistan

Edotco plans capital injection in order to lay foundation for 5G launch

Our Correspondent February 01, 2019
A Malaysia Ringgit note is seen in this Reuters's illustration photo.

ISLAMABAD: Malaysian company edotco has offered annual investment of $100 million in Pakistan in a bid to lay a strong foundation for the launch of 5G telecom technology in the country.

“So far, we have invested $100 million and are ready to make investment of $50 million each year,” announced Suresh Sidhu, Chief Executive Officer of the edotco Group, while talking to media on Thursday. “We are ready to extend annual investment to $100 million for the next three to four years if the government creates an environment conducive for investment.”

Pakistan’s smartphone penetration is expected to grow from the current 30% to over 60% in the next five years. In order to meet the projected fivefold spike in mobile data usage, the country’s telecommunications industry will need over 30,000 new tower sites by 2022.

The new sites will help extend connectivity to rural and hard-to-reach areas, as well as capacity sites, to meet needs in the wake of increasing data usage growth as more users switch from 3G to 4G and beyond. “We are optimistic about Pakistan’s encouraging connectivity developments, however, studies show that at least 14,000 telecommunication towers throughout the country are overlapping, leading to duplication of resources and structural inefficiencies,” Sidhu said.

“As such, beyond increasing the number of towers to meet the growing usage needs, it will be more efficient to look at reducing the number of overlapped sites through infrastructure-sharing and explore ways to manage and grow the number of towers.”

Infrastructure-sharing has helped mobile network operators by alleviating the cost pressure of building and maintaining towers while enabling them to focus on their core business and new service creation. By reducing the overlapping sites and increasing the tenancy ratio per tower, the industry will see a significant reduction in capital expenditure and annual operating expenses. 

Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2019.

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