On your marks, get set, wait: Ufone and Mobilink all set for 3G shift

Teleco­m leader replac­es decade-old Motoro­la equipm­ent with 3G capabl­e Huawei equipm­ent.

Omair Zeeshan September 21, 2011


Telecommunication giants Ufone and Mobilink have upgraded their telecom hardware and are all set for the third generation (3G) regime, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Huawei Pakistan Deputy CEO Colin Hu said that Ufone in the last two years purchased telecom equipment from Huawei and is ready to switch up a notch to 3G across the country.

The country’s largest telecom company, Mobilink, had been running on decade-old Motorola telecom equipment before the switch to Huawei equipment. The equipment has not been entirely replaced but Mobilink is ready to switch in all major cities of the country, said Hu.

He confidently said that Huawei could switch to the new spectrum within a month of approval of 3G licence. However, an expert pointed out that this was quite a complicated process and that a month might be a bit unrealistic.

The government earlier this month constituted yet another committee to resolve the dispute over auction of 3G advanced services mobile phone licences.

Differences have surfaced over the interpretation of an agreement between the government and Etisalat on sale of shares of the state-owned telecommunication company.

The telecom giant was of the opinion that the government could not sell a new telecom licence for any spectrum until seven years, which would end in March 2013, but the government has taken the position that 3G licence is not something new, but actually an extension of existing services.

There are a number of projects in progress as part of this enhancement process, said Mobilink spokesperson while responding to a query. “Part of this upgrading also ensures that our networks are 3G upgradeable when the eventual shift to 3G is undertaken,” the spokesperson added.

Ufone spokesperson refused to comment on the issue.

Hu further explained that Huawei is one of the major telecom players in Pakistan with more than 60 per cent market share in telecom and hardware solutions. Given this, he said that the company will be a major fixture in the 3G and later 4G (LTE) rollout in Pakistan. Huawei has been growing exponentially over the last 13 years in Pakistan at a time when other companies in the sector are having quite a difficult time in recession, said Hu.

Huawei is also on the verge of launching its enterprise business portfolio in the hope of competing with information and communication technology competitors like Cisco and Juniper.

Huawei is aiming to provide solutions to all banks, government departments and different verticals of the industry, said the Chinese tech giant’s Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Faisal Ameer Malik. He added that they want to have 30-40% of the enterprise business by next year.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd,  2011.


Noman | 10 years ago | Reply

Dear friends I am in medina munawarah came hear for allhamdulilah for hajj,i am using 3G data sim of "mobily" on my iPhone i am using skype and viber on my iphone on the 3g the speed is insanely fast,I checked with speed test having speed of up to 3.5 Mbps to 4.5 highest mbps.Wateen in Pakistan says 4g network is totally wrong because 3G speed starts at 1mbps and 4g speed starts at 4.5 Mbps.we are far away from 3G then y we are thinking for 4g. I am sorry for above which I wrote if anybody gets hurts again pls forgive for that.

Yasmin Malik, Visiting Lecturer, IBA | 10 years ago | Reply

Although it is true that some of the cellular companies are preparing themselves in varying degrees on an infrastructure basis for the advent of cellular 3G, this article seems to focus more on the drive behind the VENDORS to bring cellular 3G to Pakistan rather than the desire of the telecom operators to do so. For those who are part of this industry, the parallels to Motorola's unjustified push for nation-wide WIMAX roll-out for Wateen's network should not be missed.

To meet the expectations of the serious business reader, the article would have given a more realistic view of the advent of 3G in Pakistan had it also focused on the pros and cons the telecom operators have to face wrt 3G implementation i.e. cost of licenses, cost of infrastructure upgrade, prospect of existing 2G+ (GPRS/EDGE) users converting to 3G, adoption of 3G by youth and tech-savvy subscribers and the outlook of the telecom regulator.

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