Mobilink to get network upgrades for 3G rollout

Signs five-year deal with Huawei, Alcatel for expansion, modernisation

Farooq Baloch November 13, 2012

KARACHI: With Islamabad still in the process of launching third generation (3G) cellular spectrum, Mobilink awarded a nationwide network expansion and modernisation project to Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent.

Orascom Telecom – the Egypt-based parent company of Mobilink – signed a five-year agreement with China’s Huawei and France’s Alcatel-Lucent to provide for the design, purchase, deployment, and maintenance of next-generation mobile network equipment and supporting services from two of the world’s leading telecom hardware providers; company’s website said on Sunday.

Huawei was awarded 50% of the radio network and 100% of the core and value-added services network, while Alcatel-Lucent was awarded the other 50% of the radio access network.

It is relevant to mention that Mobilink – Pakistan’s largest mobile phone operator – had raised Rs2 billion in secured loan through institutional investors, according to a notice sent to Karachi Stock Exchange in June, 2012. It, however, did not specify if this was meant for network expansion, 3G roll out or mobile banking.

The cellular giant was yet to make an official announcement about this agreement locally. The monetary value of the project was also not made public either by Orascom or Mobilink.

Mobilink refused to give any details, saying the development was not made public in Pakistan.

“Any cellular company that is seeking a long-term future in Pakistan has to invest in 3G,” Hussain Ali Talib, company’s manager of corporate communications said in a comment that he related to a press conference by CEO Rashid Khan in January, 2012. Khan had announced Mobilink’s participation in 3G bidding and their network expansion plans for 2012.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2012.



Asif | 8 years ago | Reply

Such a misleading title!!

Mr Author you yourself write in the news that "It, however, did not specify if this was meant for network expansion, 3G roll out or mobile banking."

Then why keep such a title!!!

Haroon Rashid | 8 years ago | Reply

As I understand Orascom Telecom., is acquired by M&A., by a Russian Federation comprising leading mobile op erators with co-ownership from the Nordic region. The regulatory/licensing authority has advertised the appointment of International Consultants for auction, spectrum, for 3G, which will be short listed or assigned the task of the auction. Inherent issues of 3G networks is the signal and the quality of network to provide optimum signal to the subscriber. Other wise the battery drains very quickly. Hence the user has to switch to 2.5G/EDGE to save battery from quick draining. Suggest the regulator should make sure the subscribers of 3G will enjoy with normal battery depletion as with 2/2.5G network a common issue worldwide. Taking this into consideration it is hoped the regulatory authority will make sure quality networks. Mobilink with ownership from the Russian Federation/Nordic Region investors, operators will have no issue for an IPO for investment in the vibrant and hungry market FDI in Pakistan as an eample for other FDI investors which were pitched at the WEF, Davos by the regulatory authority at the Davos WEF 2012. As far as the network installation financials, the networks market for 3G is saturated and moving towards LTE. Plenty of room in the international markets for 3G in the junk markets worldwide with vendors in China, Nordic, EU region. In view of the security of network, handset sim issues, and situation in Pakistan CDMA network will be ideal for Pakistan condition. CDMA will resolve the SIM card security issue, and network quality, efficiency and costs.

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