ISLAMABAD ( MEDIA )
Pakistan’s biggest mobile operator Mobilink has revealed that it plans to launch 3G services this week.
“Mobilink 3G services will be charged from 18 July,” the telco announced on its Website.
Mobilink is the only one of the four operators that took part in April’s 3G licence auction yet to have commercially launched services. It has been offering trial services, for free, since May.
Late last month local press reports suggested that Mobilink was being barred from launching commercial services by the regulator. Pakistan’s Daily Times reported that the ban came from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), which was dissatisfied with Mobilink’s quality of service (QoS). However, a spokesperson for the telco was unaware of any such move from the regulator.
When Mobilink brings 3G to market, there will be one remaining mobile network operator in Pakistan without a high-speed offer.
However, according to The Express Tribune, Warid Telecom aims to launch 4G services by the end of September.
Warid Telecom did not take part in the April spectrum auction, which also saw the government sell off 4G frequencies. China Mobile, which operates in Pakistan under the Zong banner, was the only operator to acquire the 1800-MHz spectrum earmarked for LTE.
However, as Colin Brooks, a partner at consultancy firm Value Partners, which worked with the Pakistan government on the auction process, told Total Telecom recently, Warid Telecom already holds spectrum that it could free up and use for LTE services. The telco has applied to the regulator for permission to do that, Brooks said.