Mobilink supports 3G launch

Pakistan: Mobilink supports introduction of 3G (Third Generation) telephony services provided the government assures a fair and cost-effective allocation of spectrum in the industry, Mobilink Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President Rashid Ali Khan said in an interview to Daily Times.

“We support efforts of the government and Pakistan Telecom Authority in the introduction and regulation of new technologies in the cellular mobile sector, he said and added “we give our assurance and commitment in cooperation for early launch of 3G, we also would like to recommend an appropriate approach for allocation of the 3G spectrum.

CEO Mobilink said the allocation of this spectrum should be planned in a manner that presents a plausible business case for the cellular mobile operators keeping in view the challenging financial situation surrounding the cellular mobile industry in Pakistan.

He said the mobile operators should also be allowed to receive share of (Access Promotion Contribution) arising out of premium from international traffic.

“I would like to acknowledge the government towards industry issues and his support to resolve the problems of the cellular industry by forming an advisory board to address these technical issues,” he said.

Telecom companies have continued to invest and expand their networks in Pakistan. Out of a total investment that exceeds $11 billion, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of more than $6.4 billion has been made by the telecom sector; the telecom sector is the largest recipient of FDI in Pakistan, Mobilink chief added.

Despite geo-political instability and pressures affecting Pakistan, the telecom sector has shown rapid growth and evolution and also been a key economic driver, he said and added the telecommunication sector contributes 3 percent to the country’s GDP.

He pointed out that the cellular industry alone has paid over Rs 300 billion through various taxes in the past five years alone.

“Pakistan cellular sector is paying high taxes in comparison to the entire region as its overall rate reached 31 percent whereas the regional countries tax heads contained between 10 to 15 percent,” Rashid Ali said. “In contrast the cellular tariffs in Pakistan are amongst the lowest in the region.”

Rashid Ali Khan urged that the relevant authorities should support the cellular sector and ease this tax burden to provide relief to the common man keeping in view the challenging financial situation surrounding the sector and its users.

The pace, direction and the future of cellular phone industry hold numerous bright prospects particularly in mobile-commerce and value-added services.

“Money transactions through revolutionary applications, innovative mobile tracking services and navigation systems, user friendly IVR and SMS based value added services have improved the standard of living and provided unmatched convenience to the end user,” he added.

Mobilink is committed to making easier the living standards of the people by providing services through its cellular, broadband or mobile-commerce services, he said.

The company has largest subscribers’ base of the cellular phone in the country, which demands are fulfilled keeping in view all economic segments of the society whether it is in terms of low-cost packages or it is by high-ends handsets, Rashid Ali Khan concluded.

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