Norwegian-backed cellco Telenor Pakistan has confirmed that it has signed up more than five million 3G subscribers, cementing its leadership in the nascent sector. The cellco made the announcement during an event unveiling three new low price 3G-compatible devices, also noting that its 3G network now comprises more than 5,100 sites many of them in areas that lacked ‘even basic landline or mobile telephony services.’ According to the most recent data from sector regulator the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Telenor had 4.696 million 3G subscribers at end-July 2015, well ahead of its nearest rival Mobilink, which had 3.957 million at that date, whilst Zong and Ufone claimed 3.095 million and 2.613 million respectively.
The three new handsets are ‘Lite 3G’, ‘Smart Mini’ and ‘Smart Pro’, the first of which is a dual SIM feature phone with video calling and video streaming functions, and costs PKR3,690 (USD35.13). The Smart Mini and Smart Pro devices, meanwhile, are smartphones with 3.5-inch/4.0-inch displays and high speed processors with price tags of PKR5,490 and PKR6,990. Each of the new phones also comes pre-loaded with PKR600 of credit and 3GB of data. Commenting on the new devices, chief marketing officer Irfan Wahab Khan said: ‘Telenor Pakistan aims to bring 3G phones within the affordability range of people belonging to low and middle income groups…Capturing more than 32% of Pakistan’s entire 3G broadband landscape is yet another testament to our commitment toward facilitating 3G uptake by providing best-in-class and affordable internet services to all.’