Telenor calls for Pakistan consolidation: report

Nicole McCormick
telecomasia.net
Telenor Pakistan’s chief executive believes the local market needs to slim down from five operators to three in order to grow.
 
 “Most markets are [divided between] three players,” said Telenor Pakistan’s boss Jon Eddy Abdullah.
 
“Three [operators] seems a very good number, [but] five is too many,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times. 
 
Pakistan’s five mobile operators – the others being Orascom Telecom’s Mobilink, Ufone, Warid Telecom and China Mobile’s Zong – have been engaged in M&A discussions for more than a year.
 
China Mobile has been rumored to be a possibly buyer in the market, as has Telenor.
 
Abdullah believes operator consolidation needs to happen before the government issues 3G licensing.
 
Moreover, he does not believe there is a huge urgency to award 3G licenses.
 
“The question comes to basics,” he said. “We spent $290 million on a 2G license in 2004. We are years away from recouping that investment.”
 
Telenor acquired a majority stake in Pakistani microfinance bank Tameer.

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