Telenor Pakistan, the country’s second largest operator, has launched 4G service in selected areas of major cities.
It has rolled out the high-speed service in parts of Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Peshawar and Swat, and promised a “speedy rollout of the service to other cities”. It is only the second mobile player to offer 4G service in the country.
The operator said customers can obtain 4G SIMs at its retail shops and will announce details of 4G plans in the near future.
Telenor has been aggressively expanding its 3G capacity, more than doubling its 3G subscribers over the past year, but just 23 per cent of its 38 million connections are using 3G, suggesting it has some work to do to promote the benefits of 4G technology.
In June Telenor obtained 2x10MHz of 850MHz spectrum for the base price of $395 million, with the operator making the only bid for the 4G spectrum. Three of the country’s four largest operators — Mobilink, Ufone and China Mobile’s Zong — did not participate in the auction.
Zong recently said it has spent $250 million expanding its 4G footprint to more than 100 cities. It has about 750,000 4G users, or 3 per cent of its 25 million mobile connections, according to GSMA Intelligence.
The country’s market leader Mobilink had a 28.5 per cent total market share (all technologies) at the end of Q2, while Telenor had a 27.6 per cent share.