Pakistan Telecom eyes three million broadband customers by 2015

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL), which is Pakistan’s largest phone service provider, is planing to expand its network of Internet broadband users to over three million in the next five years. CEO Walid Irshaid took the opportunity of a call for investors to announce his ambitions for PTCL, which is also seeking to recoup revenue which it has lost to competitors.

CEO Irshaid’s ambitions are substantial. Because of the potential of broadband in Pakistan, “We plan to have a 70% share of the market in five years.” In fact, PTCL saw revenue slightly decline to US$162.6 million for 1Q10.

In the case of investment, PTCL has attracted the attention of Emirates Telecommunications, which plans to purchase another 25% in PTCL. Although no date for the acquisition has been stated, it does mean that when added to the 26% stake bought for US$2.6 million in April 2006, Emirates Telecommunications, the UAE provider now has a major management control of PTCL.

PTCL lost its monopoly in 2004, with the decision of the national government to grant licences to private companies. Telenor Asa and China Mobile were two such competitors.

PTCL has launched a new Cricket Info Service, catering to adherents of, not to say maniacs for the ongoing T-20 World Cup. Customers can access this service and start hearing live commentary by dialing 1422 from their telephone sets. The service was activated on May 1, 2010. Any additional information can be obtained from the helpline, 1236.

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Developing Telecoms acknowledges the role of Bloomberg in compiling this article.

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