ISLAMABAD – The Warid Telecom’s plan to bring 4G-Long term Evolution (LTE) seems to be under a minor threat as Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) now maintained that Warid’s license is ‘technology neutral’ not ‘service neutral’.
The PTA’s official stance on Warid’s bids to launch 4G LTE came after four participants of 3G/4G auction (Ufone, Mobilink, Telenor and Zong) showed concerns.
PTA Chairperson Dr Ismail Shah briefed the media about the complex issue and stated “the existing Warid license is technology neutral but it does not mean that it is service neutral.”
He said that all newly launched services require proper consent from PTA, for which Warid will have to send a proper request to the authority.
PTA will then consider such a request based on the license conditions and on the greater interests of the cellular industry, specially the bidders who had participated in the 3G/4G spectrum auction.
The offer of 4G/LTE services by Warid will have to go through a process as per their license and PTA’s requirements of assurance of proper coverage, quality of service, enhanced monitoring requirements and commencement permissions.
“Warid should provide details about how much spectrum would be carved out from the 8.8 MHz in 1800 band for LTE services and its impact on the existing GSM/GPRS/EDGE customers,” Dr Shah said, adding that not all releases of LTE are 4G.
Moreover, the Warid Telecom was also ensuring its customers to launch latest data technology soon.
PakistanTribe reported on April 28, that Warid would soon launch the 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) as its licence allowed so.
“Warid already has license of 4G LTE before other networks, and they are waiting for NOC from PTA,” source added.
“We understand the need of modern era. Warid Telecom is working to provide advance data technology which will be announced shortly,” source added further.
Warid launched its cellular services in Pakistan in May 2005 and had 12.54 million subscribers at the end of March of this year, down from 17.39 million in 2010-11, making the company the country’s smallest operator. On account of performance issues and crisis, the company had its complete management changed at the end of 2010.
Pakistan’s total subscriber base rose 12.2 percent to 122.1 million over the same period, meaning Warid’s market share fell to 10.3 percent from 16 percent.