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Paktel Communication on the move.

David John Bamford joined Paktel in June 1992. He brings a vast experience in Marketing, Management and Operations to Paktel. A Chartered Electrical Engineer, he has worked extensively in Telecommunications and he is not new to the markets in developing countries. His experience spans work in the Middle and Far East and Europe. In Bahrain while serving as Deputy Chief Executive and General Manager Commercial and Operations of Batelco (the Bahrain Telecommunications Organization) he was responsible for marketing, operations and sales. As General Manager Switch Services Group of Mercury Communications Limited, London he had responsibility for network planning, design, specification and procurement of new user and operational facilities, and day to day operations of the MCL's switched network.

All over the world there is a growing consensus that the private sector can manage competitive business more efficiently and effectively than the public sector, since it is unlikely to enjoy a monopoly, it is customer driven. This realization has led to a global wave of privatization.

The government of Pakistan has launched a radical campaign to privatise businesses under its control. Its policy is driven from the vision that the private sector will best provide the capital and competition to estimulate commerce and industry.

All over the world, telecommunications is considered to be one of the fastest growing industries. It has been said that Telecommunications will be for the 90's what Personal Computers were for the 80's. Therefore it is no surprise that a prime sector chosen for privatisation has been Telecommunications.

The Government telecommunications monopoly (Telephone & Telegraph Department) has been converted into a corporation, the PTC (Pakistan Telecommunications Corporation) with a view towards its (ultimate) privatisation. It is worth noting that T&T was the highest revenue generating department for the government after Central Board of Revenue (CBR).

Initially, some areas have already been separated so that they develop in a totally competitive environment in the private sector with the Ministry of Communications acting as a regulatory authority. These are:

- Cellular - Paging - Card Phones

Two nationwide cellular licenses were issued and are operating. Paktel which is jointly owned by Cable and Wireless (80%) and the Hasan Associates (20%) and Pakcom which is owned by Millicom (62%) and Arfeen (38%).

Both companies have nationwide license and between the two companies most of the major cities and almost 30% of the target population is covered. Both companies compete in major cities but due to logistic and economic reasons, some cities are covered exclusively by either.

PAKTEL

Paktel Limited is a cable and Wireless Company, operating under a license granted by the government of Pakistan to provide cellular mobile telecommunication services in Pakistan.

Paktel was formed in January 1990 and went into operation in November 1990 with the introduction of cellular mobile telephone service in Karachi. Since then Paktel has expanded its service into other areas of the country covering major urban and rural industrial and commercial centres of the country. With 2 Mobile Switching Centres (exchanges) and several Radio Base Stations (RBSs) Paktel's coverage area comprises of over 30,000 square kilometres which includes the cities of Karachi, Lahore, Chunian, Gujrat, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Wazirabad, Gujranwala, Murree, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera.

The corporate head offices are located at Islamabad and Regional operations are managed from offices located in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad with branch offices at Faisalabad and Peshawar. Total staff strength to date is over 250. The average age of employees being 28, explains the energy and dynamism of the Paktel operations.

Paktel will soon be celebrating its second anniversary. It has come a long way in a short span of time and today Paktel holds 65% share of the cellular market. Public awareness of the utility of mobile phones is on the rise. Cellular phones are no longer considered an expensive toy for the rich but an effective business tool and is used by a large cross section of people from agriculture to government to businesses.

Taking advantage of the market dynamics, the competition, as well as a general trend of lowering of prices there has been a dramatic drop in the purchase prices of phones in this short period. The fall in equipment prices has made it possible for middle class to take advantage of the revolution in Personal Communications.

The average usage profile is quite high relative to international standards. The usage patterns varies in different regions. This is due primarily to the differing customer profiles in these areas e.g. in rural areas of Punjab, covered by Paktel, people are using cellular phones as unofficial pay phones to enable people to call their relatives abroad.

The PTC is rapidly expanding and improving its network and a part of the cellular base may disappear over time. It is interesting to see that competition not only causes the market to be shared, but on the positive side helps in customer education and growth of awareness in the market.

Paktel has a strong tradition to be the first. It was the first to start operations, first to launch service in Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar.

The use of value added services such as conference calling, call transferring, fax and data transmission is on the rise and the way to go for the future. Paktel has plans to expand its network to cover major inter city highways and industrial estates. Product development is underway which exploits the utilization of the basic cellular phone in different applications. Some products being developed are:

Cellular Interface for PABX/FAX Special Services Mobile Office Rail Phone Fixed Phone Data Phone Security Phone

Paktel is a forward looking, objective oriented multinational organisation which strives for high quality in all spheres of its activities and is keen on maintaining its place as the market leader in the field of mobile cellular telecommunications.

Cable and Wireless

In the beginning of the 20th century, with the emergence of radio communications, the major communication companies operating in the U.K. merged into what is today known as the Cable and Wireless Group.

Today with over 35,000 employees worldwide and through the use of advanced innovative technology, Cable and Wireless has pioneered and helped create some of the most sophisticated telecommunication systems in the world. Cable and Wireless and its associate companies now operate as domestic telecommunication providers in 24 countries and also provide international telecommunications for 34 countries.

In the United Kingdom, Cable and Wireless plc. is the parent company of Mercury Communications Ltd. In the United States, it has extended its original digital network in the Eastern half of the U.S. across to the West Coast; In Hong Kong, Cable and Wireless holds a major stake in Hong Kong Telecommunications Ltd. which provides the territory's dynamic economy with one of the most modern communication systems ever developed.

Cable and Wireless has always excelled in international communications. It now links the continents of Europe, America and the Pacific Rim countries with a network of submarine and terrestrial fibre optic cables known as the Global Digital Highway. To build its unique digital highway, the Cable and Wireless group owns or has an interest in over 40 international gateway satellite earth stations, more than any other carrier. It also commands a fleet of 9 cable laying ships, the largest such fleet in the world.

The geographical spread and wide ranging nature of services provided by Cable and Wireless makes it a unique organization and has earned it the title of The World Telephone Company.

Hasan Associates Ltd.

Hasan Associates was formed as a limited Company in 1972. It is a major civil construction and property development group of the high repute in Pakistan which has built numerous housing projects, condominiums and high-rise buildings in the country. In addition, the Group has satisfactorily completed sizeable contracting jobs for government organizations of the type of Pakistan Steel, Karachi Development Authority, Quetta Development Authority, SUPARCO, House Building Finance Corporation, Governments of Sind and Balochistan etc.

Over the years the Group has become one of the most experienced engineering construction organizations of the country with an established reputation for reliability, accurate scheduling and estimating, engineering integrity and completion of jobs on schedule and within budgets. The Group now enjoys the participation of some of the finest engineering and management talents in areas like land development, planning and estimation of engineering works, monitoring and supervision of construction jobs, procurement of materials, recruitment of skilled and unskilled labour force and the management of operations.
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Title Annotation:Pakistan Telecommunications Corp.
Author:Bamford, David John
Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Nov 1, 1992
Words:1410
Previous Article:History of Organon Pakistan (Private) Limited.
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