Most of the articles that appear about Pakistan’s Telecommunications market are sketchy in nature and leave a lot to be desired in terms of details and perspective. Comnews recent article aptly titled ‘ The Last Train‘ is an exception to this generalization. The 5,000 words article nicely covers all aspects of Pakistan’s Telecoms from Cellular to WLL to Wimax.
In the ‘Manna for Investors’ section, the report describes the current appetite for more fundings by the existing operators:
For investors there are some opportunities to enter the Pakistan telecom market. Apart from buying shares of DIALLOG Company, which is looking for financing sources for expansion throughout the country, other companies like Worldcall and Instaphone also are looking for partnerships.
“Worldcall needs about USD 16 million just for implementation of its WiMax project. And for implementation of all its development plans, including WLL network expansion, HFC and Metro Fiber network construction, we need around USD 50 million,” says Sardar Ali Wattoo.
“We are capable of borrowing this amount, but if Worldcall is of interest to some well-known partner, then the majority shareholders of the company, Lahore businessman Salman Tassir and Sheikh Suleiman Hokani from Oman, are ready to share its shares in the charter capital.”
Instaphone is looking for partners for construction of its digital mobile network. “We are in the process of searching for an investor, as the first phase requires USD 300 million in investment capital. However, we are not taking a passive stance, and already have prepared 700 fields for installation of new base stations,” says head of the company Javaid Firoz.
The Pakistan telecom market is on the radar screen of major industry players. A source in Warid Telecom said that its shareholders, led by Sheikh Mubarak Al Nahaiyan, are in the process of negotiations with Vodafone for selling their share in Warid.
The gradual process of change in ownership of Pakistan telecom assets began last year, and no one is ready to evaluate the effectiveness of these investments.
Recommended reading for outsiders who want to get a good summary of local market as of 2007.