In an effort to enter other segments of telecommunication services beyond cellular voice services, Mobilink is now actively marketing capacity on its national optical fiber network to potential customers. The company has established a separate business division to cater to this vision. Primary targets are alternate careers and long distance voice operators that are currently subject to the monopoly of PTCL in this segment. Blue chip customers that might have sizable requirements for domestic data traffic are also being targeted to some extent. Typical discount rates that are being offered to existing PTCL customers are in the bracket of 20% to 40% depending on the business size and the customer(s) market standing.
Last mile issues – the network segment from the potential customer to the service provider – is also being handled very aggressively. For bigger customers where ROIs are shorter and reasonable, the company is reportedly willing to build microwave links to shift the customer from its current provider (PTCL) to itself.
Customers have shown a mixed response to the sudden availability of competition in this expensive segment of telecommunication services. Last mile issues mentioned above are not always sorted out for smaller customers who are required to build their own network up till the new providers point of presence. Unavailability of dedicated service organization within the new alternative long distance capacity providers is also a major turn-off point for the potential customers majority of whom are not ready to buy the argument of these company which revolves around the myth that the service will be error-free because we (the providers themselves) are running out network on it.
A major driver toward these new service providers could be the need of businesses to diversify their long-haul communication infrastructure by going to two different service providers’ networks. However, in the absence of services packaged specially for backup purposes, the high costs will keep a good number of customers away from the new providers.