SK Telecom buying Majority Stakes in Instaphone?

According to unconfirmed but reliable news, South Korea’s SK Telecom and the Arfeens Telecommunication Group of Pakistan have finalized a deal in which the South Korean player will acquire 70% stakes of the Instaphone (& Telecard?) along with management control. SK Telecom’s website states is global aspirations as:

SK Telecom revealed three key business areas to be concentrated on. These are the furtherance of our global reach by expanding internationally, developing the convergence of telecommunications and broadcasting, and searching for new business opportunities. With an aim toward becoming a major player in information communication under an economic umbrella that will be over all of East Asia, we are actively seeking multifaceted business opportunities in overseas markets.

Established in 1984, SK Telecom has a number of interesting networks under its belt including CDMA 2000, HSDPA etc. True to the uniqueness of South Korean market, the company offers a number of wired/wireless and application services. From Wikipedia:

The company’s current services include NATE, a wired and wireless integrated multi-Internet service, June, a multimedia service, MONETA, a financial service, Telematic service such as NATE Drive and even Digital Home service. In 2004, SK Telecom launched “Hanbyul,” the world’s first DMB satellite. The carrier currently provides satellite DMB to its subscribers through its subsidiary TU Media Corp. SK Telecom also offers a variety of internet services, many through its subsidiary SK Communications. Cyworld is one of the most popular blogging services in South Korea and NateOn is one of the most popular instant messengers.

The news further puts the number of new planned base stations to be erected by the revived company at 1500 ~ 1800.

In anticipation of a possible cash injection and to reduce time-to-service, Instaphone’s management had already finalized a hardware supply deal with Huawei for an all IP CDMA EvDO Rev.A  earlier this year.

Arfeen Group manages three major voice and data brands in Pakistan (Instaphone, Telecard and Supernet) with Telecard’s being listed at the Karachi Stock Exchange. The group has been reportedly trying to strike expansion focused international telecommunication players but considered the management control to be most effective if it remained in the hands of the local minority stake holders. With a regulatory environment that has earned kudos in recent months for its consistency and neutrality and success stories of foreign managements (of Warid, Telenor etc), the demand of management control to the local minority partner was the major factor in not getting the previous deals closed.

The last un-taken group of Arfeens Telecom represent a power-house of telecommunication with all licenses tied to a single ownership flag – from the super-duper cellular to the mundane dialup ISP license.

The group has recently inducted new senior management that include Aamir Niazi as Vice Chairman. Aamir Niazi was associated with BOC Group for the past 18 years. A new CFO and a new CEO are being expected to be planted by the Koreans to give effect to the new ownership.


9 Responses to “SK Telecom buying Majority Stakes in Instaphone?”

  1. NM Says:

    Tee eem sb why haav eU chosen to reveal this now?

  2. NM Says:

    Tee emm sb U seem to have good friends in SK Telecom.

  3. State of Telecom Industry in Pakistan » SK Telecom To Buy Instaphone? Says:

    […] their careers at Instaphone. Recently I asked a question about Instaphone’s future and TM wrote on Jul 14 that: “According to unconfirmed but reliable news, South Korea’s SK Telecom and the […]

  4. PoooH!!! Says:

    Mr.Tee what ever your source is but a reliable news always comes from the confirmed authorities,and as per u if this is the case then its going to creat a wounderful investment climate and different working conditions/environment to work with European, Middle East and South East Asian companies.

  5. muhammad junaid Says:

    it is a good omen for pakistan telecom industry.more investment is going to create more jobs especially for our telecom enigineers.

  6. Kaleem Says:

    Its a good news but i when instaphone are going to launch a CDMA based service because its already late for them and they have to hurry. Kaleem

  7. Muhammad Says:

    I am working in Sk telecom, and I am tired to hear the rumours all around (pakistani community) that SK has purchased the assets/shares of Instphone!
    Its rumour, please dont spread it…….

  8. smartphones Says:

    I’m using the for selling and buying updates of SmarPhones in all over Pakistan.

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