Merger to Create Stronger Number-One Mobile Operator in Pakistan

Pakistani mobile operators Mobilink and Warid Telecom have reportedly agreed to merge their operations, creating a new firm with the largest customer market share in the Pakistan market.

Part of the thinking apparently is to bolster both 3G and 4G operations, as Warid is 4G-only while Mobilink is 3G-only, according to Telecomasia. That is important for a couple of erasons.

Smartphone usage in Pakistan--and therefore the need for bandwidth--is growing. At present, smartphone usage in Pakistan is above 31 percent, and growing steadily.

The deal also better positions the new entity against both of the rising carriers, Telenor and ZONG.

Telenor, which is gaining market share, along with ZONG, has the highest share of data accounts, but only operates a 3G network. Telenor has no 4G assets, yet. 

The merger also will allow Mobilink to compete head to head with ZONG in 4G. ZONG and Warid are the only providers operating 4G networks.

3G/4G Subscribers
 Operator
Technology
2014-15
Jul-15
Aug-15
CMPak (ZONG)
3G
2,898,094
3,094,684
3,452,634
4G
105,128
132,502
169,435
Mobilink
3G
3,656,345
3,956,653
4,031,096
Telenor
3G
4,162,616
4,695,904
5,091,114
Ufone
3G
2,570,283 
2,613,066 
2,881,504 
Warid
LTE
106,211 
121,602 
139,897 
Total
13,498,677
14,614,411
15,765,680




But there likely are additional reasons for the merger. Mobilink and Warid have lost market share to Telenor and ZONG since 2013.


ZONG is the fastest growing mobile operator in Pakistan and is strong in urban areas.


Pakistan Mobile Network Industry Key Stats
source: techjuice

Pakistan Cellular Market Share
source: techjuice

Smartphone usage in Pakistan has been climbing steadily since at least 2013 as well, making 3G and 4G assets more important.

Smartphones Segment picking up with >30% volume share in 2015


source: phoneworld
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