The overall consensus of industry analysts is thatPakistan is one of the countries with a huge
3untapped potential for telecom growth and an attractive investmentenvironment. Recently Business Monitor International (BMI) rankedPakistan as a key destination for telecom growth. The BMI rankingstake into account a number of factors including industry situation,growth potential, competitive landscape and economy and politicalrisks etc. The Pakistan market reached the 90 million subscriber mark inSeptember 2008, almost double from 2006 numbers.
The growthslowed after that and at the end of November 2008 the total mobilesubscriber number was 90.5 million.Pakistan needs to increase telecom research and development workwithin the country. China and India are in the process of becomingworld major R&D centers for technology and telecommunication. Twotop Chinese telecom equipment firms have announced their plans tocollaborate with Pakistan:Huawei is working with UET LahoreandZTEwill setup R&D center in Islamabad. The goal of the policy makersshould be to increase the rate of transfer of technology from abroad,broaden the pool of local skilled workforce and accelerate the localproduction of telecom equipment and handset parts etc.PTCL was established to operate cellular telephony. The companycommenced its operations, under the brand name of Ufone, fromIslamabad on January 29, 2001. Ufone continued on the path tosuccess. The Company further expanded its coverage and has addednew cities and highways. Ufone has network coverage in more than5442 locations and across all major highways of the country. Ufone, awholly owned subsidiary of Pakistan Telecommunication Co. Ltd (PTCL),is now under the control of ETISALAT group of UAE. It has 21% of subscriber share and added the most lines (2.4 million) from 2006-07.For those in Pakistan it is the one company where they can easilyinvest locally. Ufone is maintaining its subscriber’s base in market.However the company needs a big push from its owners ETISALAT inshape of more investment to increase and enhance its network and itsquality.