A recent poll result has indicated that three mobile phone operators in the country – Telenor, Mobilink and Ufone as favourites to win 3G and 4G licenses to be auctioned next month.
The poll was initiated two weeks ago by a web-based telecom portal, Propakistani, asking subscribers to vote that which operator, in their opinion, would win 3G and 4G licenses.
A total of 8,502 users expressed their opinion as to who will win 3G licenses while another 5,714 participants answered the question on operators expected to win 4G licenses.
With regard to 3G license, Telenor took the lead with 2,314 votes (27.22pc) while Mobilink obtained second position with 2,267 votes (26.66pc). This is not a surprising outcome, considering the fact that Telenor and Mobilink together constitute around 53pc of Pakistan’s cellular subscriber base.
Both Telenor and Mobilink have been boasting about their 3G ready network for sometime now and are strong contenders to take home the 3G licenses.
Ufone grabbed a considerable number of 1,867 (22.03pc) votes in total to become third in poll results. Ufone backed by Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), which has huge broadband infrastructure in the country, is also aggressive about grabbing 3G and 4G licenses within a month.
It merits mentioning here that there would be a total of three 3G licenses on sale during the auction.
Zong was left behind in the race as it got mere 1,345 or 15.83 per cent of the votes to stand at fourth position, but they are reportedly all prepared with heavy pockets to grab 3G/4G licenses at any cost.
Expected new entrants, such as TurkCell, also seem to have an outside chance of grabbing the 3G license, but managed to grab only 358 votes (4.22pc) in poll.
As expected, nobody seems to give Warid much of a chance of winning the 3G license with only 340 participants voting for the Dhabi Group owned company. It is, however, surprising to see the company fall behind even to companies which are not even operating in the Pakistani market.
Moving on to 4G license, the Portal found a similar voting trend as with the 3G license. Telenor (31.53pc) and Mobilink (30.51pc) took the first two spots in the poll for 4G license.
The results of the poll made perfect sense as it is mandatory for operators to acquire 3G license to be eligible for attaining a 4G license; and with Telenor and Mobilink taking the 1st and 2nd position in the poll for 3G license, it is no surprise to see them take the same position with respect to 4G license as well.
Ufone (16.82pc) and Zong (11.89pc) take the 3rd and 4th spot, respectively in the poll.
Despite having 12 million subscriber and arguably the most loyal postpaid customer base, Warid (3.05pc) again losses out to the new entrants (6.19pc) category in poll.
One can wait and see who actually bags 3G and 4G licenses and how will this expected auction benefit the operators, the government and country’s 130 million mobile subscribers.