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April 15, 2004

Pakistan issues more mobile licenses

The government of Pakistan has issued mobile phone licenses to two new mobile operators in a sale that raised more than $580m.

By CBR Staff Writer

Pakistan currently has four mobile operators: Mobilink (run by the Egyptain mobile operator Orascom), Ufone (a subsidiary of the state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Corp), and Paktel and Instaphone (both majority owned by the Swedish-based Millicom International Cellular).

Pakistan has 150 million inhabitants, but only 3 million own a mobile phone, and only 2.7% have a land-line phone. The government is keen to expand the number of mobile users to at least 15 million, as part of its plans to attract up $1.5bn worth of telecoms investment in the next three years.

To this end, Space Telecom and Telenor, will each pay the government $291m for a license to operate a mobile phone network in Pakistan for a 15-year period.

This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire

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