PTA fails to materialise MVNO set-up
By: Waqar Hamza
KARACHI – The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has failed to attract any Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) as despite invitation nobody has showed interest in the process, The Nation has learnt.
It has been learnt that the PTA has failed to materialise the MVNO set up because no application for the issuance of license has been received yet, while the cellular companies in the county have also not showed their interests to allow MVNO’s operators.
Sources informed that though a plausible time has been passed, disinterestedness by the cellular companies and intending parties is evident to put a question mark on the success of such set up in the country.
Interestingly MVNO’s are considered as a means of encouraging competition that ultimately lead to more choices for services and lower prices, this same thing has been hampering the start of virtual operator network in the country, they added.
Moreover, the revenue sharing among the partners is also one of the factors in this sort of annulment of the program as decline in the revenues of the existing cellular companies has been seen in the previous year, the sources further told.
Aamir Atta, a telecom expert, said MVNOs can bring the cellular companies back to the glory they were enjoying, and this can be achieved through combined effort by MNOs and MVNOs (Where MVNOs will work for themselves and ultimately for their MNOs).
The requirements PTA set for being a MVNO are: an MNO shall be allowed to make commercial agreements with multiple MVNOs. Similarly an MVNO shall also be allowed to operate/ make commercial agr-eements with more than 1 MNO.
Moreover, MVNOs shall not be allowed to install their own network elements (i.e. Radio Access, Transmission, Switching and Network equipments). Further, the agreement once approved by the authority shall not be changed by any party without prior approval of the competent authority.
The rules like initial license fee for an MVNO will be US $ 5 million or equivalent in Pakistan rupees, and the MVNO license shall be issued for an initial period of 10 years are seemingly conducive in this disinterestedness for having MVNO license in Pakistan.
PTA Chairman Dr Mohammad Yaseen while talking to TheNation denied the impression and said that the PTA is having talks with some international players of the industry and there will be some MVNOs in the country soon.
Asked when this will be happened and how many players are interested, he refused to answer, and said, ‘this all will be made public soon’.
It is pertinent to mention that a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a cellular company, which can be a landline or WLL company too, that provides mobile/landline phone services but does not have its own network. They buy traffic (huge minutes) on wholesale rate from cellular cos and then resale them with their own brand name and prices to end users, and MVNO companies are not sufficiently required to install their physical network.
Source: The Nation