There are 5 mobile operators in Pakistan i.e. Mobilink, Telenor, Ufone, Zong and Warid. Auction of 3G/4G license in Pakistan is scheduled on 23rd of April 2014. As far as the market share is concerned, Mobilink is the market leader with over 37 million customers while Telenor is 2nd with over 32 million customers.
Needless to say that Mobilink and Telenor are very strong candidates. Can we ignore Ufone? Ufone is partly owned by PTCL and partly owned by Etisalat group of UAE. It is rising very quickly and it is on 3rd position as far as the customers are concerned.
Zong is on 4th number and it is not a weak opponent as well. Its performance in building a brand and gathering customers in Pakistan might not be great but everyone knows that Zong is part of the China Mobile and has a lot of money that can be invested in order to win the auction.
Warid is most unlikely to win the auction as the company has succeeded only in Postpaid area of the business and previously on some occasions has shown intentions to sell the company as well.
A huge factor is that whichever company successfully wins the bid will also get 4G license and this is where the most attractive part lies. 3G might benefit the auction winning company for 2-3 years but 4G will keep benefiting the company for over a decade at least.
All the facts are on the table and now it is time to analyze which company is most likely to win the 3G Auction.
Ufone is rising very quickly and catching up with its competitors. It has a huge advantage to win the bid i.e. in collaboration with PTCL it has the base for necessary infrastructure that is required to successfully implement 3G/4G in Pakistan. In addition if Ufone wins the auction, it will hugely benefit PTCL as well because Ufone’s 3G / 4G license can be utilized by PTCL as well.
Telenor also is most likely to win the bid for the auction as it is financially stable and the company has wide experience of creating and managing setups for 3G/4G all over the world.
Not as likely to win the bid against Telenor and Ufone but Mobilink has the potential to spend large sums and outsmart its competitors.
It has the same advantages as Telenor but the question is, whether Zong will be ready to invest huge amount in order to win the bid as it currently is not as successful in Pakistan like the above mentioned three competitors.
Most unlikely, financially and performance wise, many people are already counting Warid out of the auction.
Foreign entrants are also most unlikely to win the 3G auction because they don’t have any infrastructure right now and they don’t have customers as well. So it will be a huge surprise if any foreign entrant comes and win the bid.