Press Releases

14
April 2004

Telenor Acquires GSM Licence in Pakistan

Islamabad/Oslo, 14 April 2004: Telenor has won the auction in Islamabad for one of two new nationwide licences in Pakistan for mobile operation.

Telenor's winning bid of USD 291 million, secures a 15 year licence, which will be renewable on application. Only 50% of the licence fee is payable in the first year, with the balance over ten years. In addition the licensee will 2.5 per cent of the annual gross revenue in fees. Existing operators will also have to pay the same licence fee on renewal of their licences.

Pakistan is the 6th most populous country in the world with a population of 150 million. GDP per capita in 2003 was USD 471. Real GDP growth in 2002 was approximately four per cent and is expected to exceed five per cent per year in the period 2003-2005. There are currently four mobile operators in Pakistan Mobile penetration at the end of 2003 was 2.3 per cent with a subscriber base of 3.4 million. Fixed line penetration stood at approximately 2.4 per cent at the end of 2003.

Large geographic areas in Pakistan are without telephone coverage. Based on the positive economic development in Pakistan and the low mobile penetration in the country, high growth within the mobile segment is expected in coming years.

Acquiring the license in Pakistan is a continuation of Telenor's activities in Asia. Historically Telenor has sucessfully focused on start up of greenfield mobile operations. We look forward to becoming a mobile operator in Pakistan and taking part in the expected growth within the mobile segment, said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and of CEO Telenor.