Press Releases

09
March 2005

Interconnect Agreement signed between Telenor and Warid Telecom

Islamabad, 9 March 2005: An Interconnect Agreement was signed between Telenor Pakistan and Warid Telecom at the Telenor Pakistan Corporate Headquarters in Islamabad.

President & CEO of Telenor Pakistan Tore Johnsen warmly welcomed Hamid Farooq CEO of Warid Telecom and Major General (R) Shahzada Alam Malik, Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the chief guest on the occasion. The signing ceremony was also attended by important personnel of both cellular companies and PTA.

With the signing of this Interconnect Agreement, Telenor Pakistan has successfully established direct interconnection with all existing cellular service providers in Pakistan . This achievement was dubbed by Tore Johnsen as a major milestone for both the companies and he hoped to continue a relationship of cooperation in all areas of communication for their respective subscribers. He also stressed upon the importance of a fair competitive environment and a level playing ground. The direct interconnect will result in increased traffic between the two networks and help in developing the cellular market in Pakistan.

Mr. Tore Johnsen also applauded the efforts of PTA in convincing the incumbent operators to sign interconnect agreements with two new cellular operators. With the Warid interconnect signing, he explained, Telenor Pakistan has completed direct interconnection arrangements with all incumbent cellular operators which will help seamless traffic and SMS flow between all networks.

Mr. Hamid Farooq said on the occasion that the real test of interconnect will come when the traffic will start flowing between the exchanges. At that time a very close interaction between respective counter part departments will be required. He expressed his optimism that as progressive operators Warid and Telenor both will be able to ensure exemplary quality of service benchmark offerings to the subscribers.

Regarding the competition Mr. Hamid Farooq said that Warid considers Telenor and other incumbent operators both as its competitors and partners in the cellular mobile sector. All striving for the common goal i.e. customer satisfaction and productivity enhancement. All sharing the same values are committed to the same set of principles and are joint stakeholders in Pakistan 's telecom market. He expected that the cellular tele-density of the country is likely to improve in the light of promising estimates by reliable think tanks. As a result the overall size of the pie will increase and there will be enough market potential for every operator.

While commenting on the role of regulator he expressed his satisfaction by the effective role played by PTA in the de-regulation process. He said that the telecom sector dynamics in Pakistan demand PTA to ensure continued level playing field for all operators so that a truly competitive market could be established. He also appreciated the continued support the regulator is providing to the new entrants and further added that PTA has not only promoted investment in the telecom sector it has substantially protected consumer interests. Citing the example of today's agreement between Warid and Telenor based on direct connectivity he requested PTA to help arrange interconnects between operators on direct connectivity basis as this would provide better grade of service to the operators.

Chairman PTA expressed his satisfaction at the signing and said that interconnection is most important in the telecom sector and this has immense consequences for the telecom business. He said that signing such agreements for the incumbents is also vital in order to ensure an environment of cooperation which is immensely beneficial for consumers. He hoped that with its rich international experience, Telenor Pakistan and Warid Telecom would bring highest quality cellular communication experience for people of Pakistan.

Telenor

Telenor [www.telenor.com] is the largest provider of telecommunications services in Norway , and has substantial international mobile operations. It has been providing valuable mobile services to its subscribers for the past forty years. Continued development of Telenor's mobile operations is essential to the Group's positioning as an international player in the telecommunications industry. Today, with more then 52.7 million subscribers and mobile operations in 12 countries, Telenor has become one of the twelve largest GSM operators of the world.

Warid

Warid Telecom is owned and supported by the Abu Dhabi Consortium led by His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al-Nahayan. The consortium has a strong financial capability and a proven track record in growing and managing new ventures. Apart from having substantial shareholding in Bank Alfalah and United Bank Limited, Abu Dhabi Group also has other international investments in the telecommunications, finance, hospitality, property, oil exploration and supplies, and automobile related industry. The Abu Dhabi Group after their two successful investments in Pakistan , was interested in the telecommunication industry.