Press Releases

23
July 2008

Telenor Pakistan Continues Growth!

Islamabad, July 23, 2008, 2008: Telenor Pakistan has announced its financial results for April-May-June 2008 period. The company became the second largest operator in Pakistan during the second quarter and has retained its position with more than 18 million subscribers. Telenor Pakistan, one of Telenor Group 12 mobile operations worldwide, has contributed 23% of the Group net additions. The company, which is already the largest European Direct Investment in Pakistan with about USD 2 billion already invested, continued spending heavily on network expansion and services during Q2, 2008.

Highlighting Telenor Pakistan contribution, President and CEO of Telenor Group, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, said: The number of subscriptions in our mobile operations reached 153 million at the end of the quarter, with the growth mainly coming from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Thailand. At the same time, Baksaas also indicated, The tendencies seen in the previous quarter with increased inflationary pressure have continued, in particular in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Thailand.

Elaborating on the subject of ensuring telecom growth in Pakistan despite difficulties, Executive Vice President and Acting CEO Telenor Pakistan Irfan Wahab Khan, asked for friendlier taxation and regulatory policies. With subscribers already experiencing double digit inflation and rising fuel costs, spending on telecom services has to compete with very basic requirements, and extra taxation and stringent policies do not help the customer or the investor.

We believe that the impact of these factors will become more pronounced in the future. World over, it is accepted that mobile telephony is one of the most effective ways of breaking socio-economic barriers, and trickling down wealth and information to the bottom of the pyramid. It helps businesses, communities, and the country. Therefore, we also ask for frameworks that make it more accessible for masses rather than increase associated costs.

Telenor Group overall results
The Telenor Group secured 6 million new subscriptions during the timeframe. Telenor is now ranked as the world seventh largest mobile operator with a total of more than 153 million subscriptions in its mobile operations. The high underlying revenue growth continued in the second quarter of 2008. Compared to the previous year, Telenor Group revenues increased by 7 per cent in second quarter 2008.

Note to Editors: In the recent budget announcements, taxation on mobile the sector has been increased substantially: SIM Activation Tax is maintained at PKR 500, but General Sales Tax (GST) on telecommunication services has been bumped up drastically to 21% coupled with a levy of customs duty of PKR. 500 on imported handsets.

Click here to download Urdu Version