Sunday, March 20, 2005


In less than an year of the contract for running yet another cellular network in Pakistan, the company has setup the basic infrastructure for the launch in three major cities of Pakistan. And just yesterday, the website of Telenor Pakistan also went online at Surprisingly, telenor didnt want to become an April fool and has unexpectedly launched its service in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The website claims that the service has already started in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Islamabad and would be started for the following destinations by 23rd March, 2005.

Karachi – Hyderabad Super Highway
Telenor, which will function under the area code "0345" has most of the pre-paid features you would normally get in a post-paid package. Besides the usual GPRS and MMS heavily advertised by Ufone, the norway based company has also added "Missed call alerts" to the pre-paid packages its to introduce. At the same time, Nokia in a press release has said that the 2.5G Telenor network would be upgraded to EDGE within an year of its launch (By 2006).
The following technical resources are worth a read for a detailed analysis of the Telenor setup in Pakistan
The best part about the recharging of your Telenor pre-paid accounts is "easyload". Telenor claims that you may load any amount of Money from "Rs. 10 to Rs. 1000"; not limiting you to by a minimum card of a particular amound (That explains why Mobilink brought in the Rupee 100 scratch card). Whats more?
All pre-paid telenor connections have an unlimitted account validity. So no more limits to recharge your account!

Still more? Yes, im surprised with the rates that Telenor has come up with.

PaktelGSM the LiarGSM
It certainly seemes much more than Ufone and PaktelGSM, but at the same time i'd like to point out a LiarGSM in this scenario. PaktelGSM has been advertising the 3.75/min anywhere in Pakistan air time... Hello!?! it says "AirTime". I fell for that! I was shocked to be charged Rs.50 for a 4 minute call to Lahore... I asked my friends, and the case was no different... So PaktelGSM/LiarGSM is actually 3.75/min+PTCL/Mobile Charges...

Calls to fixed line from to PaktelGSM are Rs. 3.75/min + PTCL charges (Around 5.75/min)
PaktelGSM to PaktelGSM are Rs. 3.75/min
PaktelGSM to Other Mobile networks are around Rs.7-8/min (See the catch?)
PaktelGSM to long distance PTCL Rs.3.75/min plus NWD charges (Rs.15/min to lahore!)

Nationwide Call Rate for Telenor Pakistan

To another Telenor number Rs. 3.99/min
To any other mobile number Rs. 3.99/min
To any PTCL number Rs. 3.99/min

Inclusive of Interconnect and long distance charges

All outgoing calls/airtime usage is subject to 15% CED only

It's good to know Telenor has made this clear on its website that 3.99/min includes long distance charges (Which PaktelGSM doesnt)


Outgoing Rs. 1.50
Incoming Free
Outgoing International Rs. 5.00


While roaming in the city you would get to see the skinny versions of base stations being setup by their technical teams and mobile base station vans. So what can the Pakistani citizens expect out of this new telecom company in Pakistan? Has it really brought in more jobs?

Nokia and Siemens was awarded the contract for setting up the entire infrastructure for Telenor, Pakistan. As the sales and franchise officers engulfed the Telenor head quarters, I was surprised that not a single technical job was anounced by Telenor in Pakistan.

  1. Mobilecomms Technology
  2. Telenor Specifications
  4. Telenor Pakistan