News: Network equipment vendors Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei Technologies have been issued with five-year contracts to design, source, deploy and maintain the next-generation network and associated s ervices of Mobilink , a mobile network operat or based in Pakistan. According to the terms of their contracts, t he vendors will enhance Mobilink 's voice and data services , as well as making the network 3G-ready. The new solutions will si gnificantly increase the efficie ncy of the Mobilink network and reduce its operating costs. The values of the contracts were not disclosed, but Huawei has been awarded 50% of the radio network and 100% of the core and value-added service network sourcing requirements, while Alcatel-Lucent is to provide the remaining 50% of the radio access network upgrade.
BMI View : With 35.953mn mobile subscribers as of June 2012, Mobilink is Pakistan's leading mobile network operator, accounting for 30.1% of the market. Converting its network to 3G and ensuring it is operatin g at peak efficiency will differentiate itself from its rivals and enable it to move rapidly into the 3G space , once licences are awa rded in 2013. BMI forecasts Paki stan ' s mobile market to grow from 123.0mn subscribers in 2012 to 158.5mn by 2017, while the 3G market will grow to around 5.0mn subscribers over the same time period.