News: Pakistan Telecommunications Company Ltd (PTCL) remains in discussions concerning the potential purchase of wireless provider Warid, but still has not yet submitted a binding offer for the cellco, TeleGeography reports. PTCL, a fixed line incumbent, are still in prolonged negotiations due to reported 'substantial liabilities' on Warid. A deal is expected to be concluded before the 3G auction in February 2014, and is expected to be in the region of US$600mn and US$800mn.
BMI View: Pakistan's telecommunications market is one of the most underdeveloped in the Asia Pacific region. At the end of 2011, Pakistan had the region's second lowest mobile penetration rate, a situation that is also similar in the fixed-line and broadband sectors. Additionally, the regulator has yet to auction 3G licences, leaving mobile operators dependent on basic 2G voice and SMS, and organic subscriber growth for revenue generation. This leaves Pakistan with significant room for growth, although the potential could materialise only in the medium to long term.