Mobilink plans to Deploy Wimax-RevE network with Alcatel — will consumers win?

Share this Article

Author:

Mobilink and Alcatel-Lucent announced today that they will be deploying a live network based on the Wimax-Rev-e standard in the major cities of Pakistan. According to the press release on the Alcatel website:

Based on the latest IEEE 802.16e-2005 standards (also called Rev-e), the new WiMAX network will be deployed in the 3.5 GHz spectrum enabling rapid implementation of broadband services available in fixed and nomadic environments. It will deliver high-speed internet access, enabling the delivery of advanced broadband multimedia services, such as video streaming, through a variety of end-user devices including laptops, desktop computers, modems and WiMAX terminals.

“The deployment of WiMAX will enable our subsidiaries to complement their GSM offering with broadband services,” said Tamer El Mahdi, CTO of Orascom Telecom Holding.

“The introduction of WiMAX will help us address the needs of our corporate and residential subscribers in Pakistan who want the ability to access wireless broadband services everywhere and at anytime,” said Marwan Hayek, CTO of Mobilink.

I would take this announcement with a grain of salt though — no news on when (and IF) this deployment will take place — does anyone remember Worldcall and a number of other ISPs (and Wateen for that matter) entering the Wimax market and becoming vapourware?

Here are some thoughts on the Wimax market in general…

The trouble with Wimax in Pakistan wouldn’t be so much the technology as much as it might be the orthodox distribution plans telecos consider when rolling these things out.

Wimax provides companies a way to disrupt the ISP / DSL market for consumers because they could easily provide much better speeds at much lower costs. Still, most of the telecos who have considered Wimax have always mentioned a rollout plan starting with corporate customers and slowly trickling into the masses.

This means both limited services (e.g. VPN and multi-site video conferencing solutions to corporate customers, rather than formally implementing 3G / triple-play services for consumers) and (2) usually it means no price advantage — even if prices *could* be drastically cheaper, hey why not reap the profits through corporate customers first.

This second point may seem great for business, but it demonstrates poor CSR. When Micronet DSL and Nayatel started their triple-play venture they had a similar opportunity to disrupt the market, but they didn’t.

They didn’t because of the same reason that many markets in Pakistan do not follow free-market rules in their entirety — when options for consumers are limited and regulation control is wishful, the few suppliers can always get together and decide on a price band with enormous margins and no one would know better. It is like when you go to buy memory for your laptop, and that computer shop guy says “Oh… there’s some supply issues, importing is difficult, hence prices are high.” Who can check this? Especially when everyone is singing the same tune?

So with Nayatel, instead of finding the chance to be inspired by newer, better, faster ways of working or living lives, all that happened was that people like me and other consumers alike had to bear with salesmen with inflated-egos presenting value propositions like “Well, yes it costs the same and is still limited to the same speed and same capacity… but its FIBRE!”

This sounds familiar to the “…but its MASTERCARD” argument presented by Credit Card salesmen…. are consumers in Pakistan really that gullible?

Coming back to Mobilink’s Wimax initiative, we have been hearing bits and pieces of this initiative for a year now, and I dont know how much closer a press release will bring them to actually “reshaping lives”

Facebook comments:

3 Comments

  • interesting analysis, although in my POV the purpose behind targeting the corporate market is two-fold:

    1)they’re not sure of their own ability(HR) and capacity(H/W) to handle large a subscription base

    2)like you said higher profit margins, more so from smaller direct & overhead costs associated with handling fewer customers.

    This is indeed Ironic, since:

    1) The “corporate market” will never be comfortable handing over their enterprise data networks to a startup using an un proven technology (since the decision making process is more risk averse than for an individual) and

    2) They’re more concerned about the reputation of the firm they’re buying from compared to the average joe.

  • I would look at it in a more postive way. Being part of a another operator, I look at it as a potential challenge in the market.

    Airtel in India i suppose took up similar position of turning itself into a broadband service provider.

    Considering the spread of network the local telecom / mobile operators have, the existing infrastructure is present therefore the CAPEX investment only pertains to the one time deployment. The usual support costs come later on.
    The point that need to be stressed is, these initiatives can help turn the much barren, data less areas in the country into data friendly areas. Yes there is not much literate population to utilize it, but its all about the initiative.

  • Are you guys going to cover PTCL’s IPTV thing that they’re bringing out soon? Got a call from their representative and headed on over here to see if you guys had covered it yet. Any information on it at all…whatsoever?

Leave a Reply


*

Recent Posts

  • Events General Mobile Apps Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    First we had Angry Imran which brought smiles and some short lived fun for us during the election campaign. Then came Gullu Butt following the incident of Model Town Lahore, which stayed on top of charts (Pakistan play store) for quite some while. Also Gullu Butt made an update with having the famous “Aam Khaiyga” quote form Aamir Liaqat in which a character resembling Aamir Liaqt throws mangoes and the Gullu Butt character tries to catch them. Gullu butt currently has more than 100,000 Installs

    And now during this extremely politically tense situation which had the whole nation on its toes on 14th August we have another app continuing the …

    Read more →
  • Announcements Featured Startup General Meritaleem.com aims to help student make better decision regarding their future.

    Meritaleem.com aims to help student make better decision regarding their future.

    MeriTaleem.com aims to solve an age old problem for our students, where to go next?

    If you have just completed your primary school which college to pick, if you have completed your college which university to pick. There has always been lack of information or rather consolidated information regarding these questions. The best source till now has always been relatives and friends (mostly of your parents). So some uncle did CA and made a good living you should talk to him and decide, or daughter of my sister completed her medical and is practicing follow that career.

    The fact that online presence of our existing universities are limited and not …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Whoa!! this was quick so Eccentia technologies launched an app a few days ago called “Ajj Kia Pakaen” or what to cook today and today it has reached the top of charts for Pakistani Stores on iTunes and google play store.

    “Ajj Kia Pakaen” is the most common question asked at every house hold in the morning. The ladies of the family have a hard time deciding what to cook for the day. The app has a fun interface and is simple to use, you fire it up, and it gives you an option of what to cook for the day, if you like the option you can check the …

    Read more →
  • Coffee Session General Marketing/Adv Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan

    Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan

     

    Until a few years back we used to have closed groups and forums, which gathered the like minded people and anyone targeting the online audience would tap into that forum and market his/her services. So PakGamers , PakPassion initially even PakWheels used to be driven by members talking about what they loved, people used to create marketing and sales opportunities from within those discussions (so you could get a good router cheap or a gaming PC etc).
    The advent of facebook changed all that, most of the forum goers moved to the new social media. It also made a very attractive market place for some one who does not …

    Read more →
  • General Getting back

    Getting back

    I  have been out of blogging for a long long long time, a lot of things happening on personal front (including a little startup I have ben doing my self). However during my absence I met a lot of people who had followed GreenWhite at its peak, read the articles regularly.

    I had hope there would be some one else who would come ahead and cover everything going on and around us in the local tech world. There are some guys doing a great job, but for some reason I still could not find one source where I can go and read about everything, so my routine usually is to …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Software & I.T. GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniITeam has successfully launched an official app for PakistanIdol. This is one of the first collaboration between a reality game show and a local app development company. I am sure a lot more would follow. Previously we have seen seenreport becoming the basis of mostly all channels citizen reporting system (Like Geo Dost). This is a healthy sign and with the advent of 3G round the corner it should become a business generator for our local firms.

    App allows you to follow the contestants that you like, promote them, comment on live feedback on an episode. It offers official content from the show since it is developed with partnership with …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls, one of the leading Pakistani IT companies, has recently added another feather to its cap. This time, in partnership with National Geographic, 10Pearls has released the new and improved GeoBee Challenge App – an interactive app to challenge and grow the geographic knowledge of the users.

    Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The competition is designed to encourage geography in the classroom, ignite student interest in the world around them, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    It’s heartening to see that Pakistani IT companies have now started to diversify themselves into non traditional areas, and are competing with global players in areas such as gaming. We have received information that 10Pearls, one of the leading  mobile and enterprise web development services companies in Pakistan, has spun-off a separate entity focused solely on developing and publishing casual mobile games.  The new entity, Game Plan8, will focus on creating 2D and 3D games for the iOS, Google Android, Kindle, Facebook and other platforms. Details can be seen on the company’s official press release at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/12/prweb11428177.htm

     …

    Read more →
  • General Telecom CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    If only were there two things when it comes to the law, firstly the fear of breaking it and by passing the legal authority, and secondly, implementation of the law given full dedication, there would have been less competency and dishonesty in business and society. However, keeping good faith, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has put forward “Deceptive Marketing Guidelines” which will maintain the Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010. In order to enforce this part of the law and stop anti-competitive conduct on part of the telecom companies in advertising, the guidelines have been shared with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and other concerned telecommunication sector members, in …

    Read more →