WLL users’ base widens by over 15 percent in 2008-09 -Telecom

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The number of Wireless Local Loop (WLL) users' is on the rise, increasing by 15.69 percent in 2008-09 with the growing usage in various commercial sectors and small business across the country.

As per Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) latest statistics, the base of WLL have witnessed an addition of 0.410 million subscribers in the closing fiscal year amid the healthy competition on rates and services among operators. The WLL teledensity has reached to 1.6 units in 2009 from 1.4 in 2008. The outgoing fiscal year also witnessed contraction of wireless subscribers in November and December whereas it recorded robust growth users in April 2009 with 4.2 percent on year-o-year basis.

Telecom analysts said the WLL sector has added commercial sectors and small business like Public Call Office (PCO). The free on-net calls are benefited to the sales and services sector making their communication easier at cheaper daily line rent policy, they added.

The addition of connections has been posted through the multipe service packages of Wimax operators offering with wireless telephony services along with connection. Besides, some of the operators have also attracted good number of users by introducing mobile handsets on their connections of wireless technology. They added the WLL sector is also witnessed immense competition not only among the WLL players but also with cellular phone sector particularly in the rural cites of the country.

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has added the highest number of users in its wireless users' base by 0.117 million, followed by Telecard and WorldCall who enhanced their subscribers by 0.108 million and 0.061 million in the closing fiscal year 2008-09, PTA data said. Their overall bases have reached 1.305 million, 0.620 million and 0.549 million, respectively.

Wateen, Burraq and Mytel-also served connections to 72,176, 45,224 and 19,349 customers with the healthy growth in recent fiscal year 2008-09. Wibe-tribe, the other player of the market also added 2,712 users on its network.

Analysts further said the WLL also started offering free calling minutes and text services along with value added services that also caused popularity of the services.

The services are frequently used for international call on its affordable call packages. The traffic of international calls has been increasing continuously in the current fiscal year.

PTA claims that WLL services are available across Pakistan in 14 telecom regions. It reported 100 percent coverage enhancement of WLL in various cities, towns and villages of the country. By the end of 2008, there are more than 12,000 cities, towns and village have been covered with network by operators which were only 11,000 by the start of 2008. Currently, there are more than 3,262 cell sites installed by WLL services in the country, PTA reported.

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