A true Story; Substandard services: Popularity of Telenor dips down - Telecom

Telenor ASA
Telenor Pakistan has failed to attract masses due to its deceiving policies and inferior quality of service which has turned man on the street indifferent to it inflicting huge financial losses and threatening its survival. Telenor Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd., a subsidiary of Telenor ASA, the Norwegian mobile telephone operator acquired the license for providing GSM services in Pakistan in April 2004, and had launched its services commercially in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Karachi on 15 March 2005.

Tall claims about the so-called European technology and transparent business practices accompanied the launching ceremony. The then dictator, Musharraf was not only present in the inauguration ceremony but he later visited the company’s headquarters. Nevertheless, this did not helped the operator which was sailing in the troubled waters since beginning.

At that time of inauguration, management of the company claimed that they have invested one billion USD in Pakistan. General Musharraf also took pride in the so-called investment that was evident from his speech. However, fact remains that even a quarter of the claimed amount was never invested. Not all the money used was more than a few million. The amount was utilized for getting buildings for offices, some equipment and ornamentation. Telenor actually invested in its own country and neighbouring Scandinavian countries from where it bought all the costly equipment before launching operations in Pakistan. The instruments were shifted to Pakistan for installation in the rented facilities.

How come they claim to have invested huge amount in Pakistan,” a cellphone company executive who has served Telenor questioned. The story of deception does not end here. It continued pushing the company to a situation where it was left with no option but to sell its assets. On July 23rd, the international media reported that Telenor has declined to comment on reports that it is in talks to sell its mobile operations in Pakistan to China Mobile. “We never comment on speculation,” Telenor spokesman Paal Kvalheim said when asked about intentions for Telenor Pakistan.

Rejection by masses has taken toll on the company that is trying to strike a good deal but those who want to buy it know its fragile position. The circumstances would not allow Telenor to close a favourable deal, sources said. Telenor is again cheating masses by calling the under process sale as a merger which is contrary to the fact. This is the same company that unleashed propaganda against other operators for using substandard Chinese equipment to save money but it ended up in buying the same equipment from Chinese vendors that proves duplicity of its management.

Telenor was also a failure in many parts of country including northern areas when it started erecting towers on heights to gain ground. It did helped the company to gain a sizeable number of customers only to throwaway SIMs after realising that almost every call get dropped. “Installing towers at heights means great coverage but poor quality, it is nothing but cheap popularity gimmick to deceive unsuspecting customers which wasn’t viable in the long run,” an official of the largest telecom company said while requesting anonymity because he has not been authorised to talk to media.

Tricks helped Telenor grab a sizable market in Pakistan threatening contenders but later it nosedived owing to negative policies. Advertisements that have nothing to do with culture of Pakistan have also helped the operator dent its image. On the international horizon, India is set to grant Telenor the necessary security clearance to increase its stake in Unitech Wireless to the legal maximum of 74 pc with the condition that no employees from Telenor’s Pakistan subsidiary will work for the Indian company.

The Indian Foreign Investment Promotion Board was due to approve the investment, but delayed its decision pending a review of the security situation. The idea is that keeping the human assets of Telenor’s Indian and Pakistani arms separate is expected to take care of risks such as spying and subversion. The development needs to be watched cautiously by local security establishment.
Source pakobserver.net