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Vimpelcom To Invest $1bn In Pakistan Over 5 Years

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Vimpelcom To Invest $1bn In Pakistan Over 5 Years

VimpelCom, the parent company of mobile providers Mobilink and Warid, has announced plans to invest USD1 billion in Pakistan over the next five years. A part of this investment, around $300 million, will be invested in a year. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Jean-Yves Charlier confirmed the news about investment at a press conference in Islamabad.

VimpelCom’s $1 billion investment can generate 5000 jobs in Pakistan in next five years, as the company will establish 1,500 retail stores and mini-franchises in the country.

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“We are going to make major investments in network, IT systems, infrastructure and in new services for customers during the next five years with an ambition to build the best network with the widest coverage and the most advanced 3G and 4G LTE services in the country… We fundamentally believe that the growth opportunities in Pakistan are very substantial, mainly due to the young population here and penetration of mobile services that are still on the rise in the country,” a Pakistan media quoted CEO Charlier.

There is also a planned merger of Mobilink and Warid Telecom, which is expected to close within the next 18 to 24 months. The merged entity will together have 50.1 million mobile customers as of the end of May, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). They will together have a share of 37.5% market share.

The merged entity plans to expand its networks across the country to provide 3G and 4G services. According to TeleGeography, the operator was looking to provide LTE services to Mobilink customers and 3G services to Warid users as soon as possible. It would retain the spectrum rights of Warid and would look to renew the concessions in 2019. There will be a new brand identity for the merged entity.

In addition to the $1 billion investment planned, VimpelCom has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Swedish vendor Ericsson to replace IT systems across all of its markets. This will also benefit Mobilink and Warid Telecom. The deal with Ericsson will enable VimpelCom to launch new digital services in the areas of entertainment, video, music and mobile financial services in Pakistan.

Ria Lakshman. V is a lead news writer at The Telecom Times. She studied Journalism at Manipal School of Communication and proceeded to work in newspapers and magazines, with technology as her focus area. Passionate about Telecommunications sector, her move to 'The Telecom Times' was a natural choice. Alongside, she also writes for Telecom Talk, where she covers news and tech commentaries in the sector of telecom. In the free time, Ria loves to go camping, read books, or sketch illustrations. She also runs a local design studio and promotes eco-friendly crafts. Ria can be found sharing her knowledge and insights on Twitter.

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