Last week, the merger story of two telecom giants was doing rounds in almost every media publication. Proclaimed as the first of its kind merger in the telecommunication sector of Pakistan, I have read countless articles on how it shall impact the telecom industry, but no one seems to look at it from a consumer’s perspective.

Personally, for now it is not paramount for the subscribers, since government approvals are pending, but is definitely worth a read as it will affect us in one way or the other.

Mobilink users must be celebrating the news, since the merger will allow them to switch to 4G LTE, while Warid customers, who aren’t big on mobile data, will be able to utilize Mobilink’s 3G network, proclaimed the fastest 3G in the land. Another benefit to Warid users is the convenience and transparency in their financial practices through utilization of Mobilink’s Mobile financial service – Mobicash, the 2nd largest MFS in the country and largest in terms of retail footprint.

Also the combined network of the new entity will smooth over voice/data signal issues, while providing greater reach to Warid’s customers throughout the country.

But, question arises that what of the other three Telcos’ subscribers?

Will a single entity with a forecasted 37% market share threaten the continuous innovation being offered to these subscribers? How will it affect product/service pricing?

Too early to answer these questions, but if Jeffrey Hedberg, CEO – Mobilink is to be believed and the merged telco respects fair competition, then we will see the other Telcos push the giant by enhancing their business structure and product portfolio to facilitate us consumers, and the industry at large.

MADIHA AKHTAR,

Karachi, December 7.