Telenor Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited is owned by the Norwegian Telenor Group, which is an international provider of voice, data, content and mobile communication services in 13 markets across Europe and Asia and an additional 17 markets through its ownership in VimpelCom Ltd. Telenor Group is among the largest mobile operators in the world, with over 166 million mobile subscriptions (Q4 2011) and a workforce of 33,000. Telenor started out as a public company in 1855.Currently, Telenor Pakistan has a total subscriber base of 43 million with 29% SIM market share.
History of Telenor
Telenor acquired a license for providing GSM services in Pakistan in April 2004, and launched its services commercially in Karachi, Islamabad, and Rawalpindi on 15 March 2005; it expanded its services to Lahore, Faisalabad and Hyderabad on 23 March 2005. Telenor Pakistan’s corporate headquarters are in Islamabad, with regional offices in Peshawar, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Hyderabad, Quetta and Karachi. On 28 January 2005, Telenor established its first call centre in Karachi.The official opening of Telenor Pakistan was held in Islamabad with former President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf as guest of honor and a Telenor delegation headed by President and CEO of Telenor Group Jon Fredrik Baksaas along with then CEO of Telenor Pakistan Tore Johnsen. The inauguration call was made by former President Pervez Musharraf to the Prime Minister of Norway, who was visiting Australia at the time. The present CEO of Telenor Pakistan is Irfan Wahab Khan.
Introduction of LTE
In August 2016, Telenor Pakistan became the third 4G network of Pakistan. Telenor Pakistan is providing LTE in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan, Karachi, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Swat. Telenor has added over 3,000 LTE cell sites to its network and Karachi alone has received 600+ LTE sites with special arrangements such as spectrum refarming and LTE availability on Bands 3 and 5. Telenor is currently using FDD-LTE Band 5 (850MHz) for LTE services, and using both Band 5 and Band 3 (1800 MHz) in Karachi and Islamabad.
Mobile Banking and EasyPaisa
In 2008, Telenor acquired majority shares of Tameer Microfinance Bank Limited for its mobile financial services project. They named the branchless banking service “Easypaisa” and launched it in October 2009. In a country of over 190 million people, with only 10,000 bank branches and approximately 15 million bank accounts, Easypaisa was Pakistan’s first branchless banking deployment aimed to increase access to financial services for the people of Pakistan, with over 25,000 Easypaisa shops across the country who perform the money transfers and bill payments. Later ‘Mobile Wallet’ was introduced where normal Telenor Pakistan subscribers could now open a mobile account and make transactions themselves from their cellphone. Easypaisa was cited by CNN as the “model to follow” in launching mobile banking services. Easypaisa is Pakistan’s first and largest mobile money service, and third largest in the world, catering to 6 million customers every month. It currently has over 40,000 agents in 750 cities and towns across Pakistan. In October 2014 Telenor Easypaisa introduced several types of accounts at different levels. They have named them as Level 2 Basic Account, Level 2 A Type Account, Level 2 B Type Account and Level 2 C Type Account, each with its own deposit limit and distinct rules.
EasyPaisa split up with Telenor Pakistan
EasyPaisa Mobile banking announced it was parting ways with Telenor Pakistan in March 2017. It is now being managed by Tameer Bank, which is fully owned by the Telenor Group. EasyPaisa’s operations, PR and marketing will now be handled by the Telenor Group.