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16 June 2017
| Jason Mcgee-Abe
Pakistan’s Awal Telecom and Ufone have entered into a passive infrastructure sharing agreement, under which Ufone will benefit from Awal’s domestic network infrastructure.
Under the terms of the agreement, where cellular operator Ufone will have access to telecom infrastructure operator Awal’s existing infrastructure in a niche market; Awal will also establish new tower infrastructure for Ufone on a build-to-suit model.
"The tower infrastructure partnership agreement with Ufone is a beginning of a long-term business relation between both companies where not only tower infrastructure sharing will be the subject, but will also give opportunities to partner in terms of active infrastructure sharing in the times to come,” said Akbar Shaukat, chief executive of Awal Telecom.
“Awal shall ensure that Ufone network is continually enhanced and expanded while maintaining low operating costs for the network operator."
Awal’s focus on the passive infrastructure and power will enable Ufone to accelerate networks modernisation and technological advancement. The deal also marks a step forward towards consolidation of tower infrastructure in Pakistan; where telecom operators continue to compete strongly against each other in Pakistani market while freeing up CapEx and reducing OpEx by leveraging from infrastructure with the tower company.
Alam Khan, chief procurement officer of Ufone, added: “The infrastructure sharing in the telecom industry is surely the need of the day. We foresee one or two infrastructure companies to completely consolidate the whole tower industry in a very near future; such contracts and agreements pave way towards materialisation of this vision”.
“Placing tower infrastructure in the hands of tower specialists, benefits consumers, businesses and local economies, as well as the operators themselves. Our hands-on experience and towers portfolio in the market, coupled with strong relationships with mobile network operators and equipment suppliers, allows us to bring improvements right across the value chain,” added Shaukat