Dancom set to go big in Pakistan


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 16 Feb 2005

BY PAUL GABRIEL IN ISLAMABAD

WITH the telecommunications sector in Pakistan remaining vastly untapped, Malaysia’s Dancom Group, which expanded here a decade ago, has set its sights on gaining a bigger share of the market.  

Dancom Holdings Bhd ventured into Pakistan in 1995 through its joint-venture company, Dancom Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, with a 60% stake in the latter.  

Dancom Pakistan started out in the local payphone industry and today operates 28,000 PCOs (public call offices) throughout Pakistan, becoming the country’s largest and most successful payphone operator.  

Dancom Pakistan has also been issued a licence to operate long distance international (LDI) and local loop (LL) telecommunication services, which will enable it to operate independently as a telecommunications company in Pakistan.  

With the LDI and LL services, Dancom Pakistan would be able to provide its own fixed line network for calls to be made within and outside Pakistan.  

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is on official visit to Pakistan, will launch both services on Thursday.  

Dancom Group chairman Datuk Hamzah Zainudin said with the LDI and LL services, Dancom Pakistan was poised towards making further inroads into Pakistan’s telecommunications sector.  

“We are very confident of making further progress in Pakistan. Our core strength is in our state-of-the-art telecom systems deployment, expertise and our dedicated workforce.  

“Dancom Pakistan has managed to stay ahead of the competition so far,’’ he told a media briefing yesterday for Malaysian journalists covering Abdullah’s three-day visit here.  

Also present were Dancom Group managing director Datuk Liu Thim Soon and Dancom Pakistan chief executive Muhammad Luqman Kamil.  

Hamzah, who is part of the 60-member business delegation accompanying the Prime Minister, said among other things, Dancom Pakistan also offered prepaid phone cards, and DSL broadband and wireless access services.  

“Major business establishments in Pakistan, including the Karachi Stock Exchange and Pakistan’s best hotel, the Serena, are our broadband line customers,” he added.  

He said the company maintained 74 offices in Pakistan and employed 1,500 personnel, with its headquarters based here.  

Hamzah said Pakistan was poised for a “telecom revolution” given the huge growth witnessed in the sector.  

“The business climate here is getting ideal with more investment opportunities. I urge Malaysian companies to consider investing in Pakistan,’’ he added.  

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