The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) of Pakistan have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on infrastructure sharing.
The MoU is signed for three years but this duration can be extended by the mutual agreement of the concerned parties, upon expiration of the initial term. The MoU signed by all five mobile operators wants to stimulate up the current pace of infrastructure sharing among cellular mobile and Wireless Loacal Loop (WLL) operators in the country and to increase the overall industry lease ratio to a reasonable mark. The parties expect that this cooperation will serve to support mutual interests, international best practices, the public convenience, improved aesthetics and decreased capital costs for rollout extensions.
According to the MoU, parties agree that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on infrastructure sharing will be followed in letter and spirit subject to technical and commercial considerations. The PTA will facilitate processing of infrastructure sharing cases to the extent possible within its jurisdiction. Each operator in cooperation with other industry players will put in its best efforts to make commercial arrangements powerful and struggle to take up its own and overall industry’s lease ratio to a level of 1.5 within next 3 years with yearly benchmarks aimed at 1.1, and 1.3 for first and second years, respectively provided that the same is technically feasible for the operators.
It may be mentioned that lease ratio means number of operators sharing one tower. If a tower is used by more than one operator, it would improve the lease ratio, decreasing the number of towers installed across the country. Presently in Pakistan lease ratio is 1.02, which means out of every 100 towers only two are shared by operators. If the ratio increases to 1.5 as expected it would mean that 50 out of every 100 towers are shared by operators.