Breaking: Warid Urges to Deploy 4G Network with Existing License


Warid Telecom is seeking its chance to deploy 4G LTE network for high-speed broadband with its existing license and spectrum from 1800Mhz band that it had bought in 2004, we have confirmed with sources.

Despite the fact that the spectrum allocated to Warid (in 1800Mhz band) might not be sufficient enough for parallel and smooth quality of service for mobile broadband, Warid has decided to go with 4G LTE deployments in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

If plan goes smoothly then more cities are likely to be added in future.

Warid officially confirmed ProPakistani about its plan for roll-out of new technology that will enable its users to experience high-speed internet on mobile phones.

Without revealing any further details, Warid said that it is consistently committed to provide its customers with innovative and advanced technologies that will further build upon its services.

When asked from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority if Warid can offer 4G LTE services with its existing license, a spokesperson said that Warid has a technology neutral license and a spectrum from 1800Mhz but it will have to get necessary approvals from authority before launching any such service.

While agreeing to the fact that Warid’s license is technology neutral, the spokesperson said that approval for launching 4G LTE will be subject to 4G KPI and rollout obligations (as per normal 4G licenses), which are hard to meet with the spectrum that Warid has.

When asked if Warid is indeed capable of offering 4G LTE service with its existing license and spectrum, Mr. Parvez Iftikhar, an independently working telecom consultant who has headed a major network infrastructure firm in Pakistan from 1998 till 2007, said that theoretically as well as legally Warid can offer 4G LTE service to its customers.

However, minimum amount of spectrum required for LTE is 2x10Mhz, while Warid has just 2×8.8Mhz in 1800Mhz band, which means they can offer LTE services but for limited subscribers only, opined Mr. Iftikhar.

Moreover, Warid will have to free-up its 1800Mhz band for data services, which is currently being used for voice services. Meaning that company will have to shift voice to 900Mhz band that will require additional investment, said Mr. Parvez Iftikhar.

Not to forget, Warid has 2x5Mhz spectrum from 900Mhz band, which might get congested if entire voice traffic is shifted to it.


Mr. Parvez concluded his verdict by saying that proposition is theoretically, technically and legally possible, however, practically it might not look very fascinating as Warid may struggle with meeting PTA’s rollout and necessary speed obligations.

Experts say that Warid will have to make deadly compromises with the quality if it opts to offer wireless broadband services on such a narrow band. With this approach, their voices subscribers will also get impacted with degraded quality.

Tech and telecom reporter with over 15 years of experience, he works as founder of ProPakistani.PK

    • They don’t have the required amount as well. Just trying to retain and dodge their customer base. Better the base churns timely.

      • Oh Lala Jee, You must be from Mardan. C’mon give the company a break. You have so much negativity towards warid. Something burns in your backyard and i can even smell it here in Islamabad. Kahin Munir farooqui ne apki murghi to nahin churahi thi.

    • It seems that you are counting on Warid to Fail! don’t be like that. if it is really a distraction than the world is based on it!

      • I hope its not a distraction. Technically Warid can deploy 4g. They just need to get their act together regarding devices. They should stick with good quality telecom vendors like Ericsson and should also consider to speak to Nokia. With this they will be able to compete with other operators who are using crappy Chinese equipment.
        We all remember Telenor’s quality when they were using Nokia. Their network sucks now because they replaced Nokia’s high quality equipment with some cheap ass Chinese company.

  • Good to know this, I was thinking to move to Telenor for 3G
    but if I can get 4G with Warid, nothing like this. The best of all network with
    this 4G… would be great

  • Amir then it make any sense to any other OMO that they pay for 4G license when they can buy 3G and do the same trick.

    • but they do not have 8.5MHz in 1800MHz they only have approx 3.5MHz so they are incapable

      • yes and their 2G GSM is also running on 1800 so where the accommodate their 2G traffic… its just a rumor to avoid their users to shift to other network

    • Good point, y other operators are paying for 4G? Only difference I see is number of susbcribers each operator has. Warid has less subscribers, may be the network is free

  • Someone said it the other day – even before propakistani knew it. People made fun of him. This is perfect slap on faces of attention whores who claim to know-it-all all the time.

    • Is ko kehtay hain, you really dont know what you already got in your pocket. but i believe that really not going to happen, and if it will happen i really dont trust Warid network its worst than all.

  • Warid outsmarts all the OMOs who are paying 300million dollar for the licence of 3G services when Warid will offer equivalent services to its customers with the same license.

  • Warid will provide good quality as no one is using Ericsson. 1.5MHz deficiency can be cover by good quality equipment. Hats off for Warid

    • Good quality equipment cant assure service of limitations bound spectrum. Ericssion is not from Mars and other vendors have equally efficient equipment. Warid can never compromise on 900.

      • Warid is expensive but not comromise on service best service .if u want any package u have same money in ur account otherwise u can’t get Pakege security.

    • where dose their GSM 2G traffic goes if they use 1800 band for 4G? and not only warid, Zong and Mobilink were also equipped with Ericsson (FYI)…

      • @mahnoorkamal:disqus So this means you do not know. Mobilink have in only central 2 and Zong have few sites in Karachi. Warid is using end to end Ericsson. Even in MSC.

        • Not only in C2 mobilink has ericsson in C1 and South regions. Zong also have so many Ericsson sites in North. The Equipment warid has on its BTS sites are not compatible with 3G or 4G its 2G equipment…

          • @mahnoorkamal:disqus: 15th of May Lahories will start enjoying LTE by Warid. Believe me its only a software upgrade.

          • Mahnoor kamal warid has 2000 huawei sites out of 6000 and it is not possible to lunch LTE in 3 4 months and also its not simple a software upgrade you have wrong info

  • Mujhay to lagta hay ye networks hamesha ker tarha is dafa bhi hakomat aur awam ko buddu bana rahay hain :D

    dosray 4 networks nay ye faisla kea hoga decided price per 3g lay lain gay aur Warid ko choona laga dia hoga kaka tu free main 4G chala 3G auction say pechay hoja :D

  • Warid Management think that they are so smart :) keep dreaming I will see how Warid can easily get 4G license where other has invested in 3G and 4G simultaneously :)

    • DJ you dont know i think, this is not licence thing, this Bid is for spectrum only. Clear your mind :)

      • Spectrum comes with licence. it will never work Azam. Their current licence comes with specifications and this can not be altered.

      • Only 2 MHZ difference and i think they will cover it by using Ericsson.and they will provide better service then others

    • I think Bashir has a point. Less subscribers and less tower sites… means they can do what other operators cannot.

      • warid got only 12m subs, whereas other operators have 35m subs on same spectrum. it means warid’s spectrum is only 33% utilized as compared to others.
        u can do the rest of math urself

  • Yes this is very possible. The actual bidders will permit this right? They will say oh take $300-$400M for 3G while Warid is allowed to provide 4G LTE for free. I don’t know what logic this is.

    But you never know what happens in Pakistan. Personally I think PM Nawaz Sharif will not allow such rampant corruption.

  • why can’t other networks do like this?? If Warid has found a loophole in their license, by claiming their license is technology neutral then why other networks didn’t think of that??

  • I’m surprized to see that Pakistani awam is smarter than companies who have invested Billions in telco. 50 Rs. k aalu lenay bhi jab koi jata hai to 3 shops se price puchta hai phir leta hai.

  • Warid can pull it off as there are very small amount of 4g enabled devices in Pak. Plus all of those will not be on warid too so lots of free space to play around and test the waters.

  • So Finally, An answer for all those who were wondering why Warid didn’t bid for 3G. It proves that Warid is THE leading innovative telecom operator.

  • can warid be an operator offering only 4g? obviously, with ICH struck down, their customers can call landlines and conventional mobile phones via voip – like Wateen, Braintel etc. If it is possible, this scheme will give other telcos a run for their monies.

  • PTA ko 17 April ko list reveal karni thi (teleco’s who qualify for 23 april)? any update?

  • Smart play by Warid as it does not need any special permissions from PTA as the license is technology neutral — although, it has to address KPIs as related to “existing” customers & QoS. There should not be any rollout commitment issues as Warid is not opting for a new license and has fulfilled its rollout obligations under the old license regime. Capacity issues are not a big concern as even 5 or 6 carriers of 1.2MHz each should be sufficient for initial demand. Alternately, Warid’s could go WCDMA/HSPA in the 900 MHz band. Options are wide open for Warid!

    • If this is the case, why others operators did not deploy the technology with their existing spectrum?

  • As happened in other countries, warid will be obliged to sell its frequency to other players in the market as it won’t cope with technology diff between 2G and that of 3G and 4G. In business, there is nothing smart, only pay to get business right. otherwise you will lose and be out of market.

  • Can’t Warid deploy 3G network on their existing spectrum instead of going for 4G?


  • But it is possible? How Warid will get 4G licence without buying 3G licence?

    • Warid doesn’t need a new license. Additional spectrum in 2100 & 1800 is being auctioned and not a new license. Warid already has sufficient spectrum in 1800 MHz to launch LTE.

      • Incridible! It means that Warid will use 1800 Mhz frequency and provides 4G. If it is true then why other operator is not using the same technique.

        • All other operators are stupid. Warid is the smartest don’t you see. It this same wisdom that has led them to be the last player in terms of number of customers, and the first in terms of mismanagement.

          You see their bankruptcy is also just a smart ruse. You will see Warid / Wateen come out on top. Everybody is else is stupid and wasting their money on worthless spectrum auction.

            • Says all knowing, smarty pants Mr. Bilal Buland Iqbal. Please enlighten us with the lead/analysis upon which your highness concluded the above statement.

              NADRA deputy eh? Another bureaucrat speaks.

              • ha ha ha…
                can you people please read the whole article and statements of experts regarding this matter that Waris is technically unable to offer this at all and if they do so… they will destroy their voice services…
                I have nothing to do with business of telco but sorry to say that you people like to be FOOLED… and what will happen… time will tell you… :)

    • Warid like other networks already has licence for 1800MHZ spectrum. LTE will work in this spectrum. The bids are meant for additional spectrum in 1800 and 2100 band. Hope this clarifies

      • Yes clarifies why stupid other telcos are spending on 3G/4G spectrum but Warid doesn’t need to.

        Bhai ji ghada na banao. The current spectrums are NOT technology neutral. If it was Telenor would not be going for 3G/4G spectrums.

        Warid has no money for additional spectrum. Company has been trying to sell itself but failed. Now, all this left, is to make ghada of people.

        Idiot pandi.

  • going trough all the comments, I think people do not care to read and understand before they start speaking :)
    Warid has technology Neutral License since 2004, so they can go for 4G in 1800 band, also confirmed by Mr. Parvez Iftikhar.
    May be the other CMOs do not have technology Neutral license, as apart from Telenor, all the rest got license before 2004. Why Telenor did not adopt similar approach, that remains to be seen after the auction…may be they are only bidding for 3G license in 2100 band and plan similar for 4G in 1800 band, as they also got license along with Warid in 2004, so they would probably also have a tech neutral license…
    as for the 10Mhz for LTE and marginalizing the Quality for voice, by putting all load on 900 for GSM…my 2 thoughts, (1) may be Warid is willing for that tradeoff…if it can save $300 million of licensing fee…if Zong and Telenor can survive with the current quality in market…why couldn’t Warid…(2) if ~12 million subs on GSM, and efficient RF planning, I’m not a RF expert, but may be quality will not be that much marginalized as some may think…
    if anyone is thinking of MNP…I’ll sincerely suggest…wait till Eid ul Fitr…once the dust settles..the dwarfs and giants will be clear :)

    • Having said that its always a good idea to invest in additional spectrum. Other operators are not stupid, as they dont want to compromise on quality. eg Mobilink with over 30 million subscribers would want additional space. I believe it was optimum choice for warid with only 12 million subs to further utilize the existing band but it may not be for other operators who have more money and more subs.

      • Exactly . . . and with recent news/speculations about Warid merger and acquisition…it hints they have possible financial issues…and spending $300M for license and adding that as an asset, and eventually these $300M will be further increase the price tag of Warid…if they again think of selling

        nick is MAAC, mistyped as MMAC earlier :)

    • Telenor got 24m n Warid got 12m base so Warids jug is half filled n here they have the edge to run 4g lte. This bid is for spectrum buying not a license at all. All 4 operators need more spectrum to carry 3/4G.

    • You miss just one important point. Warids existing spectrum lease is going to end in 2019. Within 5 years. They will need to pay a minimum $281M to renew this.

      They have 5 years time to turnaround their operations or suffer a very difficult and painful end.

    • All CMO licenses are technology neutral.

      Secondly, voice QoS can be handled efficiently in a 5 MHz 900 band with careful network dimensioning. Warid will need to set-up a few additional cell sites to handle the load, which it will have to do anyway because the 4G LTE signal doesn’t travel as far as the one in 900 MHz, and will require cell sites closer than you would have for 900 MHz. Such a meshed network will not only allieviate voice congestion issues, but data throughput as well. A cell site doesn’t cost more than $50k to put up, and with initial rollout in 3 major cities, Warid will probably require not more than 400 sites, at a cost of $10 million (plus network hardware) —- much cheaper than paying $210 million for new spectrum.

  • Its a confirmed news 3 days before that warid is going to facilitate the customers via some next generations technology,I think this is the same story,I have some special authentic proofs if some one needed for some reasonable purpose he can contact me.

  • 2G+4G is complicated network because of switching between normal voice call and Data, handover and other features will be a big challenge.. But can be done..

  • it is possible to refarm 1800 band, sparing 5 MHz is enough for 4G to launch an equivalent 3G like services. Also they have acquired 900 MHz for GSM. With an accurate frequency analysis and user shifting to 900 MHz it is quite possible. But they might have to sacrifice the current KPIs and user churn will happen. After launching 4G, users may have poor experience coz of no fall back to 3G but directly to 2G and fall back will happen very frequently because initially coverage of 4G will be limited. 4G will also not support voice at initial stage because IMS is not mature and no handsets available. If they go for it then it might be their last breadth because others who will acquire good amount of spectrum in 4G will beat out Warid.
    However if they hire me then I can do something for them :)

  • the audience especially Warid customers must understand that this company has no financial muscle to invest any more. its just a lollypop for its customer base as port out ratio from warid is alarmingly high these days.

    • Dear Suhail, you seem to have a personal grudge against Warid. I can sense very derogatory tone in your comments. Give the company a chance. Warid had been termed an underdog all along. They are doing what everybody would do when they have their backs pinned to the wall. They have opted to not let down their shareholders and customers and are at least pushing on with whatever resources they have. I for once admire Warid as a responsible company. Their grit as an organization is remarkable.

  • Nawras here in Oman is using a band from 900 frequency for 3G but its not sufficient……they are also using two careers from 2100 frequency……so I think same will be the case in 4G.

  • There are two point of views
    i) Company Management End
    ii) Customer End
    i) More Money, Less Investment (Company)
    ii) Less Cost, Good Quality (Customer)
    Now Warid has played excellently by the “Company’s end”
    Future will decide about the Offered Cost & Quality to customer.
    A better word for advertisement “4G LTE supported network”!

  • Warid is doing the act due to having some logic n mind…Any ways lets hope for the best and on our end we must appreciate the process…

  • Warid can not launch 4G without getting licence from PTA. If it was possible why other companies are bidding in auction.

  • As far as I know 1900MHz is for
    3G and 2100MHz is for 4G in Pakistan. How warid can use 1800 for 4G LTE?

  • hahaha, you people are funny as hell, do you know that 2100 Mhz can be used for LTE ? therefore Operators who don’t get 1800 MHz for 4G Can use 2100 to deploy LTE. but again its not about having the spectrum, its all about having the Licence(permission) to use it for the designated technology!

  • Whatever? If Warid fails to provide 4G/3G, don’t be a Brand Conscious BITCH, port to another network. Its simple :D

  • Hold on to your pants people! they’re just URGING! not WILLING…
    jeez.. talk about going frenzy & hoopla-hoo

  • The Chairman PTA Dr. Syed Ismail Shah held a meeting with Mr. Muneer Farooqui, CEO Warid Telecom in Pakistan. The meeting was held to discuss the reports of Warid Telecom launching 4G services without participating in Next Generation Mobile Services Award (NGMSA). It was clarified that Warid does not intend to immediately launch such service. Although the existing license of Warid is technology neutral, it would properly seek PTA’s consent. PTA will look into such a request based on the license conditions and in the best interest of the cellular industry at large and the bidders participating in the 3G/4G spectrum auction.

    Chairman PTA informed that offer of 4G/LTE services by the existing licensee will have to go through a process as per their license as well as requirements of assuring proper coverage and quality of service, enhanced monitoring requirements and commencement permission by PTA. The Chairman also used this occasion to inform that auction of 23rd April 2014 will dispel all impression about lack of interest of bidders in 3G/4G spectrum.

    He also assured the CEO Warid Telecom that as a regulatory body they would continue supporting Warid Telecom a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Group which is one of the largest foreign investor in Pakistan.

  • Which operator is currently known for good providing good download speed with consistency? Zong will have an extra edge that they will be in good position to improve their voice quality too bcoz earlier they have distorted frequency band inherited from PAKTEL. As far as Warid is concerned, 25KB consistent speed (One time i observed 120kB speed on Warid connection while using with laptop for more than an hour and downloaded files correctly and firewall also confirmed download speed. But it seems now that they prioritized Voice over Edge in some areas due to traffic load and dense population. What if Warid invest money equivalent to 3G/4G bid on expansion of sites,more coverage with high speed internet. Coming months will be tough for users and all mobile companies too but situationa will take time to clear when the matured user will realize the cost and benefits of use 3g/4g. But if Warid fails to provide high speed internet, remaining companies will do the same as Mobilink done for years due to its monopoly.

  • According to some unknown source, i have come to know that Warid is under a merging meeting with Zong. so this way they might be able to get 3g, 4g & 4g LTE.
    If it happens, Warid will be the only network holding up a stamp of 4g LTE.

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