KARACHI: Despite the many challenges the telecom industry is facing, Ufone will continue striving hard to offer world-class services to its customers, and will also provide excellent 3G coverage to meet their expectations in compliance with the Information Memorandum (IM), Ufone Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Asher Khan has said.
In an interview with Daily Times, Khan said that increased taxes, indirect taxes, cost of infrastructure, power crisis, security issues, network shutdowns, licence cost, and regulatory barriers on commercial activity as well as right of way are the main hurdles in minimising costs. “However, despite all these challenges, it does not deter our focus and we will continue striving hard to offer world-class services to our customers,” he added.
Commenting on 3G licence acquisition, he said, “This is a major milestone not just for Ufone but also the telecommunication industry of Pakistan in general. We will make sure that our customers enjoy the benefits of 3G technology and we will provide them with our best technological support.” The CCO said Ufone has launched on Monday from Lahore free 3G trial for the consumers so that they could get a first-hand feel of third generation mobile telephony and its wonders. He said Ufone’s free 3G service is available to both postpaid and prepaid customers. “This would provide them hands-on experience of 3G service and the various benefits that are coupled with it.”
Responding about 3G tariffs, he said that customers are the top priority at Ufone and the company will ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible so as to provide the best packages, qualitatively, simplicity and price wise. “We have been known to provide world-class service at affordable rates and this will be the case with 3G too. Our customers are always the focus of all our initiatives and to provide them affordable services is and will always remain our primary objective,” Khan said.
He said that Ufone will keep the tariffs as simple and customer-friendly as possible and the approach will remain the same in the future as well and the company will continue delivering affordable services to its customers. “The pricing structure for voice will remain the same as before, however, the tariff for new 3G data-related services will be shared with our customers very soon,” he added.
Khan said that 3G will help increase the gross domestic product (GDP), encourage infrastructure investments, improve productivity and create numerous employment opportunities across industries. “It will help in increasing student proficiency, reduce fraud and economic leakage in the financial sector, improve farm production in the agriculture sector, etc,” he added.
Elaborating the 3G benefits, he said that users can use 3G to watch TV on their handsets, downloading and streaming videos at high speed, sharing clips as well as enriched social media experience. “The technology can simply be explained in one way – high speed Internet”. It improves the overall experience of using the Internet on the mobile phone. “Every Internet-related service on your mobile set will speed up,” the Ufone CCO said.
The advent of 3G will increase the Internet usage manifold due to the superior customer experience the technology offers. The downloading speeds will go up, which will automatically generate a lot of interest in the use of various applications, online shopping and many other online services, Khan said. He said customer engagement will increase due to a rich content experience. The high speed would mean that the experience of using social media platforms would improve. This will not only generate more users but will also improve the overall experience of staying connected with the world all the time.
Khan said Ufone is working on building awareness for the technology. “Setting up the technology is one thing but making customers aware about it and then selling it is another. However, as with all our past technology introductions, I am confident we will sail through the process of promoting this technology,” Khan added.
Replying to a query about telecom tax regime, he said that telecom tax in Pakistan is amongst highest in the world and that affects efforts to increase tele-density. “If we understand and acknowledge the sea change that access to telecom can bring in our economy, I am sure we will appreciate the need for reduction of taxes here,” the CCO said.
“The beauty of having 3G technology is that you can enjoy services on your phone even when there is no electricity, provided you have your phone fully charged of course,” he informed. He said Ufone will provide services designed specially to cater to its customers’ needs and that is how it has been for the company since its inception. “We have become one of the top service providers in the country for a reason and this is something we take absolute pride in. Even in future, we will aim to provide services that are second to none,” added the CCO.
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