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Pakistan Telecom Eyes 3 Million Broadband Customers in 5 Years

Pakistan Telecommunication Co., the biggest phone service provider, plans to expand its network of Internet broadband users to over three million in five years, as it seeks to take back revenue from rivals, the chief executive officer said.

“Broadband has huge potential in Pakistan,” Walid Irshaid said in a call for investors from Islamabad today. “We plan to have a 70 percent share of the market in five years.”

Pakistan Telecom has lost business to competitors including Telenor Asa., and China Mobile Communications Ltd. since 2004 when the government gave licenses to non-state telephone companies to start business, ending its monopoly. Pakistan Telecom’s revenue fell to 13.7 billion rupees ($162.6 million) in the three months ended March 31, from 13.9 billion rupees a year ago, according to an April 29 filing.

Emirates Telecommunications Corp. plans to purchase another 25 percent in Pakistan Telecom, Irshaid said, without saying when the transaction would take place. Emirates Telecommunications, the state-owned telephone provider in the United Arab Emirates, won management control of Pakistan Telecom in April 2006 after it bought a 26 percent stake in the company for $2.6 billion.

Pakistan Telecom shares, which have risen 22 percent this year, fell 0.1 percent to 21.61 rupees on the Karachi Stock Exchange today.

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