3G licences' auction in the pipeline: PTA -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

3G licences’ auction in the pipeline: PTA

KARACHI: Pakistan Tele-communication Authority (PTA) in pursuance of the policy directive issued by Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT), is planning to Auction Frequency Spectrum for Cellular Mobile Broadband Services.

The license for this service will be technology neutral and the licensees for deployment of any technology including 3G/4G/LTE any other upcoming technologies. In this regard, the information memorandum (IM) for auctioning process is being prepared by PTA.The auction will be held tentatively in March 2012 for which exact schedule will be issued later, PTA said in its statement.

The auction process will be overseen by a joint professional group (Auction Supervisory Committee) comprising of public sector stakeholders, including representatives of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information Technology, PTA and FAB etc.

PTA has constituted a special committee for making preparations to conduct the auction in the most possible transparent manner. PTA is also planning to hold Investors Conferences in Karachi and Islamabad for the awareness and information of potential investors.

Besides, the International Road Shows will also be organised for promoting the technology and its advantages for pubic but the schedule for these events would be made available soon.

The introduction of cellular mobile broadband services or 3G technology in the country will initiate a new economic cycle in the country and accrue great benefits for the national economy. The telecommunication sector has been projected to generate Rs 75 billion directly for the national kitty that will support country’s micro-economic indicators towards stabilization.

Pakistan is currently facing a current account deficit of US $ 2.1 billion by the end of five months of the current fiscal year. The expected revenues generated from the 3G auction seems one of the sole options for avoiding seeking assistance of IMF on balance of payment issue.

Also, handsome inflows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been expected by next two years after a single operator will set up infrastructure with a estimated cost of $ 1 billion for bringing 3G technology on its network.

It will also usher in new era for proliferation of a number of new applications for data intensive value added services with different sector particularly IT companies will likely to get their business share on long-term basis.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani approved 3G policy last months and gave green signal to cabinet committee to present the policy in the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for its final approval. It was decided in the meeting that 3 blocks of 10 MHs each out of available 3G spectrums would be immediately offered for auction and existing operators can participate in this round as well. New players will also be invited but with provision but if new player is successful in bid then they would be eligible to resume operation only after March 2013.

The introduction of 3G services on the cellular phone will greatly fulfil the requirement and demands of users and professionals who are eagerly waiting for this technology.

Source: Daily Times