PTA to start 3-G mobile phone licensing this year -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PTA to start 3-G mobile phone licensing this year

ISLAMABAD (February 07 2008): The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) will start 3-G mobile phone licensing process this year, hoping that these modern services would be available in the country by 2009. For this purpose, auction of the spectrum would be carried out this year and licences would be awarded through competitive bidding.

The 3rd-generation mobile services will enable consumers to use Internet with high speed, make video calls and other value-added data services. Pakistan has now 77 million mobile phone subscribers, 2.1 million Wireless Local Loop (WLL) and 4.7 million fixed line consumers.

Enumerating the developments in the telecom sector the unprecedented growth in this area has impacted the overall economy of the country in many direct and indirect ways.

Leading international telecom operators and investors have acquired stakes in Pakistan telecom sector, showing utmost confidence in the telecom policies and regulatory environments of the country. Regarding licensing in AJK, five mobile companies were awarded licences for AJK and Northern Areas (NAs) and they had started their services in these areas.

The Authority deposited Rs 1.2 billion with the AJK Council and NAs Secretariat on account of Initial Licence Fee (ILF) collected from mobile phone operators. PTA had also launched the second phase of deregulation of fixed line services in the area in September 2007 that received overwhelming response with total 81 applications for various licences, including Long Distance International (LDI), FLL, WLL and others.

The recent launch, of Wimax services, has positioned Pakistan as the leader in the region to initiate wireless broadband services, and the subscribers to this service would be able to make video calls and telephony through special handsets.

At present, two operators–Wateen Telecom and Mytel–are offering WiMax services in most parts of the country, whereas other operators, including Burraq, PTCL, Z-WLL and Cyber Internet, are busy in the deployment of WiMax networks. During 2007, PTA surveyed services of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and mobile phone operators through latest automated equipment.

The recent results show that the services of these companies have considerably improved when compared with the previous survey results. Companies which are not meeting the standards in specific areas have been directed to bring their service quality up to the desired level.
Source: Business Recorder