Two more cell phone companies by March 2004
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has decided to issue two more licences to cellular companies through an open bidding to meet the growing demand of the consumers.
“Two more licences will be offered to the highest bidders while three already operative companies have expressed their willingness to renew their licences for the next 15 years,” Chairman PTA, Major General (Retd) Shahzada Alam Malik announced here on Tuesday in a press conference at the PTA headquarters.
He said the induction of new companies in the sector would create a level playing field that would improve the service quality and economically benefit the consumers.
He said that the authority would advertise expressions of interest on Jan 07 while final bidding – which will be open and transparent – would take place in March.
General (retd) Malik said three, already operative, cellular companies including Paktel, Instaphone and Mobilink, whose licences are to expire in 2005 and 2007, respectively and who have also applied for the renewal of licences would have to go through the same criteria.
He said that all new and old cellular operators would be given a level playing field as the terms and conditions for all operators would be same. What is the sauce for goose, is sauce for the gender, he claimed.
Malik said he was optimistic that a considerable reduction in the tariffs and mobile phone connection fee would be made soon. “I have talked to the CBR and Ministry of Finance about the reduction in taxes on new connections, and they have responded positively,” Chairman PTA said.
The chairman assured that Paktel would make 20 per cent reduction in its connection fee soon in order to make it economical for the common man. This would compel other mobile companies to reduce their charges as well hence benefiting the common man.
Chairman PTA said that the entrance of two more cellular operators would not only fulfill the growing demand of mobile phone consumers but also make the same economical for the common man.
He claimed that the bidding would be fair and transparent. “The bidding would be held in front of the media, besides officials of some relevant ministries.”
Commenting on the inferior quality service complaints against the cellular companies, he said that the PTA had been actively engaged in the process of ensuring the quality of service from the cellular companies.
The terms and conditions of the licences would bind the operators to ensure quality service to the consumers, he added.PPI