3G services likely to be offered only on new SIMs | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

3G services likely to be offered only on new SIMs

Pakistan Press Foundation

By: Abrar Hamza

KARACHI: The cellular operators and the government are all set to extract the immense colossal investments on the 3G/4G from the pockets of consumers.

As per revised Information Memorandum (IM) for the Next Generation Mobile Services Award (NGMSA) it allows licensees to sell new connections to existing consumer for 3G services.

IM said, “If NGMSA spectrum rights are awarded to an existing operator, then numbers already allocated to that operator may also be used for NGMSA services. This will enable the operator to upgrade the service of its existing users from Global System for Mobile (GSM) and General Packet Radio Service ((GPRS). If an operator instead wishes to have separate numbers for NGMSA services, the numbers shall be allocated to it from the National Numbering Plan relating to mobile cellular services, added IM.

This facility to the operators will be translated in to high pace earning mode for the expected licensees as current existing subscribers’ bases of the mobile operators are likely to be doubled if all operators are not offered the 3G services to existing users on already on hand connections, experts said.

With the operators have already showed concerns over huge spectrum fee the new connection this clause is likely to be used for quick Return on Investment (ROI) by the operators, experts added.

As hype have been created over the 3G/4G, consumers are now eagerly awaiting to explore the world through the next generation technologies, thus it is expected in a bid to take full advantage of curiosity of consumers, almost all 3G licence holders will offer 3G or 4G services only via new connections instead to update existing connections, experts said.

However, if Zong is succeeded to get the 3G licence the situation might be different as the Company is widely known amongst masses for its cheap calling rates and packages. When Zong arrived in Pakistan the other mobile operators of the country had been compelled to decrease the call rates and Short Message Service (SMS) charges due to compete with Zong’s offered incredible cheap rates. Therefore, it could be said that winning of 3G/4G license of Zong will likely to bode well for the consumers, experts added.

Chief Public Relation Officer and adviser to the CEO at Zong Sikandar Naqi said, “It is too early to say any thing about the utilisation of this relaxation allowed by the regulator as it is not a showstopper for Zong, however if Zong gets the licence, we will definitely allow the 3G services to existing subscribers”.
Zong will not be taking it as opportunity to plus the consumers’ numbers by offering 3G services only through new connections as the current users are more deserved to explore the 3G services instantly.

Experts sharing apprehensions said the companies will likely subscribe the 3G services on the existing numbers without seeking permission from them and the enough amount also likely to be deducted for the subscription of said services. The regulator should keep close eye on the all expected wise strategies of the operators to get fast ROI of the mobile operators, experts said.

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