Anusha Khan helding 3G license Auction – Fake Promises OR Progress?

Pakistan is one of the most leading country in the section of IT But to our utmost disappointment the mobile internet technology in Pakistan is only limited to 2G network. The world is moving on now to 5G and we are still 3rd generations behind from 70% world. Reports show that auction for 3G isn’t being approved by two members of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the whole process of 3G auction is almost at standby. The whole 3G auction will get to a dead end without the agreement of both the members. In short the 3G auction seems impossible. Reasons why this potentially billion-dollar transaction never went through are varied as well as complex. It was surely not a pretty sight when the PTA had to take a step back following the opposition’s attitude of the spectrum auction as “loot sale”.

3g licence auction

The second attempt was made in August as the PTA frantically searched for a foreign consultancy firm to advise and assist it in the auction process. The hiring of a firm through a bidding process was supposed to be finalized by October but this effort led to nowhere. However, the PML-N claimed in its manifesto that it will move directly to 4G technology to ensure fast-track introduction of modern information and communication technology.

Anusha Rehman, the new IT and Telecom Minister of Pakistan said that new government already started working on the auction of long-pending 3G spectrum auction in the country. Ms. Rehman tweeted that PML (N) is committed to swiftly execute the 3G auction in just few months only. Telecom industry and consumers are now eying at the new government for 3G license auction rolling without the mistakes that have been made before. According to a report on 3G technology, it reduces the cost of operators in many ways and one of them is that the 3G covers higher number of customers over the same bandwidth.

The new government should appoint a minister who understands the issues facing the IT industry

said Sikandar Naqi, Adviser to Zong CEO.

A petition for early auction of third-generation telecom licenses (3G, 4G, and LTE) has been accepted by Supreme Court of Pakistan for hearing. Reason why this billion dollar transaction never went through. It was the country’s bad political economy that caught up with the PTA’s maiden efforts back in January 2012. The telecom sector is one of the highest paying tax sector by contributing 133 billion rupees yearly.

Pakistan is already one of the top performing telecoms markets in terms of reach, call rates and product and service offerings, said Director Corporate Communications and Responsibility of  Telenor Pakistan. “With the advent of 3G, our country’s telecom performance will be further enhanced and strengthened and it will greatly enrich end-user experience” she said.

According to PTA 111 million people in Pakistan are using mobile and 90 million use mobile internet. In short following process is used for the auction:

1) Hiring of Consultant – according to the 3G Policy or the directive issued (approved by cabinet division) for the auction of 3G licenses, a consultant firm should be hired to procure the 3G auction.

2) Preparation of IM – a document that details the schedule, terms and pricing of 3G auction

3) Approval of IM by regulator and then cabinet – Regulatory authority includes the chairman and two members.

4) Floating the IM in market – to let operators know the terms and base pricing of license

5) Auction of 3G on a date defined in IM

PTA officials said that that the existing operators have also technology neutral licenses but 3G equipment is not available in the market for the band they have. PTA needs to be manned with high caliber professionals free from political influence otherwise Pakistan will remain 3G free.

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