Its February 2009, where is 3G?

As per earlier reports, we know that 3G license auction was scheduled in March 2009, however, it is already mid February and we don’t see any hint of 3G coming in Pakistan in near future. I was wondering what’s its status and if will see the plan executed as it was scheduled?

So the news (as per sources) is that 3G license auction is likely to see delay, for at least 3 to 6 months. I am concluding this over observation that 3G policy is still in Ministry of IT and apparently policy formulation is still in process. Once, policy will be prepared it will be sent to cabinet for approval and then PTA will be asked to implement it.

But another point to be noted is that Ministry of IT, after formulating the policy and prior to approval from cabinet, will send MOI (Memorandum of Information) to telecom operators for their input. (Operators, though received early information of policy a week ago, but that was not MOI in actual)

In this scenario, where telecom operators are yet to receive MOI, sources said that 3G license auction is expected to see delays and may not turn true for at least a quarter if not two.

On other hands, there are rumors that couple of cellular company are arguing on opening bid price of 3G license, which is likely to be tagged at 105 million dollars. These 2 mobile companies are demanding 3G license to be priced at 7 million dollars, as WiMAX license was sold at 7 million dollar few years ago.

Besides all these delays, cellular companies don’t want to step into 3G as well, due to on-going recession and lowering revenues. They want to invest in their existing networks instead of rolling out new technologies.

At the same time, it merits mentioning here that there are three 3G licenses available, while Zong, Telenor and Ufone are hot favorites to get them, though they will face competition from other (already operating and new) operators.

This news will do bad for network vendors who have prepared well to snatch 3G projects in the country, reportedly, they have demonstrated their networks for their client operators.

You can read following topics, we covered about 3G

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK