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


  • From what I’ve heard (and seen once) from a friend who is working on a project with NSN here that successful 3G tests have been conducted (including Video Calls) and the reports have been submitted to PTA. So we may probably see the auction soon.

  • momers

    Ufone is not eligible to participate in the 3G auction since it holds a pre 2004 Mobile Policy license.
    As the 2004 policy states, only if you upgrade to the 2004 policy cellular license (by paying 291 million dollars), only then does an operator become eligible to participate in the 3G auction. Hence hot favourite or not, in principle Ufone cant bid for a license, if and when , if ever that happens!

  • I just hope we get to have 3G by end of this year because being a telecommunication eingeer, I have a final year project in mind which requires very high data transfer speed over GSM and 3G is the only thing that does that.

  • Saleem

    World is moving to start 4 G but Pakistan is still struggling with 3G licenses. Secondly, I don’t see that any company is interested in 3G when proposed license fee is too high and Pakistan have already big network of WiMAX i.e. is much cheaper that forecoming 3G rates. 3G equipment and operational expenses are much higher than WiMAX technology.

    Cost and benefit analysis are not in favour of 3G in Pakistan because of tough competition. And above this, soon you will find Laptops and Mobiles with WiMAX compatibility and Pakistan already have Mobile WiMAX technology. Mobilink is also waiting for these laptops and mobile sets because they selected WiMAX and opposing 3G now in PTA.

  • hamid

    HI,
    I am Hamid from Telenor Pakistan actually i am working in Telenor Pakistan we are promise we will provide you better from better service in whole over Pakistan…

    Rgd

    Hamid Mehmood

    • faheem

      in which team u work hamid?

  • One year has passed by, any update on 3G front

  • amjad

    hahahahahahahahahaha
    pakistan is not able to setup 3G
    because of the government policy