Is Etisalat Hurdling in 3G License Auction in Pakistan?

It is anticipated that Etisalat is not letting the government of Pakistan to auction 3G license in Pakistan, due to its agreement of purchase of 26 percent shares in PTCL.

We know that 3G license auction has been delayed notably in Pakistan. Earlier it was reported that 3G licenses will be auctioned in February 2009, however, it couldn’t happen.

We know that there was a section in PTCL’s sale-purchase agreement that government of Pakistan will not issue any further Telecom license in Pakistan for next 7 years. Meaning that no further license to any telecom operator till 2013.

A source who spoke with high ups at Ministry of IT and Telecom, got it confirmed that 3G license will be a telecom license in nature, with fresh attributes – meaning that if there was this point mentioned in PTCL’s sale agreement then government of Pakistan cannot issue any new telecom license (that is a 3G license) till 2013.

It merits mentioning here that PTCL’s sale agreement is still not made public, so we can’t quote the exact wordings of the agreement. However, we know that Zong has been struggling for LDI license, which has been delayed by the PTA for same reasons. Even China Mobile incentivized the government and said CMPak will bring US 500 million dollar investment if LDI license is granted, however no development has happened as of now, thanks to the Sale of PTCL.

There were evidences of differences between Government of Pakistan and Etisalat lately, over multiple issues. It was also reported that there were committees formulated to resolve these issues, including new license thing.

PTCL, Etisalat didn’t respond to our queries regarding this.

It is not comprehendible at all that why the SPA (Sale Purchase Agreement) was not made public, despite PTCL is a government’s asset and also listed in stock exchange.

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