3G Looks a Distant Idea, Another Seminar Concluded

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority organized a seminar today at Sarena, Islamabad, to highlight various aspects of 3G mobile broadband services and 3G spectrum auctions in Pakistan, policy and regulation issues.

Minister In-charge for IT and Telecom, Sardar Mohammad Latif Khan Khosa was the chief guest, while IT Secretary Naguib Ullah Malik was the guest of honor. PTA Chairman Dr Mohammed Yaseen chaired the panel discussion.

Representatives of Mobilink, Telenor, Zong, SCO, PTCL, Warid, Ufone, NSN, Ericsson, ZTE, Huawei, Motorola, Alcatel-Lucent, Qualcom and CDMA Forum were present at the event.

Chairman PTA, qualcomm, CDMA forum representatives addressed the seminar along with their presentations.

Network companies naturally advocated the needs of 3G and how it will revolutionize the mobile broadband in the country, but on other hands, cellular operators were not sure if 3G makes a good business case or not.

PTA, as a regulator, thinks 3G has an opportunity and it should be explored.

Mr. Latif Khosa, Minister of for IT and Telecom at one occasion publicly said to Chairman PTA that if PTA can arrange 1/5th of the spectrum auction price of India (USD 15 billion), i.e., USD 3 billion, then he can ask the government to auction 3G licenses right away. (He gave the chairman an almost impossible mission to accomplish)

Apparently, government is waiting for the best time to reap the maximum monetary value of licenses. Some industry experts fear that this wait may deprive the country of 3G technology altogether.

It merits mentioning here that recent 3G auction in India has put more pressure on PTA follow the suit in Pakistan. But difference in business scenarios in both countries, in-decision by government and reluctant attitude of cellular operators here is delaying the process.

PTA is planning another two seminar on same topic in Karachi and Lahore in next month or two at most. It maybe recalled that PTA has conducted set of seminars on 3G in the past as well.

On additional note, for those who want to study the pros and cons of 3G for Pakistan’s market, a very insightful discussion is going over the same topic on TGP.

It is estimated that cellular companies will have to invest half a billion dollar each for 3G license and to lay network in three major cities in Pakistan. One segment of industry say that ARPUs are too low to invest half billion dollar (at least), while others refer to GSM boom and say one has to create a need to make it a requirement – maybe now Pakistanis don’t ask for 100 MB link over mobile phone, but they may love it once they are offered such a service.

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


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  • pro desi

    Our gov. is not going to make any money out 3G…it’s going to be obsolete sooner than PTA likes to think

  • why not LTE (4G) in discussion. why we are discussing the obsolete things on major platforms?
    Previously Telecom vendors were ready for 3G but now its seems that they are not interested that cellular operators should go to deploy 3G. Khosa still giving impossible tasks to Mr. Yaseen for 3G deployment :P

    • Waqas

      I think it is because its happening in Pakistan, second 4G has been deployed only in America(Verizon) and its still on Beta stage.

      The pre-4G technology 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) is often branded “4G”, but the first LTE release does not fully comply with the IMT-Advanced requirements. LTE has a theoretical net bit rate capacity of up to 100 Mbit/s in the downlink and 50 Mbit/s in the uplink if a 20 MHz channel is used – and more if Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), i.e. antenna arrays, are used. Most major mobile carriers in the United States and several worldwide carriers have announced plans to convert their networks to LTE beginning in 2011..

      2011 and you saying we should go for it??? we do not even have 3g..

      • Unis Khan

        It’s not verizon with 4G it’s sprint with the HTC EVO which is currently the only phone that supports 4G!!

  • faran
  • Waqas

    I think this will change everything, 3G will be a huge hit in Pakistan.

    High Speed Internet , Video calling , VOIP and crystal clear voice calling.
    everything on the your mobile .. wow , i am very excited…

    PTCL will not be happy at all, after all 3G will give competition to this monopolist company, then i’ll see how they charge that much for 1MB. By the way most of people think all internet rely on PTCL (True for now)but guess what 3G will not .

  • yes it will change the huge but many of us expecting the 4G because of the rapid growth in Pakistan telecoms in last 5 to 6 years and their were also some high level discussion in Pakistan on 4G. yes Waqar PTCL has to worry on it and work accordingly otherwise they will simply out from the park :)

  • SK

    Unis Khan, He was talking About Verizon Network Which is Gving 4G Network in US, yu fool

  • The Truth

    How much are you willing to pay per month for an all you can eat data plan on HSDPA ++ – Rs 1000, 500, 250. What % of you have a 3G phone and how many of you have a DSL connection that you would be willing to replace with a dongle!! Maybe ProPaksitani can do a survey to see what the situation is with market demand and business opportunities for 3G – Personally i dont think the business case stacks up – current call rates are too low, data rates will follow. most operators are not even making or bearly making profit from their 2G business – why put money into 3G

  • Zohaib

    PTA and all celular comapanies plz do something to launch 3g in pakistan .i am waiting badly for 3g

  • Geohotz

    *Laughing……….&……Laughing…..* hahah guys do yourself a favor, click on “propakistani home” Button….Scroll down…and read the comments on the topic “cellphones necessity or waste of money”….we have so many closed-minded uneducated losers who even criticize the use of cellphones, they say “voice calls and text messages have spoiled our youth”….lol…..what do you think their reaction would be to 3G?…firstly, all the molvies in our beloved country will team-up and issue 100-200 versions of the same fatwa against 3g, secondly some of the pervs are going to exploit the use of 3g services and our so called “azad media” (not to mention half of the harami journalists are corrupt)…will start criticizing 3g…and the Cellular companies will be doomed,…so my advice is ….forget about 3g people…(grabs iphone) ….and stick to voice calls and slow-as-a-turtle internet.:)) he he he he

  • Yasir Latif

    i am not getting this point that why people are taking -vetly about 3G.

  • Syed Irfan Haider

    jo b ho hamari khawish hay k pakistan main 3g servise jaldi shuro ho.hamaray bachay ne bal k hum ya servise use karin .

  • pro desi

    ^^^ agree :(

  • Jamil Ansari

    We havent crossed 1 million broadband subs in Pakistan and with all the might of PTCL and plethora of Wimax operators.

    The market is not ready for broadband on mobile whtever the G we want to talk about. Voice is the bitter reality for our telecoms where SMS is still the hot value addition.

    The broadband revenues of the largest boradband provider PTCL are less than 10% of its total revenue. the total internet revenue share as percentage of voice (fixed line plus mobile) is less than 5%.

    The GoP needs to understand that the operators are not interested in broadband mobility as it does not make the investment worth it and instead of pestering the investors we should now adopt demand side approach by utilizing USF in enabliing broadband as an agent for development this on the ground action will develop the market and son the same investors will come begging for 3G.

  • rp

    we’re talking about 3g? What about getting the max or even an optimal through-put to a typical edge connection on phones first? Will even getting 3g involve adding the additional required bandwidth to our total internet backbones?

    Its time to calculate our real worth in terms of technology core than to really just brag the keywords.

  • We should always remember how much percentage of users will actually utilize 3G, while still majority have Nokia’s Classic handsets…

    • Yasir Latif

      People will upgrade their self and handsets as the function / service of 3G available. Have you noticed, people are not buying 3G bcz they said that this service is not present then whats the worth of 3G mobile sets. If 3g launches, then people will must go for it…