3G Drive to Get Bumpy

We told you; 3G won’t be as simple as it seems or the way our government is aiming to auction 3G licenses to grab Rs. 75 billion to straighten its balance of payment crisis. Exactly like I mentioned in my previous post here, after welcoming notes earlier this month, operators have started to worry about their (forced) investments.

3G proposition is getting complicated; investment required is huge, return seems too low, market situation is unstable, political scene is way to vague, value of Rupee is depleting and above all: cellular mobile operators are contented with their current setup and earnings, why would they need to invest more?

Analysts see government busy enough with president’s health, memogate and Supreme Court hearings to not to think about 3G. However, at the same time they argue that part of government is focused on the money it sense ripe through 3G license auction.

Money is the seemingly the main concern or otherwise, if reports are to be believed, government will fall into severe balance of payment crisis in current fiscal year. Especially with its ever growing tension with USA after NATO attack, blockade of US AID and IMF funding plus non-payment of USD 800 million by Etisalat.

Operators are eyeing all this very closely. They are already busy with their moves, tell me senior people in the industry. Mergers look like an option but time they have got is so little that it seems impossible for them negotiate. Off the record interviews reveals that everyone is concerned but no clear roadmap is defined so far, mainly because government itself looks too shaky at the moment. Maybe everyone is relying on fate to get things settled.

On a similar note, after showing interest in 3G license auction earlier, Mr. Walid Irshaid, President and CEO of PTCL, in his recently published interview with ‘Voice & Data’, said that 3G cannot sustain in current industrial environment in Pakistan.

He justified his arguments by rightly saying that 3G network will be laid for data, not for voice, which will require almost three times more infrastructure because of the frequency spectrum and data needs of the subscribers.

He said:

There cannot be five 3G operators here. There has to be only 2 to 3 good 3G operators. They must not enter into a price war, which we have seen in the case of 2G edifice. There has to be a better control even with the regressive regimes to control the price. Operators must be able to provide quality service.

Also, 3G cannot be offered without quality.

I see more such statements from celcos in coming days, to give it an ultimate try to restrict PTA for asking letter of interest for 3G licenses. Let’s wait for the time to see how this unfolds in coming months.

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


  • 3G is the dream of every people for data only I also agree with this that no one is ready to use 3g for voice. But I think that the will be dream for more 2 to 3 years in Pakistan because there is no interest in 3G of higher authorities of Government so keep dreaming of 3G.

  • Stone

    LOL this article has everything except Veena Malik in it :D and like I have said on every frickkin 3G article of Propak…and I quote: “IN UR DREAMS!!!”

    P.S. Whts up with the captcha codes man?

    • admin

      Please bear with captha for sometime, spam had reached a level beyond control

      • Stone

        Spam sucks azz….

      • Adnan

        Why don’t you use Akismet??

  • kamran khan mohmand

    And what about 4G

    • Shen

      In after life:D

  • bhai forget.3g nai aata pak main.ptcl nay bus evo aur kuch nai

  • Yea Right….Taking into account the level of planing and the people running Gov. 3g is just a dream !!! 90% of them don’t even know what 3g is ..:)

  • Shahid Yasin

    PPP Government not know what is 3G

  • waqas

    Smart companies will not get the 3g license. And will wait for LTE (4g). In transition period Evolved EDGE is the solution which can be compared with 3g.
    As those who get 3g will increase the tariffs and data speed is not exponentially better than Evolved EGDE.
    In beginning 3g companies gain the market share and will lose with thrice the speed due to high price of license.

  • Tony

    Companies in Pakistan already have WiMax and that should be upgraded to give performance above 3G.

  • Tony

    Develop WiMax leading to WiMAx 2 / LTE in one year.

  • sensational_19

    Breaking News…ZTE has won the nationwide swap project of Telenor Pakistan. Telenor is readying itself for 3G

  • junaid Tariq

    lolx how Can you end up ur argument with the comment of a ptcl employee…they are right they will have to put three times the infrastructure for voice but it doesnot go true for cellular company who are hunting for 3G..and keep waiting it will come on the decided time..

  • Every one wants the use of 3G technology with in Pakistan as the current availability of data rates provided by 2.5G technologies are not enough to satisfy the needs and requirements of individuals of Pakistan.