3G in Doldrums, Senators Ask PTA to Revamp Policy

3G-in-PakistanFirst thing first: A senate’s standing committee for IT and Telecom, the same committee about which we told you earlier, has asked PTA to amend 3G policy.

It has in fact recommended few things which are as following:

  • Auction 3G licenses only, and remove the terms 4G/LTE and technology neutral from licensing draft
  • 4G/LTE will be licensed later for earning more money
  • Increase the base price from US $ 210mn to US $ 291
  • No defaulter will be able to participate in the bidding – PTCL in this case
  • 50% of the licensing amount will be paid in 30 days and rest will divided in 5 equal installments in local currency

You can go to this link for complete details on proceedings of committee’s meeting that held yesterday.

Like they say: democracy is best revenge, and it has all the abilities to put the whole nation on a hold. This is exactly what is happening these days in Pakistan when it comes to 3G auction.

If you had a chance to read my this post (from January 31st) titling: Opposition Suddenly Wakes Up to Oppose 3G, you won’t be surprised that forces are in full action to stop the 3G auction, for no apparent reason, but (I anticipate it is) for personal benefits.

You can’t argue with me that these folks in Senate committee for IT and Telecom are wise enough that they can hinder the 3G auction at this point of time, especially when they know nothing about a technology called 3G.

Opposition party is maybe not aware of fact that 3G policy was in the making for last few years, and it followed all necessary procedures to get passed out from Ministry of Information Technology, federal cabinet, Prime minister and was at last given into hands of PTA for execution.

Like I have said before, politicians have got all the rights to question PTA, Ministry of Information Technology or any other institute for that matter over anything they find ambiguous, non-transparent – but guys look, PTA has now published the advertisements for the 3G auction, they have been in touch with foreign telecom companies to convince them take part in the bidding – and this is when you are asking them to redo the whole process?

Is it a joke or what? What kind of impression they want to leave on the investors? What kind of national interest they are serving by limiting foreign investment from coming into this country?

Let me tell you, we won’t be able to see 3G for another two years at least (or maybe for ever) if these senators aren’t stopped here.

You guys have social media today – start campaigning against them, sign petitions, share thoughts, fill your Facebook walls, get on twitter, write blogs and let them know that they can’t revenge you this way with democracy.

My dear readers, let me explain you why auction of 3G is important to us:

  • First thing, the base price is not low – our friends at TelecomPK.net have discussed this already
  • This is the only chance to get the telecom investor into the country. 2 years down the line, the saturation and economic conditions will make it impossible for you to attract anyone. Just consider how ripe it could be to auction 3G in 2008-2009 as compared to now?
  • 3G will not only bring the license fee, but there are so many other things we should look at, for example:
    • $ 500 million of investment per operator at least, $ 1 billion would be a good figure to quote though. And this figure is for for the first year only.
    • Telecom market, which is in stagnation for last 2-3 years, will revive, there will be happenings, infrastructure roll out, expansions…
    • Revival of all telecom associated businesses, such as franchises, retailors, vendors, sub vendors, procurement, VAS, IT, networking, handsets and what not
    • New jobs, hundreds of thousands of them
    • Just imagine if there are 25 million broadband users instead of currently 1.5 million users – I can’t even dream of such a huge market and opportunities Pakistani businesses will have in such an environment. I bet PayPal and Google will get to their knees – which don’t consider Pakistan even an economy now

To put this in other words, consider Pakistan before cellular phones, and now with 111 million mobile phone users – just grasp the difference and you will get it all.

Tech and telecom reporter with over 15 years of experience, he works as founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • Looooot Lo Baghairtoooo Looooot Lo ye MOka phir nahi milay ga tum siyasatdano ko
    Kuttay ki Mout se bhi badtar mout hogi tumhari

  • •Auction 3G licenses only, and remove the terms 4G/LTE and technology neutral from licensing draft

    -> It would be a good thing if some operator opts for LTE. They should encourage it, rather discouraging it.

    •4G/LTE will be licensed later for earning more money

    -> Just to make more money during the next government. Currently they are whining that they don’t have enough spectrum to offer 5 licenses. How will they offer spectrum for LTE?

    •Increase the base price from US $ 210mn to US $ 291

    -> It won’t make any difference. It’s just base price and not the final license price. If investors see good ROI, they will supersede even 291 with a base price of 210. If they don’t see any good ROI, bidding attempt even might fail. They shall be reducing the barriers to entry in bidding, rather increasing it.

    •No defaulter will be able to participate in the bidding – PTCL in this case

    -> Why would PTCL will bid for 3G. This clause makes no sense unless they will cover Ufone under same clause.

    • i like your comments dear these are real things for thinking but now a days maximum from our generation
      just don’t want to see or lessen the things which are again their interest and they just don’t know all things but express that they know.

      any one read my comment plz read with cool mind and thing this is a reality.

      Prayers for every one be Happy & Take Care.

  • There has been no consultation with the industry, consumers and other stakeholders and that is why the whole process is flawed.

    The MoIT first needs to come out with a convergence policy and then pave the way for spectrum auction which should not be called 3G as we in Pakistan are following a technology neutral regime. The basics have to be set right even if that requres massive rstructuring of MoIT/PTA from top to bottom.

    If MOIT/PTA had followed the process one would have agreed with all your assertions.

  • Ignorant stooges who don’t know the difference between 3G and G3 are out to decide the fate of Telecom in Pakistan. What a shame, these people are out to make a fast buck at the nation’s expense. Damn them.

  • Some how I always say the 3G thing is not going anywhere in Pakistan but ppl just start dancing with the slightest talk to 3g lolz its not gonna happen..

    As for the benefits so wisely quoted by Aamir…let me say tht they are over exaggrated since

    FDI has hit rock bottom with operators only focusing on profit(quite rightly so as well)

    Infastructure roll out and network enhancement is already in progress for 2 operators with one already done with the same

    Pakistan telecom has already reached maturity so at this point 3G wud just be the next thing and will not bring abt any renissance

    100 of 1000 jobs? really? hahaha good joke :)

    And the only one on their knees will be ppl expecting 3G to be lauched and ppl expecting the licences to be sold :)

    • Are you yourself able to get ANY sort of logic in your whole post..? “Pakistan telecom has already reached maturity so at this point 3G wud just be the next thing and will not bring abt any renissance”–are you really serious..? People are aspiring for 5G abroad and we are talking about maturity WITHOUT even 3G..? With cheap SMS packages, DSL packages, you says our telecom industry has become very mature..? Are you really in your senses..?

      About 3G advantages, “let me say tht they are over exaggrated since

      FDI has hit rock bottom with operators only focusing on profit(quite rightly so as well)”, can you quote ANYTHING more vague than this statement..? Businesses are meant for profits, they are doing charity for you. So if any one opens up a business, he makes an investment and he wants to make a return.

      Please if you do not know anything then better not participate instead of misleading already mislead people!

  • •Increase the base price from US $ 210mn to US $ 291

    One needs to realize it is the end user who ultimately pays the price. It is not going to come out of thin air. You can make it 1 Billion if you like, which would result higer prices of 3G Packages. Pakistan needs to bring this technology to masses at affordable rates, even if costs the Government revenue.

  • they have to make improvement in policy (if possible). but should not do anything to delay the auction. we are already late in the rigion for adopting the new technologies. the opposition must not make it a political game with the govt. coz its something very necessary for the whole nation.

  • Already Government of Pakistan is squeezing Telecom sector of Pakistan to that extent that nothing is left inside this sector. Still this greedy Government wants more for 3G licensing. Technically Govt must give this opportunity free of cost to operating companies because it is Operating Necessity for them….not any kind of extra benefit.

    In current scenario, WORLDS HIGHEST TAXES are applied on Telecom Usage…. 19.5% GST, 11% Withholding. These steps alarmed Telecom Companies to bring new DOLLAR investment in Pakistan. Government is running by those people who can not even write spellings of TELECOMMUNICATION properly. These pathetic politicians can do nothing in country.

    Imagine, do you remember any major work done by Politicians in last 4 years. All major work and developments were initiated and completed in last government (that we calls DICTATORSHIP). I’m not in Favor of Musharraf but truth must be accepted….He played major role in bringing Media, International Banks, Telecommunication, HEC Education system, PHD scholarships, State Bank independent governance etc.

    Really feels sorry on performance of Politicians and desperately waiting for real change in the country…but do not see in present circumstances. these politicians are all one on one agenda…KHAO AUR DOSROON KO BHEE KHANAY DO.

  • Aray bahi jab unperh leader hoon gay tu aysa tu ho gaa , yeh sab nakamay hian in say koe umeed nahi jahillon ka tola hai kab ppp ki shakal main aur kabi nalaik league ki shakal man aur ab mushi kay haray howay khotoon ki shakal mian pti :( too bad kay main pakistan mian rehta hoon :(

  • A very nicely written article Mr. Aamir. You are right! its a time for all of us to wake up and start a campaign against those “foolish“ who did not even know anything about which they are opposing, I`m gonna start a page on Facebook right away and will do more physically as planned with my friends.

    At last a message for all to wake up and clear the way for 3G in Pakistan!

  • I think that’s not a better one this time why not government asked before time when they make policy abot 3g and If every one are decided together and approved 3g policy Ihope meltinational or International companies definatly participate this 3g auction.

  • Due to criticism before bidding I don’t think any operator will bid for 3G license. Seems it’ll take few more years! WTH :-/

  • Screw these so called senators and opposition they are PIGS and the whole world knows it, we want 3G NOWWWWWWW!!!! i hv been participating+ voicing it in the prevoius posts since PTA announced the auction check them out, YES I AGREE ADMIN LET OUR OPINION BECOME ONE AND I AM GLAD YOU FINALLY AGREE TO IT LETS START ON FACEBOOK, COUNT ME IN. P.S:I AM GLAD YOU GUYS SEE THE BRIGHT SIDE NOW, CONGRATS!!

  • Give bone to every barking dog and problem will be solve.
    One big bone to London
    One bone to pathanwala
    one bone to choudhries
    rest all to zordar dogs

  • Why go for 3G when the whole world have already launched 3.5G/LTE/4G.

    Auctioning 3G and 4G spectrum separately or even 3G makes good sense in the short-run but definitely not in the long-run. We will be welcoming global technological waste as the world is swapping their 3G equipment with 4G. After used computers, used and unsafe car imports telco vendors will gladly dump their “new” 3G equipment.

  • These guys have no idea what technology is. Whole parliament and senate, no matter from government or opposition are there for more and more money.

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