First 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.