3G in Doldrums As Differences Between Chairman PTA and Member Tech Get Public

PTA-logoAfter the suspension of Member Finance of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority last week, we are hearing the news of serious conflicts between Chairman of Authority and Member Tech, leaving almost no chance for the auction of 3G to happen anytime soon as agreement of both was necessary for carrying out the auction.

Differences between Muhammad Farooq Awan, Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar, Member Technical at Authority were first hinted when government appointed Mr. Awan as Chairman of PTA while overlooking Mr. Khawar Khokhar who was strong (and arguably the only) contestant for chairmanship of Authority.

The silent bureaucratic battle between Mr. Awan and Dr. Khokhar had been pumping since then, but it went bigger and uncontrollable when harsh words between two top executives were exchanged before media during a scheduled briefing at PTA headquarters on Friday.

It all started when PTA decided to brief media on Friday on developments regarding 3G and PTA’s plan for auctioning 3G spectrum before year end, since Daily Jang had claimed that 3G auction will get delayed for indefinite time since authority has failed to appoint the consultant for auction, a requirement laid by PPRA rules.

According to media men, who were present at the briefing on Friday, Dr. Khawar Khokhar publicly denied Chairman’s request to brief the media on 3G. Dr. Khokhar maintained that 3G committee is still in process of formulating the auction plan and hence it will be before time to brief the media about the proceedings.

It is said that harsh words were exchanged between Chairman PTA and Member Tech during this tussle that was worsen by media-men who were annoyed by authority’s mismanagement.

All this is happening at a time when authority is planning to auction 3G licenses amid opposition from cellular companies and under tough economic and law and order situation in the country.

Government of Pakistan and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had claimed to auction 3G licenses before December 2012, for which they were to finalize consultant before October 15th, 2012. However, as reported by Daily Jang, it is said that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has failed to finalize the consultant for auctioning 3G licenses.

According to sources at PTA, a total of three applications were received by authority against its advertisement for appointment of consultant for carrying out 3G spectrum auction.

Sources familiar with the situation said that two applicants were excluded on technical grounds while third application didn’t meet merit limits laid by PTA.

Sources, who wanted not to be named, said that one company applying for consultant was from India and hence was overruled amid security clearance. Another applicant, from UK, was disqualified as it didn’t submit the processing fee required for evaluation.

Third applicant, which was fulfilling all the necessary prerequisites laid in PTA’s advertisement, wasn’t finalized as according to PEPRA rules there must be at least two contestants to win a project/bid.

Under such circumstances coupled with serious managerial conflicts at PTA, it appears that 3G auction will be delayed for several months again, which can eventually knock out all the chances of 3G coming to Pakistan.

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


  • yasir

    This is what happens , when we have non serious people working in the government

  • danyal

    Idiots sitting in PTA

  • Will 3G ever come to Pakistan? i don’t think so
    when zardari and co will be kicked out of the government then might be we can get a chance for 3g in Pakistan

  • Faran

    I believe 3G will come in Pakistan soon and license will be auctioned before the Zardari government is kicked out. They will make sure to auction it in their tenure because they don’t want any opportunity let go where they can get money. The tussle between PTI authorities is not an issue, they are not the ultimate decision makers, it is zardari who has to decide when to auction and how.

  • Muhammad Zohaib Rizwani

    Seriously I say skip 3g now move to 4g directly it is the future!
    Besides the same people who use 3g will use 4g if provided and we know how we go after internet!! Since the iphone 5 now finally has 4g lte that means 4g will be mainstream and vendors like samsung , motorola ,nokia ,sony, lg and htc will also release their 4g lte models worldwide rather than just usa japan and korea.
    Adoption will rates will increase and well telecos will likely bid more for 4g than 3g.
    Oh might i add it will do wonders for wireless internet in Pakistan.

    Who actually gives advice to the government I would like to know . could at least join the 3g and 4g auctions together if not directly going to 3g. All parties benefit from this

    Oh again yes the people who use gprs will use 3g and 4g if it is on their handsets.

    But you know I think they are suspending it mostly because once 3g/4g comes along well ptcl and cellcos profits will decrease as people will mostly use services like skype whatsapp viber tango etc etc. That seems to be the only reason I can think of to delay it further and further.

    • how can we skip 3g? people who haven’t taste 3g will be disappointed from this if they will go direct to 4g but i think they will go for 3g near about in 2013 2Q

      • Muhammad Zohaib Rizwani

        We can easily. 3g and 4g are based on two different technologies.
        Why go to 3g when after 1 or 2 years we will have to go to 4g wastage of money and resources if you ask me.As the whole world would have adopted 4g by then we would be on 3g.?
        Plus would you rather have 28 Mbit/s or 100Mbit/s???
        Plus 4g ensures HD voice calls!!
        We just have to shift to 4g lte .Make up for lost time and catchup with the world.
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9b/3GPP_Long_Term_Evolution_Country_Map.svg/800px-3GPP_Long_Term_Evolution_Country_Map.svg.png

        The red ones are already on 4g lte and blue ones are going to launch it soon.

        • M.Aswad Mehtab

          Dear Zohaib , The Answer of why We do not going for 4g and Skipping 3g is That Gov. Makes Money out of the Auctions , First they will sell 3g licence [$$$$$] than after a few years they will sell 4g licences more $$$$$$$ so tell me why Should Gov. Not make Lots of $$$$$$ ?? who cares about the consumer ? this is all about Money you make …

          • Muhammad Zohaib Rizwani

            SImple answer telcos will pay more for 4g and will be more enthusiastic about 4g .
            let me put it in a simple way will you pay $500 for a old phone that will be out of date soon? or would you rather pay $1000 for a new phone that will be the next big thing and will remain so for the next 7 or so years .
            Simple economics if you ask me .

            • Muhammad Zohaib Rizwani

              The Govt even doesn’t know how to make money the “legal” way sirf do number kaam ata hai us mein hi akal chalti hai

              • M.Aswad Mehtab

                Lol Gov. Main itni Aqal hti to aj is hal main hty ye log…All institutions are filled with idiots have no sense of business what so ever …

      • umer daraz

        yes ap theak kah rahy hai, 2013 second Q

    • Bro Leave the Govt.Its Always Corrupt
      But Believe me, Cellular Companies Either Don’t Want it as it Costs Changing all Installed Broadcasting Equipments,Which will Cost them …

      • Muhammad Zohaib Rizwani

        The costs for installing equipment won’t bother them as they know they can recover it easily. Our telecommunications is at that stage that the price wars can not go on for long . Now new features and quality will bring revenue to the companies.
        The main issue they could be against it is people will use applications like skype and whatsapp and googletalk etc to communicate therefore decreasing calling and sms revenue.
        Here in the UAE viber and skype are blocked due the the very reasons! but you do get free minutes for international calls like every month depending on your package. So I have no complaints about that :P

  • umer daraz

    After March 2013, 3G or new cell company progress start

  • Umair

    I would really like 3G Auction to delay until the new governmeent (possibly IK) so that the money goes into safer hands.

  • Nasir

    Who said Govt is interested in 3G or 4G or any G for that matter. Its just the delusion of getting kick backs. What do u expect from a regulator who’s boss blocks websites because they expose him, where cellular services are blocked every now or then on the pretext of terrorism. Well one thing is for sure our Mr. PTA knows nothing about anything call ICT, IT, or even the big I (internet).
    Absence of electricity, Fuel prices and its theft in bulk has already overburdened Major Telecom Service Providers. What will be the price of fuel by next year ?? any wild guess.
    Who would invest into 3G ?? and how much any service provider is willing to gamble is the main question. What ever is written about the need, its benefits, now or never is useless

  • Muhammad Anas Zafar

    Hell to this Government and 3G!

  • Whatever will be …
    But We Are Not Gonna See 3G in upcoming 10 years

  • munawar

    All companies changes there booster in tower and ready to change 2G to 3G network. Tex on international call is collecting money for PTCL and Ufone to change there devices so 1 december they change all tower devices and they are ready too. but our politican Government are mad (why ? ) we go to 2G to 3G if we go to 2G to 4GLTE ADVANCE some little expance increase but technology latest. ALL mobile companies expend 1 BILLION Dollar to go to 3G network only PTCL need 2 BILLION IF they direct go to 4G LTE ADVANCE the compnies expense Double and all mobile phone of people of pakistan are change due to 4G LTE ADVANCE network so it is expensive but latest or short and write idea.03334535108

  • Abdulrehman

    shame on pta, sharm karo pta afghanistan jesay country mein 3g aur 4g lte hai, lekin pakistan mein nahin. aakhir kab tak hum peechay rahengay.