3G, A smart route to Pakistan

3G is on its way to Pakistan. On the recommendations of the sub-committee, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) directed the IT Ministry to speed up the process to auction 3G licenses by hiring international consultant (Hiring international consultant will ensure transparency).

3G, A smart route to Pakistan

The international consultant would define and review the auction process from scratch. PTA was directed to follow the best international practices in awarding 3G contracts and with the objective of maximizing revenue, efficiency and competitiveness in the best national interest.

The PTA must observe the performance and financial viability of existing mobile phone companies before considering them to qualify for the bidding process. The Ministry of IT was recommended to ensure that infrastructure sharing is mandatory for the license holders to avoid environment pollution and encourage economies of scale. The PTA was suggested to avoid awarding more than one block to one operator as this would be anti-competitive. Alternatively, PTA must impose the condition to launch 4G technology on two blocks brought by any one operator.

The regulator was also recommended to ensure that some portion of profit earned by licensees could be invested back in Pakistan for manufacturing telecommunication equipment, which would not only contribute to revenue generation but become a source of employment as well. The Auction Advisory Committee or PTA should oversee the process of awarding 3G license for effective delivery and accountability.

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