Pak formulates policy for 3G telecom auction

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 21:15

Islamabad: After much delay, Pakistan has prepared its policy directive for the much awaited auction of 3G licenses in the country.

Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman today said the four mobile phone companies in the country had shown interest in the auction.

She added the policy directive would be approved by the Federal Cabinet Advisory Committee tomorrow.

On September 28, while hearing the petition seeking the completion of the 3G license auction process and the appointment of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairman and members, the Supreme Court directed the government to expedite the auction process.

Pakistan's cash-strapped government had promised to sell 3G mobile telephone licences to raise revenue, match regional rivals and drive prosperity.

However, the process has been hit by delays since the cabinet has to first appoint members to constitute the PTA.

Even Afghanistan with a weaker economy and more fragile state has the technology.

India too has 3G technology and there is now talk of introducing 4G.

According to reports, a growth in broadband penetration is expected to lead to 1.3 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of Pakistan.

There is a growing demand for smartphones in Pakistan and the four telecom companies operating here see 3G as a huge market.

Mobile phone subscribers in the country have crossed the 120-million mark and internet users have reached 30 million.

Telecom companies earned approximately 15 percent of the total revenue from VAS (data) services, of this, roughly 12-13 percent came from GPRS/EDGE (mobile internet)and the demand is set to increase in the coming days.


First Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 20:42

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