New telecom players need to wait till 2013 to launch 3G services in Pakistan

Pakistan telecom operators
are getting ready to roll out 3G services as the Pakistan Prime Minister Syed
Yousuf Raza Gilani has approved the 3G policy for upgradation of country’s
telecom sector.

Gilani has directed the
Cabinet Committee to bring the policy before the Cabinet for its final

To encourage competition, new international players as well
as existing operators would be invited for instaphone licence auction being the
sixth of the existing licensee in the country and not a new licensee.

New players will also be invited but with provision that if
new player is successful in bid, then they would be eligible to resume
operation only after March 2013 when moratorium on new licensing as per
previous cabinet committee decision would expire.

Three blocks of 10 MHz (megahertz) each out of available 3G
spectrums would be immediately offered for auction and existing operators can
participate in this round as well.

More spectrum would be made available for 3/4 G services and
offered for auction with the provision that winners of such auction will be
awarded licences and allocated frequencies by March 2013 and as such will be
able to start their services thereafter.

To ensure transparency, a committee of public sector
stakeholders, including representatives from Ministries of Finance, Information
Technology, Pakistan Telecom Authority and representative of Frequency
Allocation Board will supervise auction process.

PTA would devise an appropriate methodology to conduct
varying component of this auction as decided under the supervision of the

Telecommunication and
broadband operators reported a 30 percent decrease in their revenue in the
first quarter of the fiscal year 2011-12, according to a report in Tribune.

Total broadband users
reached 1.39 million in May 2011, according to Pakistan Telecom Authority. Out
of this, WiMAX users stood at 397,155, EVDO 294,161, FTTH 6,222, DSL 654,707
and HFC 42,490.

Mobile subscriber base in
July 2011 stood at 108.8 million and Mobilink is the leader with 33.37 million
mobile users.

During 2009-10, telecom operators generated revenue of Rs
236,047 million, while the total income from telecom service was Rs 357,712

Investment in Pakistan telecom sector during 2009-10 was
$1,137 million. Telecom segment attracted $374 million in FDI during the

By Team
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