Gilani gives Pakistan's 3G policy green light

Published: November 23, 2011

Prime MInister Yousaf Raza Gilani chairing a meeting on 3G licence and Grey Traffic at the PM house on Wednesday. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has approved the 3G policy for Pakistan in principle and directed the Cabinet Committee to bring the policy before the Cabinet for its final approval.

Gilani presided over a meeting on 3G and Grey traffic and Additional Spectrum auction for Wireless Local Loop here at Prime Minister’s House where it was agreed that new international players as well as existing operators would also be invited for Instaphone licence auction being the sixth of the existing licensee in the country and not a new licensee.

Ministry of Information Technology gave a presentation on recommendations formulated by Cabinet Committee comprising Dr Hafeez Sheikh, Minister for Finance, Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Water and Power, and Ghos Baksh Mehr, Minister for Privatization and Dr Asim Hussain, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources.

The Cabinet committee recommendations pertain to the auction of 3G frequencies and defunct Instaphone licence along with allocated frequency simultaneously but in quick succession.

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

Furthermore it was decided that three blocks of 10 MHZs each out of available 3G spectrums would be immediately offered for auction and existing operators can participate in this round as well. 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.

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

In order to ensure professionalism and transparency, it was also decided that a committee of Public Sector stakeholders including representatives from Ministries of Finance, Information Technology, PTA and representative of Frequency Allocation Board would supervise auction process. PTA would devise an appropriate methodology to conduct varying component of this auction as decided under the supervision of the Committee.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • Tahir
    Nov 24, 2011 - 12:12AM

    When the world is moving towards 4G, we allow 3G.

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  • Sachal Sarmast
    Nov 24, 2011 - 12:21AM

    Energy projects and services like 3G should not suffer due to kickback considerations and red tape ( ism).
    Even those who are sick in this regard should give up their subjectivity, for such projects are desperately needed without wastage of even a day.
    India is introducing 4G from July, 2012 and Russia is already using the same for last couple of years.
    Reasonably priced and sustained supply of energy and wireless connectivity can pull out absolute majority of People of Pakistan from deep ditch where they are still languishing and living a life near animal level. Neither independent Pakistan nor Islamic faith are taking care of them.
    We must benefit from Globalization of KRID ( Knowledge, research, innovation and development).
    World is knocking at our door, if we did not open the door , world will, anyhow, enter even by breaking the door or razing down the whole wall in its way.

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  • armughan faruqi
    Nov 24, 2011 - 1:08AM

    Does that mean we will have 3G service by “2013″? There will be no point for it then. I agree with the comment above.

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  • Padre Escabor
    Nov 24, 2011 - 3:33AM

    Isnt it too late for 3G…whats wrong with us. its LT time atleast give us 4G..

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  • Ahmed
    Nov 24, 2011 - 4:11AM

    The world is FAR from achieving “true” 4G capabilities. Moving to 3G is a very big step for Pakistan and it will really help increase the flow of communication and information. Please don’t criticize our government as the late arrival of 3G is clearly a ‘lack of infrastructure’ issue. In fact, praise them for not being completely ignorant and actually allowing this technology to be implemented. Use this as an opportunity and not just another thing to whine about.

    3G is FINALLY here. Great news!

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  • Mannan
    Nov 24, 2011 - 4:58AM

    Finally…..

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  • Engg. Yasir
    Nov 24, 2011 - 6:42AM

    Finally, going to see 3G coming soon to this Country which is surrounded by the World of 4G. But, hope that 3G will be on the cards sooner.

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  • Yasir
    Nov 24, 2011 - 8:03AM

    @Tahir:
    I believe once we ll have some basic infrastructure it would be easy to go to G4 . Isn’t it correct?

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  • Maddox
    Nov 24, 2011 - 8:08AM

    LTE only provides packet access with no support for circuit-switched voice. To support voice services, four different options are in play/consideration – 1. keeping voice on 3G, 2. use IMS, 3. use VoLGA (which is a system to use VoIP over the air with 2/3G MSC call control) and 4. Over the top VoIP (e.g. Skype). As you can see, that voice options are being standardized and are nothing close to maturity; which offers more reasons for pk gov/pta to move towards 3G for voice+data+video. Lets rev up telco market once again !!

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  • Nov 24, 2011 - 8:41AM

    LTE networks were just made available recently, and only a couple of high-end smartphone handsets are LTE capable. Should go ahead and build the 3G/4G infrastructure first.

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  • Saad Siddiqui
    Nov 24, 2011 - 9:53AM

    In order to move easily to 4G , they must go for 3G first, as it will be preferably feasible rather than moving from 2.75 to 4 directly, because the Telecom companies are looking forward to jump to 4G instead of introducing 3G, that wont be feasible for them and for the consumers

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  • Jay-C
    Nov 24, 2011 - 10:18AM

    does it say March 2013!

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  • ahsan
    Nov 24, 2011 - 12:25PM

    thank god they r taking 3g seriously now ………..!we r waiting for ti since 2008.!

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  • Interconnect
    Nov 24, 2011 - 1:17PM

    4G/LTE if motivation/incentive given by the regulatory authority today the technology is tested with international vendors in South East Asia, successfully. The vendors with 4G/LTE technology is desperate for test in developing countries in order to launch the product to developing countries as MENA region. Since the US has put a strict embargo on some companies for security agencies in US, the vendors may possibly lured to invest in Pakistan 4G/LTE licensee for nominal or no cost. Hence we possibly may have the technology

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  • Zuhaib Ali
    Nov 24, 2011 - 1:31PM

    These gays are now thinking of 3G network approval while world has moved to 4G system for wireless networks …. why They are not direct moving to 4G???????????????? if anybody knows kindly inform me at morai.zuhaib@gmail.com

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  • humera atif
    Nov 24, 2011 - 1:46PM

    c,mon guys dont be such a pessimistic atleast we have 3g and once we have 3G we will be able to get 4G soon

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  • Atif
    Nov 24, 2011 - 1:58PM

    Its already too late for 3G and in most cases where 3G is deployed its used for data/PS services and voice is preferred over 2G, so with 4G for data and a fall back to 2G for voice is the best suited option rather wasting money on 3G infrastructure.

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  • Haider Hussain
    Nov 24, 2011 - 3:49PM

    In plain simple words, can somebody educate me what value will 3G add to our communication?????

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  • Zahid Qureshi
    Nov 24, 2011 - 6:33PM

    3G will add value in better utilization of the Frequency Spectrum for voice and data and cheaper data services by means of IHSPA (Internet High speed packet access)

    It’s up for the operators do go for 3G or directly for 4G but 4G compatible Dongles/Handsets are not common in Pakistan so Operators will think many times before launching 4G …….

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  • Optimist
    Nov 24, 2011 - 6:46PM

    @Tahir:
    says 3/4 G mate

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  • Talib Haider
    Nov 24, 2011 - 7:43PM

    We are still stuck with 1-2Mbit/s connections on WIRED networks and people are talking about 4G networks. Good for them.Recommend

  • Nov 24, 2011 - 8:47PM

    it is expected that 3G will come in Pakistan in end of 2012 – this news gives only idea that 3G is coming in Pakistan not a confirmed news when it come, I am sure when 3G will come in PK it prices will be too high …

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  • Nov 25, 2011 - 12:12AM

    Worst economic times to roll out 3G licenses – the frequency is going to go too cheap.

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  • Jay
    Nov 25, 2011 - 3:46PM

    @Haider:

    Remote medical diagnostics, mobile money, distance education, info for farmers, womens health, remote security, remote electricity metering etc are some of the applications which can be monetized using 3G/HSPA. Given that operators can get 10 MHz paired spectrum in Pakistan is indeed good news. Quite a bit of data can be pumped in with 10 Mhz paired spectrum. And i believe the time is right too.. the prices of dongles, smartphones for 3G will come down and so would make them affordable for the common people of Pakistan.

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  • Adil Khan
    Nov 26, 2011 - 3:23AM

    yeah , i guess it’s a late decision but also is a good decision , world has already reached at ’4Gs & we still asking for ’3G’ & please tell me exect diffrence between ’3G & 4G’
    thanx :)

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  • Not required
    Nov 26, 2011 - 11:42AM

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA what a joke! They are allowing 3G, while on other hand putting banned on words from 2G.Recommend

  • Coldblue
    Nov 26, 2011 - 2:58PM

    The world is talking about and has in fact switched to 4G/LTE and Pakistani government is just going to issue licenses for 3G. No wonder we are behind.

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  • Ilyas afridi
    Dec 6, 2011 - 11:36AM

    Thats PTA Vision and mission!!!!!!

    Ofsos ofsos ofsos!!!

    Thanks to pakistan and espeically to PTA that they have take a good step towards 3G,while the remaining world have lanuched 4G/LTE.
    I am not sured that PTA will lunch the 3G at the end of 2013 but we should to pray for PTA to take a good decsion and to start the 3G licence…
    Good bye… not 3G its the time of 4G…Recommend

  • rabbil azim
    Dec 22, 2011 - 8:09AM

    in bangladesh we have almost 100% mobile coverage but yet have 3g . Teletalk our one of the leading operator will start 3g within 26 march 2012.they already taken 3g license form btrc

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  • Ali Raza
    Jan 15, 2012 - 12:29AM

    @Ahmed:
    hey
    I know some ppl working in different Telecom companies of Pakistan according to them there is no issue of tech n equipment they have all the latest gadget for 3&4g but they aren’t being issued the license. more over even the countries of Africa are now working totally on 3g are v worse then even them n countries like Bangladesh is on 3g. the reason of no licence is that our govt has a contract with a Dubai’s Telecom company that we wont launch a new tech until march 2013 n it’s approved by our Parliament

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