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.