ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has convened a high-level meeting on November 17 where he is expected to approve the Third Generation (3G) telecommunications policy and give a nod to the information technology (IT) ministry to take appropriate measures to introduce the technology in the country.
An official said that once the policy is approved, the IT ministry would direct Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to invite interested parties to invest and bring 3G technology into the country.
“Deliberations have been held at the President’s House in meetings chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari,” the official said.
The government has decided in principle to move from 2G to 3G telecom technology to upgrade its status in the IT sector.
The official said that the federal cabinet’s sub-committee, headed by Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh, has forwarded recommendations to the prime minister, who heads the IT ministry, to introduce 3G technology in Pakistan.
Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain, Water and Power Minister Naveed Qamar and Privatisation Minister Ghaus Bux Mehar are members of the committee.
He said recommendations say that 3G would have an effective economic impact as foreign investors would be interested in investing their money in development of IT. “Pakistan has huge opportunity in IT for foreign investors,” the official quoted the committee as saying.
It also said that 3G would provide employment opportunities for the youth qualified in the field of IT. The committee said that this move will help speed up e-governance projects which will strengthen government networking.
According to the official, “PTA has made all preparations in this connection and will invite interested parties through formal procedures as soon as possible.”
A source said that cellular companies and other stakeholders of the telecom sector have been waiting for this decision for long. The source said that cellular companies have made budgets for investing in 3G technology.
Developed countries adopted 3G technology years ago and now they have moved to 4G technology.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2011.
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