Telecom sector to see $2-3b investment in next 3 years

3G auction could net the govt over $1 billion.

Khurram Baig July 05, 2013
3G auction could net the govt over $1 billion. PHOTO: FILE


If the government plays its cards right and fast track the launch of 3G, it could very well act as a catalyst for triggering $2 to $3 billion investment in the telecom sector over the next three years.

Adviser to CEO Zong, Sikander Naqi, believes that the government can auction off 3G licences before the end of the current calendar year, if it can get the PTA in shape and organise the sale as soon as possible. “It’s not really rocket science to auction the 3G spectrum,” he said.

Naqi also said that there is no use being a bit player in this market and Zong is definitely aiming to challenge the bigger players, hinting that they are aiming to be number one, dropping very strong signals that Zong would be in the front, and will very aggressively be in the hunt for acquiring a 3G licence.

He expressed confidence in the current regime for being business-friendly and also reiterated that a fair price for the 3G auction would ensure that telecoms had more left over to invest in the expansion of their networks.

“It should be an auction based on open bidding, and I expect the government can easily raise $1 billion from it, the government is hoping for more,” he said.

Talking about the much-debated and controversial ICH issue, Naqi said that speaking as a Pakistani, and representing a company which has no stake in the ICH – Zong has no LDI licence – he believed that ICH should continue. “It is not the ICH which is the cause of call rates going up,” he said.

But he also lamented the absence of a level playing field for all the players in the market. “Why is it that Zong is the only player which does not yet have an LDI licence.” He said that the cabinet has given approval for this, yet the licence has not been issued.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2013.

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Luqman Khan | 9 years ago | Reply 3G licenses won't be auctioned until PTCL and Etttisalat problem is solved. Because PTCL is not allowed to issue any new licenses.
Shaami | 9 years ago | Reply @Truth Hurts: Pakistan have a WIMAX and W-CDMA setup for a longer time now which are technically 3G technologies. so i dont know what are you talking about. Also almost all companies can switch to 3G within weeks as it is not a big deal at all from 2.5G to 3G transformation.
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