PTA to Revise 3G Information Memorandum

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is going to revise the information memorandum for auction of 3G spectrum license once the process of hiring of International Consultant is finalized by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), told Dr. Muhammad Yasin while briefing National Assembly’s Sub-Committee on Information Technology yesterday.

Briefing the committee, Dr. Yasin said the Information Memorandum will be revised after completion of the consultant process. The government has already considered the option of creating a group of local experts for auction of the 3G license, but during a meeting with the prime minister it was decided to hire a consultant for this purpose, he maintained, but the committee questioned that who will determine that the group selected consists of real experts and not personal choice of the government.

Advocate Anusha Rehman Khan was the convener of the committee. She discussed several case studies for 3G license auction with participants that could be replicated in Pakistan in order to earn maximum revenue.

She said that UK model is the best one and the government of Pakistan has to follow it. In order to make the method of auction more transparent, three points – efficiency, competitiveness and revenue generation – should be kept in front. All these points were ensured in the UK while auction of 3G licence.

The PTA chairman told the committee that after introduction of latest information technology policy issued on December 19, 2011 the government is going to revise its policy. Spectrum is a precious item and it required efficient use. “We are going to establish new terms of references.”

The PTA chairman further told the committee that for the sake of efficient use of spectrum, the government is using the word neutral technology (3G/4G/LTE etc) within the available space of spectrum. This is policy directive and widely used across the globe. The optimum use of spectrum means to generate more revenue for the government along with serving the people.

Speaking on the occasion, Telecom Ministry of Information Technology member Ismail Shah said that the government is going to offer three slots of spectrum and one of defunct license of Instaphone.

Any company that will have the license of Instaphone will have to start operations immediately and for three spectrum slots if new entrants remain successful, they can lay the equipment and system but commercially they can start function after June 2013. He said four new entrants (one for Instaphone and three slots for 3G spectrum) can participate in the process of auction for 3G license.

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