• Taimur Chambers Plot # 10-D (WEST), Fazal-ul-Haq Rd, Islamabad
  • (+92) 51-2278134, (+92) 51-2278135
  • Taimur Chambers Plot # 10-D (WEST), Fazal-ul-Haq Rd, Islamabad
  • (+92) 51-2278134, (+92) 51-2278135

Policy Recommendations Details

Policy Recommendations

a.     Spectrum blocks (i.e. 10 MHz) made available for current auction may not be enough for utilizing full potential of Broadband (3G/4G) services. In this regard:

(1) More spectrum be made available after reframing the exiting spectrum.

(2) MMDS Spectrum (200 MHz block), currently being used by Sun TV may be vacated and used for offering Broadband Services in Pakistan.

It is a usual ITU practice that if an allocated spectrum is not used, it is taken back and reallocated or re-auctioned for its optimum use. Freq Spectrum is a national asset and is allocated for a period for which it is to be used on payment of its specified fee. Besides the 200 MHz mentioned here, there are many other users of the spectrum who are using it free e.g. PTCL are using MW and single channel radio spectrum for almost free. Reframing of the spectrum as proposed would generate more funds for the government.

b.   A lot of delay has already been made. Pakistan cannot afford to delay the process further. Any more delay in auction will adversely impact economic growth potential that can be otherwise realized immediately.

c.   Base price setup for auction of spectrum is adequate as it has been derived after extensive study/consultation. It may also be kept in mind that the subject auction and subsequent implementation will generate a lot of economic activity thus resulting in value addition for the country.

d.     The Information Memorandum (IM) may be strengthened further. It may impose strict obligations on the successful bidder in terms of roll out, adding value to the country’s economy and Transfer of Technology. The spectrum auctioning process must not be aimed at mere generation of revenue, but should place performance obligations on the licensees.

e.  Clubbing of Spectrum Auction with Award of License has caused confusion among prospective investors. It may be more appropriate if these two processes are carried out separately.

f.      Following factors will play an important role for making Broadband service a success story in Pakistan:-

(1)  The cost of handsets would be very important. While 3G handsets cost more than US$ 30, the cost of LTE enabled sets (US$ 300) is still out of reach of many Pakistani subscribers.

(2)   Tariffs of broadband services should be revised downward.

(3) Awareness of subscribers regarding broadband services should be an ongoing process. One of the obligations of license winners should be to create awareness among the masses of the country. The number of subscribers brought on-line by them would be a good measure of it.

g.   It is suggested to adopt a hybrid approach; i.e. utilizing the mix of fiber optic (for transmitting highly speed internet) and Wi-Fi hotspots (for providing high speed Access to users). The 3G mobile broadband is an evolutionary process to optimize current assets, before moving towards new and further advanced systems (network radio interfaces and spectrum). However, 4G technologies are inevitable and government must also plan a roadmap for acquiring these technologies which are currently used on  trial basis in various countries including India. Also the Indian experience of the adoption of 3G and its pitfalls should be taken into account.

h.    The current national IT and Telecom policy is outdated and government must work on framing  a clear, multidimensional, stakeholder-friendly  policy, plan targets and provide an implementation roadmap that can cater our both short term and long term objectives.

i.        There must also be an inbuilt approach and obligation for telecom operators for capacity building and training of Pakistani telecom professionals who currently are not competitive in international market due to lack of working experience on  advanced technologies such as 3G/4G. 

j.   Government must immediately appoint a minister for IT and Telecom and consider constituting a highly competent and professional team to manage telecom entities in the country. In view of global rapid development in IT and Telecom, and an extremely competitive environment, further reliance on ad-hoc arrangements are not serving any purpose for the country. In fact, it has already caused a colossal damage not just to the ICT sector but to the overall economy as the ICT sector encompasses all sectors.

Date: 23 Feb 2012 - 23 Feb 2012

Venu: SDPI Seminar Hall, 38, Embassy Road, G-6/3, Islamabad

Time: 10:00AM-12:30PM

Speakers:

  • Mr. Salman Ansari, CEO Telecommunication Consultants
  •  Mr. Shahid Mahmood, CEO Interactive Group of Companies