PTA is granting three months free trial of the next generation technology services providers

ISLAMABAD ( MEDIA )

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is granting three months free trial of the next generation technology services to major mobile companies in Pakistan to enable them to improve their preparedness before its complete adoption.

Chairman PTA Dr Syed Ismail Shah said the limited permission by the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) will enable the cellular mobile operators to identify their technical challenges before rolling out the new services to masses. The News reported.

The CMOs will be able to fine-tune their services and prepare for the next generation technology during the trial period that is expected to begin this month, he said.

The much-awaited auction of the spectrums is taking place in March this year. After the introduction, people in Pakistan are expected to enjoy high speed internet, live TV and Skype calls on the go on their smart phones by May this year.

The government is expecting to earn between one billion and two billion dollars from the auction of a 15-year licence for 3G and 4G.

PTA has already hired an international firm, Value Partners Management Consulting, for advice on auction process. The firm would provide professional analysis and advise the government on the base price, packaging of spectrum, auction methodologies and other issues related to the auction.

The chairman said special efforts are being made to ensure transparency in the process of auctioning and the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules are being followed strictly.

“Our focus is not only on short-term benefits, like revenue generation, but also on long-term gains, such as creation of new job opportunities and promotion of technology, enhanced knowledge and research and overall economic growth as can be seen from the policy directive issued by the ministry of information and technology,” he said. “Luckily, we have good and bad examples from other parts of the world. We will learn from the mistakes and follow the good practices by optimising the benefits for the country.”

He said the PTA and the consultants would package the auction in such a way that existing cellular mobile operators as well as the new entrants are attracted to it. “We will also contact international operators and request them to participate in the auction,” he said.

Dr Shah commended the IT ministry for facilitating the auction process and formulating a comprehensive policy directive. He said as per the policy, the licences will be technology neutral that means operators would be able to introduce the latest technology. He hoped that the successful operators would be able to introduce the new service within a couple of months of the auction.

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