Pak. government Giveing new entrants ‘special treatment’. CMOs



Revised Information Memorandum (IM) for the auction of the next generation spectrum (3G/4G) will be made public by March 17 that will address the concerns of all the stakeholders, said a senior government official on Friday. This was decided in a meeting chaired by the Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman Khan and attended by Secretary IT Akhlaq Ahmed Tarrar, Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Dr Syed Ismail and chief executive officers of cellular mobile operators (CMOs), said the official.

The CMOs raised their concerns on the initial IM issued by the government in which new entrants were given ‘special treatment’. The government officials assured operators of addressing all their concerns in the revised IM to complete the auction process amicably.

The operators were asked to submit their advices on the IM to the government by March 10, said the official.

He said the government welcomes new entrants from any country, be it Turkey or Saudi Arabia. The deal will purely be business-oriented, he added.

The official said that a Turkish company had appreciated the regulatory framework in Pakistan, performance of the PTA, Frequency Allocation Board, Competition Commission of Pakistan and ministry of information and technology for creating business-friendly environment.

In a joint declaration after the meeting, Anusha Rehman said the government would make all efforts to include the advices of all the stakeholders, particularly CMOs, to ensure transparency in the auction of the next generation spectrum.

“All elements of the framework will be structured to ensure benefit to the public, maximal investment into the rollout of network and financial viability of the mobile broadband market,” she stated.

A CEO of a company said that the meeting was held in friendly-environment and the government team showed commitment to induct the next generation technology in Pakistan.

The next generation technology was delayed after the controversies raised over the auction process initiated in the last government, he added.

According to the joint deceleration, a well-balanced formulation of auction design and regulatory mechanism for the ensuing licensing are considered imperative in ensuring successful auction and a healthy mobile broadband market for the ultimate benefit of the broadband deprived Pakistani telecom users. The industry representatives assured the minister of continued support.



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