PTA Chief assures transparent auction of 3G licenses

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications was informed on Wednesday that the auction and licensing process of much awaited 3G technology will re-initiated once policy directive on spectrum auction for next generation networks (3G) is finalized.

The Committee, met with Senator Muhammad Idrees Khan Safi in the chair was also informed that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has now received the notification of the Ministry whereby an Advisory Committee has been constituted.

The Advisory Committee, to be chaired by Minister of Finance, who will examine and finalize policy directive on spectrum auction for next generation networks (3G).

The newly appointed Acting Chairman of PTA, Dr Ismail Shah informed the Committee that as per direction of Apex Court the process of appointment of Chairman and Members has been completed and assured all matters including auction of 3G licensing would be resolved transparently.

He said that Advisory Committee would also oversee the auction process of 3G licenses which would be conducted by near future.

During the meeting, numerous question were raised with regard to gray telephony, roaming issues with Afghanistan and promotion of IT facilities in rural areas and PTA Chairman said the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been written a letter to suspend mobile phone roaming service with Afghanistan as part of security measures being adopted to combat terrorism.

Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecom (IT&T), Anusha Rehman, who was also present in the meeting said the government is committed to undertaking all those measures which ensure expansion and development of local industry.

She said the government was committed to the transparent auction of 3G technology, which will not only upgrade mobile network infrastructure but will also generate revenue for the country.

Anusha Rahman said the appointment of Dr Ismail Shah, and other members on merit shows the commitment of the government to the auction of 3G spectrum.

She informed that Prime Minister has constituted a high-powered committee to examine the existing monitoring system installed at PTA to curb grey trafficking, causing losses of billion rupees to the national exchequer.