Around 75pc 3G, 4G license fee to land in national kitty this fiscal year: Anusha

ISLAMABAD: Minister for State for Information Technology and Telecommunications, Mrs Anusha Rehman on Friday said around 75 per cent license fee of 3G and 4G is expected to come to national exchequer during this financial year.

The total bids amount was Rs. 111 billion and this is a good sign for the economy that one of the successful bidders, China Mobile has indicated to pay full amount of two licenses it won during the recent 3G and 4G auction, she said while talking to mediapersons at a reception, organized here by Chairman of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Dr. Syed Ismail Shah in honour of telecom beat reporters.

The China Mobile, which won the bids of 3G license for US $ 306.92 million and US $ 210 million of 4G, has committed to pay the full amount, instead of paying the 50 per cent in advance and the remaining 50 per cent in installments in five years with 3 per cent libor as per rules.

Another operator, which also won the bid for 3G license also showed its readiness to pay more than 60 per cent in advance, enabling the authorities to collect around 85 per cent of the total bids amount which was Rs. 111 billion.

The remaining two 3G bid winners have also approached their Boards to finalize the payment schedule.

She said the government will ensure that the benefits of new technology should reach to consumers and in this regard it has approached the mobile manufacturers to ensure assembling of 3G and 4G enabled mobile handsets in Pakistan so as to provide quality sets at affordable rates.

Anusha Rehman said inception of 3G and 4G technologies would definitely bring economic growth and help provide new employment opportunities for the youth.

She said the youth should not only use the latest services for entertainment but also explore the technology for development of database and software.

She said the E-government system is being implemented in all federal ministries and their attached departments to create “less paper” environment and to ensure efficiency, transparency and good governance, so that efficient and cost effective services could be provided to people.

The Minister said utmost priority has been assigned to development of ICT sector and put in place all possible measures to accelerate development of technology and added the establishment of 500 Universal Telecenters (UTCs) in rural and remote areas throughout Pakistan would work as “resource centers” which would facilitate people by offering them services of birth registrations, e-commerce, e-health, e-learning, registration and verification of SIM cards/ID cards through National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

She stressed that the objective behind the establishment of Telecenters was to create job opportunities amongst the youth and to enhance ICT awareness in the remote and neglected areas of the country.

The Minister said project of technology parks was being pursued and these will be established in three metropolitan cities – Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore respectively to provide conducive technological environment and facilitate the companies working in the ICT sector.

Chairman, PTA, Dr. Ismail Shah said the process of grant of 3G and 4G licenses to operators would be completed next week which would enable them to start the service on commercial basis.

He said the PTA was also in process of preparing a software for auction and assured that the next bidding would be held through the software being prepared at the local level. He hoped the 3G and 4G would generate numerous economic activities.

Source: APP