Pakistan PM gives nod to 3G terms

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Pakistan's prime minister has given in-principle approval to the terms of a 3G policy, including allowing foreign participation in an upcoming spectrum auction.
 
The terms, which still require several stages of approvals, lay the ground for the auction of an initial three 10 MHz blocks of 3G spectrum, Associated Press of Pakistan said.
 
The auction would be open to both existing operations and prospective new international market entrants.
 
But any new players winning spectrum in the auction would not be eligible to commence operations until after March 2013, when a moratorium on the issue of new telecom licenses lapses.
 
There is however one existing telecom license up for grabs. The government also plans to auction off the defunct license once owned by Pakistan's Instaphone.
 
The government revoked Instaphone's license in 2008 alleging failure to pay outstanding dues. Instaphone appealed the move, but lost.
 
The terms also specify the auction of more 3G or 4G spectrum in the future, with an aim of allocating licenses by March 2013, so that services can start shortly after the moratorium expires.
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