We have good news finally. The grand auction of 3G and 4G technologies was held on 23 Apr 2014 under the auspices of PTA. The total amount coming in Government’s kitty is about $ 1.2 Bn, WOW! From what I have heard and followed, Ufone, Zong, Telenor and Mobilink participated in the auction while Warid preferred to stay away. So now the latest picture is like this;
Ufone got a 5 MHz 3G slot.
Mobilink got a 10 MHz 3G slot.
Telenor got a 5 MHz 3G slot.
Zong got a 10 MHz 3G and 10 Mhz 4G (Read LTE, in 1800 MHz) slot.
Although Ufone also wanted a slot in 4G spectrum but since it got only 5 MHz instead of 10 MHz in 3G so it could not meet the mandatory requirement for 4G. So we still have a 10 MHz 4 G slot which the Government says will be put up for auction soon.
I called up my network operator (Ufone) to inquire about the commercial rollout and was told, it will be soon. How soon? Not sure. There is a lot of speculation about the packages that will be offered by the operators. These I guess will be both volume based as well as unlimited ones. The mist will clear soon. So far it seems a win-win for all, the Government got richer by $ 1.2 Bn, the operators got licenses for 3/4G and we the consumers will see better services at slightly increased or inflated rates. The auction it is said will create more jobs, by some estimated to the tune of 100,000. I think it will greatly enhance the mobile apps market because high speed dependent apps will now be developed. This will for sure create more jobs, competition and resultantly revenue.
I think its now a waiting game, the operator which launches 3G first will for sure shift the balance towards itself as consumers are dearly waiting for this technology since long. So there’s competition here too, who launches fast services; faster Some say it will be within next two weeks as still the formal license award ceremony is yet to take place, after which the companies will get the dreaded NOC to launch the much awaited services.
So for the time being we, the consumers should focus on getting a good 3/4G enabled cell phone, an external battery or mobile power bank as it is called. It will also make sense to go for a small solar cellphone battery charger. These two are sure to provide the extra juice for long hours of operation.
And about Warid customers, well the best they can do is get their numbers ported to some other operator and enjoy fast services.