PTA aiming for 3G spectrum auctions by end of 2008; rural telephony and broadband also to expand

22 Sep 2008

The Associated Press of Pakistan is reporting that the chairman of the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA), Dr Muhammad Yaseen, has stated that the authority is in the final stages of preparation for the launch of 3G services. Dr Yaseen claimed that the PTA has consulted with industry players through seminars and forums and the auctions for 3G spectrum are expected to take place before the end of 2008. No details of the process have been finalised yet, and the PTA has noted that it is still in discussions with the Ministry of IT concerning the process.

Dr Yaseen also noted that rural telephony is set to see improvements in the coming year with the initiation of rural telephony projects including the Rabta Ghar Scheme, aimed at bridging the digital divide between urban and rural areas. Additionally, broadband growth is reported to have surged over the last year, with Yaseen claiming that broadband uptake grew 100% in 2007, and is set to continue as the PTA focuses on WiMAX rollouts.