The news of the advent of 3G and 4G Technology in Pakistan has been roaming around on our social media and newspapers from the last couple of weeks. 3G and 4G are two of the most mysterious features in the mobile technology dictionary but they both are used as a cell selling term relentlessly to raise its market. Now we all fancy smartphones with latest technologies and are into upgrading it. The trend has risen up in Pakistan more specifically among Pakistani Youth to acquire and enjoy a fully loaded luxury device. we were happy using packet data and Wi-fi to keep track with the e-happenings but as for now, the red hot talks about 3G and 4G network coming to Pakistan and who’s the highest bidder, what exactly do these networks do and how will they be beneficial; we all are very much eager to know.
G stands for generation of mobile technology installed in cellular phones. G requires you to get new phones and for the networks to make expensive upgrades. In the past there were analog and digital cell phones 1G and 2G respectively. Third generation mobile networks or 3G first made its entry in U.S in 2003 with minimum consistent speed of 144Kpbs 3G is an alternate to ‘’mobile broadband’’ it can provide you with the internet speed between 400Kpbs and about ten times more than that. It means with the arrival of this new base technology, users will be able to surf net with faster speed with more data per user and a better voice quality. 4G phones are supposed to be even faster (not always). Lets not get into the technical and theoretical details of 3G and 4G networks.
As per the recent news, on Wednesday, 23rd April 2014, Pakistan successfully completed the auction for third generation telecom spectrums (finally), the first of its kind. After refusing to get its license in the past – by raising $1.112 billion or 111 billion from the process. PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) offered three bands for 3G spectrum and two for 4G with the available frequency of 30 Mega Hertz under 2100 Mega Hertz band. Surprisingly Zong managed to secure both the 3G and 4G spectrum license, while Mobilink, Ufone and Telenor secured only 3G licenses with 10MHz, 5MHz and 5MHz respectively. Zong won the bid with a price of $306.9 million, Mobilink with $300.9 million, Ufone and Telenor with $147.5 million each totaling the amount of $902.820 million, under 1800 band of 4G spectrum at the base price of $210 million. Though Dr. Ismail Shah of Ufone also put a bid of $210 million for 10MHz spectrum out of 1800MHz band but PTA disqualified Ufone because it did not meet the condition of Information Memorandum (IM). Plus the Ufone grabbed lot of 5 MHz in 3G so its bid for 4G could not be entertained.
The Government had budgeted a total of Rs120 billion through the 3G auction but was able to get Rs111billion out of which about half percent would be deposited into the kitty before June 30, 2014.