STAFF REPORT IBD: Taking notice of the delay in the auction of the 3G licenses in the country, the National Assemblys Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) has directed the IT Ministry to accelerate this process by immediately appointing an international consultant. The international consultant would determine and review the auction process from scratch.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) was further directed to follow the best international practices in awarding the 3G licenses in order to fetch maximum revenue, efficiency and competitiveness.

The committee also unanimously approved the recommendations of the sub-committee with an aim to ensuring transparency in the process of 3G license bidding.

The telecom watchdog has also been suggested to avoid awarding more than one block to one operator as this would be anti-competitive. Alternatively, PTA must impose the condition to launch the 4G technology on two blocks brought by any one operator.

The PTA must observe the performance and financial viability of existing mobile phone companies before considering them to qualify for the bidding process.

The Authority should make criteria for appointment of international consultant transparent as well as complete the hiring process at the earliest so that the auction process of 3G could be completed without further delay.

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