Recently, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) for transparent bidding of 3G technology auction. The MoU is being termed as an “integrity pact”. Although it is a shame that Pakistan has to sign such MoUs with international organisations to ensure that no favouritism or undue advantage will be given to any party, it is better that TIP be taken into trust for overseeing of such a huge deal that means so much for Pakistan’s telecommunication sector.
From Pakistan’s Federal Finance Minister, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, constant assurances are being made about following of the rules and regulations during the bidding process. However, due to past experiences with the government’s lack of performance in many sectors, these are still mere words at this stage. They need to be realized when the real time comes. The 3G technology will be a step forward for Pakistan in economic stability and growth in employment for many people.
The world is now moving for the 4G technology and Pakistan has still not yet established 3G technology to improve communication technology. Other civil society organisations, like National Accountability Bureau, Public Account Committee, Chambers of Commerce, Securities Commission of Pakistan, Competition Commission of Pakistan, registrars of all courts and others, will be brought together for consultation on the auction and its thorough process.
The 3G technology has to comply with International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) specifications provided by International Telecommunication Union (ITU). In order to comply with the IMT-2000 standards, a system must provide peak data rates of at least 200 kbit/s (which is about 0.2 Mbit/s). There are also other versions of 3G technology indicated with 3.5G and 3.75G.