Published on May 4th, 2012 | by Arsalan Mir2
Will our 3G remain on the EDGE only?
I remember doing a post back in 2008 when talks of 3G Auctions first surfaced, at that point of time mobile internet usage was low and unpopular. The post at that time was titled “Looks like 3G is on the EDGE” and I along with Ammar Faheem (blogs at Telecomistan) were working on our FYP focused on evolution from EDGE to 3G.
Today in 2012, the 3G evolution have not yet made to the air in Pakistan but one thing that has immensely evolved here is the mobile internet usage. And this mobile internet usage remains on the EDGE.
Operators back then were reluctant for 3G due to low mobile data usage but now everyone will appreciate that the circumstances have changed. Today mobile data is not only need of the tech savvy but is also the demand of the Bottom of Pyramid (BOP) category citizen.
The latest on 3G is again a disappointing delay till the hiring of International Consultant which is not yet finalised by the PTA who shall advice on revisions needed to the information memorandum for auction of spectrum licence.
I would like to iterate some arguments made by Mr. Parvez Iftikhar in his guest post:
We have already been left behind by others who used to be our followers in 2G. Mobile broadband – or 3G – should have been introduced here already four years ago. The delay has made us lose huge opportunities relating to job creation, international trade, economic growth and Foreign Direct Investment (Telecom FDI 2007: US$1,824 mil and 2011: US$ 79 mil). Not to mention letting the technology gap between the advanced countries and us widen even more, despite the fact that more than 70% of our population is below 35 – normally considered early adopters of modern technology.
According to ITU’s World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database, a total of 159 economies worldwide have launched 3G services commercially and the number of active mobile-broadband subscriptions has surpassed one billion. Countries from New Zealand to USA are allocating huge amounts of national resources to deploy infrastructure, like Optic Fiber Cables, to facilitate delivery of broadband to the citizens. Whereas we are taking ages even to allocate the God-given resource of frequency-spectrum which will facilitate provision of broadband.
From 2008 to 2012 the plans to go beyond the EDGE are delayed for one reason or the other. Will our 3G remain on the EDGE only?