Published on May 26th, 2012 | by Arsalan Mir10
Point of View: 3G – Feasible and Running in Afghanistan but not in Pakistan!
Guest Post by Misbahuddin Abdullah
Before getting to 3G in Pakistan I want to share a few words about auction of 3G license in Afghanistan.
Just like in Pakistan, operators were also reluctant to purchase a 3G license in Afghanistan. Simple reason being- the expected ARPU & all that stuff. ATRA, the regulatory authority there, did a simple trick. Instead of selling three or four licenses of 3G, they sold only one!
Now, with competition created, every operator was willing to buy the license. Etisalat got it, although layman would expect Roshan to get it. Afterall, Roshan is the market leader in Afghanistan… Okay, rite?
The rules of business are simple. Why would Roshan want to buy 3G if its already making alot of money from 2G. So basically Roshan would be most reluctant to have an auction of 3G. The competitors would like to have 3G before Roshan gets it, so that they can nullify the early entrant advantage Roshan had in 2G in Afghanistan.
Once Etisalat got the license, they launched it within few weeks & immediately marketed it. Turmoil was up in Roshan.
ATRA still continued the game. Again held auction for one more license. This time MTN got it…..You can easily understand the rest of the story.
Now translate this for Pakistan.
Mobilink is the market leader in Pakistan. Why would it like 3G license to be auctioned in PK, if they are making hell lot of money from 2G. If 3G is to be launched, Mobilink will need to bring more investment & still face fresh competition from competitors. So Mobilink will use all its influence to get 3G license auction delayed in PK. And since we have alot of school going kids in PTA, they will always want to auction hell lot of 3G licenses :)
I dont get it….. ‘Why can’t PTA do it?’ Why can’t PTA sell one license of 3G?
Even the Afghans get it!
I can bet over this. If auction of just one license of 3G is held in Pakistan, PTA would get hell lot of money per license, than if it
sells 3 licenses.
3 licenses mean no effective competition- Warid has no money!
I have repeatedly suggested this idea of selling license of 3G one-by- one. Instead of PTA listening to it, its the ATRA who overheard!
Wonder when PTA will wake up!
And yes just one line for all those concerned with 3G feasibility in Pakistan:
If 3G is not feasible for Pakistan, how can it be feasible for Afghanistan?
I can expect that someone will say, “NATO forces will use 3G in Afg, while there are no NATO forces in PK” !!!
NATO will quit in 2014 (if not before)…. Then who will use it? Will the operators in Afg then dismantle the equipment?
One last thing. There is substantial increase in Etisalat/Afg revenue, although they have launched 3G only in Kabul.
The author is a NED alumni and telecom engineer by profession having 6 and a half years’ experience in Radio industry. Currently works as a consultant at Devoteam, KSA and have earlier worked for NSN, LCC, Roshan Telecom and Ufone.