Delays hang over Pakistan 3G lifeline

usmanhashmi

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s cash-strapped government has promised to sell 3G mobile telephone licenses to raise revenue, match regional rivals and drive prosperity, but the process has been beset by delays.

Even Afghanistan, Pakistan’s far less developed western neighbour with a weaker economy and more fragile state, has the technology.

But Pakistani consumers struggle to transfer data by phone, video streaming is often interrupted — although technically YouTube is banned — and video calls problematic.

Two months after the new government took office, there is little sign that the process will start soon.

Pakistan’s state minister for information technology Anusha Rehman told DSS that the auction alone could take six to eight months.

“The base price for 3G licenses is not set yet. Only once it is done will I be able to give a figure on how much revenue will be generated by the licenses sale,” she said.

But first the…

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