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Pakistan telecommunication authority will announce the auction for the licences for the third generation (3G) mobile telecom services first time by end of this month, according to the media reports.

The license terms of around eight to 15 years would allow the licensees to immediately start offering 3G services to their subscribers.

"We're expecting 10 to 15 potential investors in the initial bidding process," Pakistan telecommunication authority (PTA) chairman Mohammed Yaseen told Reuters.

"The amount bidders would deposit with initial expressions of interest would be $31.5 million and the base price for the auction would be $210 million," he said.

According to the PTA, the auction related to 3G/4G/LTE would be held on 28th March 2012. However, there are unconfirmed reports of auction being delayed for some reasons. It is noteworthy PTA has already invited expression of interest for license/spectrum auction consultancy services last month.


Mobile telecommunication has exploded dramatically in Pakistan with numbers of mobile phone subscribers having reached 111 million until October 2011. There are five mobile operators working in the country including Mobilink, Telenor, Warid Telecom, China Mobile Communications Corporation's Zong, and Ufone.

To put it simple, third generation technology provides the infrastructure needed for scalable and high-speed data transmission in the mobile environment. This technology is widespread in the developed countries as well as in some developing countries where users use graphical rich mobile apps for mobile shopping, social interactions, digital financial transactions.

"With the launch of 3G, Pakistani cell phone subscribers will be able to transmit and receive high speed data through their mobile phones. High-speed data means possibility of video calls, internet browsing and downloading at a much higher speed, which also includes usage of data intensive applications," said chairman PTA in a statement.

Modern mobile communications are being harnessed to improve productivity of economic sectors from banking and finance and agriculture sectors to retail industry and promote minimal usage of energy.

3G/4G will connect Pakistani consumers to the happenings and convenient solutions in the digital world, which they miss due to lack of technology supports and regulations back in the country. Indian farmers are utilising mobile communication for irrigation purposes. They can switch on and off tube well back in the farm fields from their mobile phones from the comfort of their home in some villages.


The world is changing very fast. Is HP notebook or personal computer category gradually being replaced by modern machine such as tablet or specifically iPad? Whatever the growth figure of Apple's flagship product is, diehard officials of Palo Alto-based Hewlett Packard (HP) are not ready to concede heydays of PCs have come to an end as a befitting substitute in the form of tablet computer is now available in the market.

"PCs remain key tools for everything from video editing, music mixing, and spreadsheet crunching to thoughtful missives," said James Mouton, general manager of HP's personal computer global business unit. "And if you're sending Junior off to college, the first computing product needed for homework is a PC," Mouton responded to an email query by Forbes.

At the same time, he was not niggardly in accepting what he called the terrifically complementary role of tablets.

Driven by Apple's iPad, sales of tablets climbed staggeringly 247 per cent to 63.2 million units last year, according to a research firm Canalys. Desktops and notebooks stood not even near that rate of growth. However, in terms of number of units sold desktop and notebook including HP notebook outshone post-PC generation.

Total 112.4 million desktop units were sold last year, indicating 2.3 per cent growth while more than 209 million notebooks were sold, up 7.5 per cent. Netbook sales, however, plunged 25.3 per cent to 29.4 million units in 2011.

Apple generates much (approx. 75 per cent) of its revenue from post-PC devices including iPad, iPhone, and iPod. It sold collectively 172 million units of these devices in 2011. For the time being, it looks difficult if notebook users would be ready to give in the big-screen comfort. Future of netbook is however perceptibly gloomy.


As the most sought-after iPad 3 hit store shelves last Friday in around ten countries including U.S., Canada, Singapore, France, and Britain, the share price of the leading technology company soared to $600 first time in the history, roughly a $100 above the starting prescribed price of new iPad.

Earlier this month, the stock value broke the record by surpassing $500 mark registering overall 45 per cent climb this year.

Recent unprecedented jump in the share value brought total market value of the company to $560 billion.

Apple's iPad has been the pet peeve for Samsung's Galaxy, Motorola's Xyboard, etc. since its launch in 2010. So far, the company has sold more than 55 million iPads. According to a research firm Gartner, sale of tablets is expected to increase to 326 million by 2015 with Apple holding sway over the market.

Supporting 4G technology, iPad 3 is an ultramodern tablet computer with much faster chip, quad-core graphics processing unit, 5-megapixel iSight camera, and modern retina display to present lifelike displays.

Amazon's Kindle Fires could not stack up against its arch rival Apple's iPad in the first quarter. According to DigiTimes report, if there would 15 million tablets be shipped in the three months of this year, Apple's iPad 2 and iPad 3 account for a three-fourth (75 per cent) of total shipments.

The real impact of iPad 3 on global tablet industry will be visible only in the Q2. The sale of tablets will plunge 30 per cent in 1Q, forecasts the report.

"Shipments will consist of 11 million iPad 2 and iPad 3 units as well as 3.97 million non-iPad tablet PCs which will decrease by 50.8 per cent on quarter and include 1.5 million Kindle Fires and 300,000 Nook Tablets," it says.
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Publication:Pakistan & Gulf Economist
Date:Mar 25, 2012

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