ISLAMABAD: On Monday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry directed the government to appoint the chairman and other members of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in the next 15 days, The Express Tribune has learnt.
“The appointments should be made before proceeding with the 3G licence auction,” said the chief justice.
The chief justice said that there is no existence of an organisation that can control grey traffic worth billions.
During the hearing, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja also questioned the government’s intention of having a regulatory authority for cellular companies in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s cash-strapped government had promised to sell 3G mobile telephone licences to raise revenue, match regional rivals and drive prosperity. However, the process has been beset by delays since the cabinet has to first appoint members to constitute the PTA.
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.
A growth in broadband penetration is expected to lead 1.3% growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) of Pakistan.