ISLAMABAD - Taking the advantage of unnecessary hype of 3G/4G auction, cellular companies have set the prices of 3G and 4G internet packages very high.

The overall cost of 3G/4G licenses is Rs 111 billion, but for the telecom companies it is not a big amount that they are propagating, thus fleecing the customers by selling very expensive 3G/4G packages.

Sources in the industry believe that all this is happening just because of over one year delay in 3G/4G auction. During that time an unnecessary hype was created and now the telecom companies (telcos) are taking benefit of that hype and posing as if they are offering their users something that is unique.

Sources said that the companies have adopted a policy to sell their internet connection as expensive as possible for the first few months and telcos intend to recover their initial cost as much as possible during these months. But, they said that it is not the right business approach as there is no business in the world that returns the capital cost during the first year of business. A business that returns the initial capital within 2 or 3 years is considered a very high returning business. But in case of Pakistan, telecom companies want to recover the license fee in less than a year. For example the telecom operators were selling 2G internet in 500 per month and it was even unlimited so what has happened with the arrival of 3G that such connection is not available even in Rs 3000 per month. The sources believed that in comparison to a 2G connection costing Rs 500 per month, a 3G connection of same offer should not exceed Rs 1000 per month.

Companies have offered packages below Rs 1000 per month but in actual such connections do not last more than 4 or 5 days because the downloading limit is set as low as possible by the telecom operators. Sources also said that while the government has done a lot for the telecom operators such as it has even abolished the ICH policy just to benefit the telecom operators, it should take some stand on the matter of internet charges and should ask telecom companies to make it affordable for the customers so that the expansion of new technologies could be made possible in the country on fast track basis.