I am sure many of you have been reading about the corruption case about 3G spectrum auction in India.  The purpose of this post is not to go over the details but to present a few thinking points about how developing countries should deal with issues such as auctions of resources, privatization and allocation of capital in a fair and just manner. It is no secret that corruption and nepotism is a major problem in many developing countries, South Asia (Indian sub-continent) suffers from this malaise.

Here are the 5 key points.

  1. Transparency and ethics should be #1 priority in Emerging Telecom Markets
  2. Role of Regulator can make or break the business case.
  3. Value of Spectrum – spectrum is a very precious national resource which should be allocated in just and fair manner
  4. Business Ethics should be a high priority of all stakeholders including all telcos
  5. Privatization needs to be handled carefully – lots of issues still linger from PTCL case!

If countries like Pakistan want to attract foreign capital then they should have a transparent system in place. When millions of dollars are involved, these things can happen. As recognized by many inside and outside Pakistan, PTA has done a good job of establishing standards and keeping most players happy.