PTA initiates process for third 3G/4G spectrum auction

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has initiated the process for third auction of 3G/4G spectrum in accordance with the directive of Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication.

The auction for 10MHz of spectrum in 1800MHz band (Band 3) for technology neutral Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) would be held on May 16, an official source said on Monday.

The base price of the paired spectrum has been set at $295 million.

According to an ‘information memorandum’ issued by the PTA, both Pakistanis and foreign applicants, including the existing licensees, could take part in the bidding process.

The source said the successful bidder would be given a license to establish, maintain and operate a technology neutral network and offer licensed services. The licensee would have to ensure that his/her network had no harmful interference to other licensees’ networks.

The licensee would have to inform PTA about the technology being deployed for the provision of next generation mobile services before the commencement of commercial services, the source said.

The source said the government had successfully completed two rounds of 3G/4G auction during last three years and going for the third one spoke volumes of its highest commitment and that of Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rahman towards a ‘Digital Pakistan’.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif constituted an advisory committee headed by Minister of State Anusha Rahman in February this year, which held a series of meetings to finalize the policy directive, including the base price and other provisions.

The auction for 3G/4G licenses held in 2014 raised $1.112billion. In 2016, the lincense for 850 MHz 4G spectrum was awarded to Telenor as no other firm participated in the bidding. The government has earned around $1.5 billion in the last two auctions.

Ufone is the only company, which does not have the 4G spectrum.

Source: APP

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