Government decides to sell remaining 3G and 4G spectrum
In Pakistan, the commercial launch of 3G and 4G services have not completed up till now. The Government of Pakistan has decided to auction the unsold remaining 3G and 4G spectrum in the upcoming weeks.
On 22nd of March 2014, Government of Pakistan awarded 3G licenses to Ufone, Mobilink, Zong and Telenor while 4G license was only sold to Zong. On the other hand, two licenses were left unsold. One license is for 4G service with the base price $210 million and other license is for 3G service having the base price of $291 million.
For the potential competitors, these two remaining 3G and 4G spectrums were kept. No company i.e. neither presently active five Pakistani telecos nor the companies from abroad showed the interest yet to buy the unsold 3G 4G spectrum licenses. For the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), this condition can be tough.
Government of Pakistan has decided to look for Expression of Interest (EoI) from telecom operators to assess the market potential in next week as reported by Business Recorder meanwhile having a fear regarding lack of response from the market at the peak time. In the first half of the present fiscal year, government of Pakistan was hopeful to complete the bidding procedure for the remaining spectra. Unfortunately, the fluctuations in the market stopped the govt to initiate bidding. Therefore, a delay is faced. Government did not require EoI for the auction that held in April as telecos were ready to win the licenses. From the telecos, an awesome response was guaranteed at that time as it took years to set up the auction.
On the directives of the govt of Pakistan, PTA is all set to seek EoI through newspapers and from PTA official website. To prepare an own individual software for the auction, PTA is busy in working. No international consultant would be hired this time so it is expected that this process will complete in lesser time. Simspk sources that govt of Pakistan is not going to subject new policy because the same policies would continue for the auction which were being carried in the April auction.
It is also expected that foreign telecom companies would also be invited to take part in the bidding process of the unsold remaining 3G 4G licenses in Pakistan. For this purpose, PTA would send letters and emails to the targeted companies.