The cellular license renewal and additional spectrum auction in 1800 & 2100 MHz bands in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) may face delay as not a single consultant qualified Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)’s laid down criteria for consultancy.
PTA has initiated the process for cellular license renewal and additional spectrum auction in 1800 & 2100 MHz bands in Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
Cellular License Renewal and Additional Spectrum Auction in AJ&K and GB Delayed
The Authority had decided to hire consultant (s) / consulting firm (s) for cellular license renewal and additional spectrum auction in Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan and had invited Expression of Interest (EOI) from local (Pakistan, AJ&K and GB) Consultant(s)/Consulting firm(s) who are on Active Taxpayers List of the Federal Board of Revenue, Pakistan.
PTA had extended the deadline for hiring consultants/consulting firms for cellular license renewal and additional spectrum auction in 1800 & 2100 MHz bands in Pakistan as well as Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
PTA had set a deadline of October 20, 2020, for submission of bids for hiring consultant for spectrum auction in AJK & GB which was also extended to November 5, 2020.
Sources revealed that consultants who had applied for the job did not fulfil the laid down criteria. PTA will again invite EOI from local (Pakistan, AJ&K and GB) consultant(s)/consulting firm(s) and resultantly the process would be delayed, sources added.
PTA spokesperson said that for AJK and GB, local consultancy was required. Two local consultants could not submit the bid as per RFP, hence fresh bids being asked which will not have much delay except two weeks additional required completing the process, he added.
The consultant(s) / consulting firm(s) will carry out the assignment in light of the detailed Request for Proposal (RFP), which includes but not limited to:
- Cellular License Renewal
- Additional Spectrum Auction
- Spectrum Rationalization Plan
The objective of the consultancy is to devise a strategy for existing Mobile Cellular License Renewal; and Additional Spectrum Auction in 1800 & 2100 MHz bands in the light of international best practices suited for AJ&K and GB’s Telecom market; focused on regulatory consistency for the investors, mobile broadband proliferation and future sustainability of Cellular Sector with an overall economic growth of the region.
Further, the consultancy is aimed at spectrum Pricing Benchmarks for renewal and auction with the future projections of next 3 x years, targeting to achieve overall economic growth and incentivize foreign investment, considering the impact of past benchmarks and other relevant factors.
One of the objectives is also Spectrum Rationalization / Re-adjustment Plan with an objective to maximize efficient spectrum utilization in line with international best practices for assigned spectrum. The aim will be to assign spectrum in a manner to make block size of contiguous frequencies by re-farming existing assignments to make standardized block sizes.
Further transparent and competitive spectrum auction plan with an optimal outcome, promoting mobile broadband proliferation, growth of cellular services and preventing collusion among the bidders is required as per the consultancy assignment.
The strategic vision of PTA is to create a fair regulatory regime to promote investment, encourage competition, protect consumer interest and ensure high-quality Information & Communication Technology (ICT) services.
The scope of work will include the following:
- conduct study/assessment of the available / assigned spectrum in 900, 1800, and 2100 MHz in AJ&K and GB; an international best practice on spectrum auctions/renewals and assignments keeping in view the aspects
- Consultation with relevant stakeholders including Cellular Mobile Operators, relevant governments and Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) HQs to assess the telecom market; its regulatory, financial and technical opportunities /challenges as specified.
Further, it will require the development of Policy Recommendations for Cellular License Renewal and Spectrum Auction Methodology comprising terms and conditions of licenses to be renewed; auction design, spectrum base price, rationalization plan and any other relevant terms and conditions