Yesterday, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) issued policy directives to the regulator for the auction of spectrum in order to improve the quality and outreach of telecom and broadband services in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). In addition to that, the government also approved an additional spectrum for the state-owned Special Communications Organisation (SCO) operating in the region.
Govt Approves Additional Spectrum For SCO in AJK and GB
After providing the policy directive to all the five cellular operators in the region, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is expected to issue the Information Memorandum (IM). Right now, a total of five operators are rendering cellular mobile services in AJK and GB which include the SCO, Jazz, Telenor, Zong, and Ufone.
The government has set a base cost of $0.87 million for each megahertz (MHz) in 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands, and 16 MHz spectrum in 1,800 MHz bands and 30 MHz spectrum in the 2,100 MHz have been placed for auction to the four mobile operators for next 15 years. However, an additional spectrum of 10 MHz in both the 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands has been approved for SCO only.
The auction will prove to be beneficial for the governments of both regions. According to the IT ministry,
This ever-increasing reliance on mobile broadband services necessitated the demand for availability of more spectrums to meet the connectivity needs of the citizens of AJK and GB.