The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MoITT) has today issued Policy Directive for the Auction of Unsold Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS). As during the 2014, auction in Pakistan, 30 MHz paired spectrum 1.9/2.1 GHz, 20 MHz paired spectrum in 1.8 GHz band and 7.38 MHz paired spectrum in 850 MHz band (only for new entrant) were put to auction. During the auction all 30 MHz paired spectrum in 1.9/2.1 GHz and 10 MHz paired spectrum in 1.8 GHz band were sold whereas a block each in 1.8 GHz and 850 MHz remained unsold.
Govt Issues Spectrum Auction Directive: Sets USD 295 million Base Price
For this purpose, the Government of Pakistan has decided to auction the remaining spectrum block in coming May, 2017. Keeping in view the growing 3G and 4G subscribers rate in Pakistan i.e. 38 million users, the MoIT has issued these policy directives to conclude the remaining spectrum auction process as soon as possible.
The PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif constituted an Advisory Committee for the Auction of Next Gen-Mobile Services (NGMS). The committee based on the emerging market scenario analysis conducted by PTA, FAB and MoIT has recommended auctioning of 10 MHz paired spectrum in the 1800 MHz frequency band as a single block.
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Based on the recommendation of Advisory Committee, the Federal Government, using the powers conferred by the section 8 (2) of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act 1996 (Amended 2006), has issued the following directives for the auction of NGMS:
- Transparent competitive auction process will be launched by PTA for assigning a single block of 10 MHz paired spectrum in the 1800 MHz band
- All existing cellular mobile operators as well as the new players will be eligible to participate in the auction
- The spectrum assignment will be technology neutral and usable for all NGMS (including 3G, 4G and advance generations)
- PTA will design the auction process to ensure fulfillment of the policy adjective of optimal outcome mitigating chances of collusion among bidders.
- The auction shall accordingly will be conducted by the PTA in minimum possible time after the issuance of this directive within the financial year 2016-17.
- The base price set for the 10 MHz spectrum auction is USD 295 million and payments and terms and conditions will be based on 2014 NGMS auction Information Memorandum (IM)