PTA begins additional spectrum Sale Process for better service in GB & AJK and raising funds.

Lahore (Nut-Desk)

In an effort to raise one billion US Dollars for government, Pakistan telecommunication authority has begun the process for the sale of additional spectrum to mobile phone companies.

The citizens of Gilget Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir will have better internet and call services as the new spectrum will be applicable for enhancing telephony and broadband services in Pakistan only as these frequencies will be applicable for the Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

PTA has issued the Information Memorandum (IM) to all the four mobile operators in country, offering each megahertz (MHz) in the 1,800 MHz band at $31 million and one mega hertz in 2,100 MHz band at $29m. The PTA is offering 12.8 MHz spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band and 15 MHz in 2,100 MHz band.

At the current base price the government is likely to get a minimum of $832m from the total sale of 27.8 MHz, if there is no competition among the four mobile operators.

The mobile operators will have to submit sealed bids within 35 days (mid-September). The whole process is expected to be completed in three months. The IM has also introduced an upper cap for the 1,800 MHz band on the mobile companies to restrict abuse of dominant position or giving advantage to any company with stronger financial position.

The limits on obtaining the spectrum of 1,800 MHz band has been set after taking into account each mobile company’s existing spectrum.

PTA has highlighted that Jazz will be able to bid on up to 5.2 MHz spectrum only as the company was currently using 24.8 MHz spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band while Zong will be able to bid on up to 7.4 MHz as it was currently using 22.6 MHz spectrum. Telenor and Ufone are not constrained by this spectrum cap as each of them currently holds less than 10 MHz.