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Govt to Make Rs. 30 Billion From Auction of 3G/4G Spectrum

The government is expecting to raise around Rs. 30 billion from the auction of an additional spectrum of 3G/4G called Top Up.

Well-placed sources told ProPakistani that around 15 MHz of spectrum is available to be presented for Top Up, and once the cellular companies’ demand is tabled, the government will make the final decision.

Sources revealed that the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) has sought spectrum demand for additional spectrum from telecom operators within two weeks.

Sources revealed that Federal Cabinet would constitute a spectrum auction committee to be headed by Finance Minister.

After getting approval from the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet and federal cabinet, the government would allow the release of an additional spectrum to be mainly used for improving the quality of services. Further, the government is expecting around Rs. 30 billion of non-tax revenue from the release of the additional spectrum.

Due to high prices and tough conditions, cellular operators were reluctant to participate in the last auction, and therefore, the government estimated revenue projection of $1 billion was missed.

A high-level meeting was chaired by Secretary IT and Telecommunications Mohsin Mushtaq Chandna in the MoITT to discuss the quality of services, consumer issues, and spectrum infrastructure requirements.

The meeting was attended by telecom operators’ executives, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairman, Frequency Allocation Board executive director, member Telecom MoITT, and other government officials.

The auction for additional spectrum was held last year in which only one out of four operators participated. The government had realized only $279 million, i.e., 33 percent of the estimated amount of $831.8 million from the Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) spectrum auction after three cellular companies did not show interest in the process while quoting price mechanism as a major hurdle.

The government sold 70.31 percent of the 1800 MHz band spectrum, i.e., 9 MHz out of 12.8 MHz. As many as 3.8 MHz (excluding 6.6 MHz sub-judice) in 1800 MHz and 15 MHz in 2100 MHz band (base price – $29 million/MHz) remained unsold.

The government had set a base price of $31 million per 1MHz for the 1800MHz band, and $29 million per 1MHz for the 2100MHz band.

The PTML (Ufone) had submitted a bid of $279 million for a 9MHz block in a 1800Mhz band, and since there were no other operators participating in the auction process, the total proceeds from the spectrum auction will stand at $279 million.

Courtsey: ProPakistani

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