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Government Sets Base Price for Additional Spectrum Auction

Government Sets Base Price for Additional Spectrum Auction
credit: Pro Pakistani

The government has set a base price of $31 million and $29 million for the spectrum sale in 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands, respectively, which is likely to be held in June 2021.

Well placed sources informed that the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications is expected to announce a policy directive next week, to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for conducting a spectrum auction in June 2021.

PTA had hired an international firm – Frontier Economics Ltd – as an adviser for spectrum auction of 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands. The firm gave its report to the Advisory Committee for the release of Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) on April 29, 2021, which was presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin.

Sources revealed that the consultant had suggested $30 million and $27.5 million as the base price for 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands to the Advisory Committee.

PTA in its propositions to the advisory committee recommended a base price of $31 million and $29 million for 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands, respectively. Sources who attended the committee meeting said that it has decided to set base prices of $31 million and $29 million for 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands, respectively, while estimating need in the market, revenue generation, and enhancing the quality of services.

In September 2020, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had constituted the advisory committee for the release of unsold Next Generation Mobile Services spectrum to improve mobile broadband services in the country.

According to a statement issued, the Finance Division had then declared that the Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the committee would be:

  • To examine and evaluate the market assessment report and recommendations of PTA for release of maximum NGMS spectrum in Pakistan,
  • Examine and finalize policy directives for the federal government for the release of NGMS spectrum,
  • To oversee the release process to be conducted by PTA.

A PTA executive said that the objective of the consultancy was to devise a policy for existing mobile cellular license renewal and additional spectrum auction in 1800 & 2100 MHz bands in light of international best practices befitted for the telecom market.

Further, the consultancy was focused on spectrum pricing benchmarks for renewal and auction with future projections, targeting to deliver overall economic growth and incentivize foreign investment, considering the impact of past benchmarks and other related factors.

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One of the purposes was also a spectrum rationalization/re-adjustment plan to maximize efficient spectrum utilization in line with international best practices for designated spectrum.

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