Instaphone licence to be auctioned in 2012 -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Instaphone licence to be auctioned in 2012

KARACHI: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has announced to hold auction of GSM Licence in March 2012 previously owned by Instaphone.

The announcement was made after the re-auction of the licence have been approved by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilan last month, while chairing a cabinet meeting. It was also decided in cabinet committee meeting that new international players as well as existing operators would also be invited for Instaphone licence auction being the sixth of the existing licence in the country and not a new licence.

The auction of the 800 MHz bad has been believed to attract handsome investment of more than $291 million, which was initial cost of the licence.

Presently, the telecom authority will notify the Information Memorandum (IM) containing inter alia auction methodology, data and venue later on.

On January 4, 2008, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) terminated the license of Instaphone due to the company’s failure to pay outstanding dues for the license renewal fee they agreed to in April 2005 ($291million). Pakcom, the company that runs Instaphone, failed to meet the payment schedule of $291 million for getting the operating license renewed for next 15 years from 2005. The Instaphone challenged the PTA’s decision before the Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court in appeals. Both the appeal and the writ petition were dismissed by the court and PTA’s determination was upheld. However, the court extended the date for making the outstanding payment by Instaphone to May 6, 2009.

PTA scrapped a licence of Instaphone a few months ago after Supreme Court of Pakistan dismissed Instaphone’s appeal filed against the determination order authority for paying outstanding dues of Rs 7.9 billion (including license fee). Instaphone was a telecommunications company in Pakistan and the pioneer of cellular industry in Pakistan. The company was initially owned by Millicom International and was acquired later by the Arfeen Group.

Source: Daily Times