Auction for 3G licence: PTA to modify Information Memorandum
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has decided to modify Information Memorandum, document that contains the proposed auction schedule, terms and conditions for the spectrum auction for next generation mobile services in Pakistan (including 3G and advanced generations). Dr Ismail Shah Acting chairman and Member Technical PTA told Business Recorder the authority is making necessary arrangements for spectrum auction for next generation mobile networks in accordance with the policy directive.
The spectrum auction for next generation mobile services would be completed by February 24, 2014, he maintained. As a first step, an advertisement was published in international and national media to hire consultant(s) of international repute, said Ismail, adding that the evaluation process of consultant(s) applications is expected to be completed by the end of November. Consultants will prepare the IM for the auction of 3G/advanced technology licenses in Pakistan. The IM is supposed to be the document that details the methodology of auction, base price, allocation of spectrum for auction and other similar information for interested buyers. IM will also define the criteria, requirements and other prerequisites for taking part in the auction. Once the IM is approved, the government would present the spectrum for auction and the whole process is likely to be completed by the end of February, next year, he added.
The consultant(s) would identify the number and size of blocks to be auctioned considering the market situation, recommend the most appropriate auction methodology and plan, reserve price for auction, design and management of the auction process, analyse potential impact on auction price with respect to upfront payment of bid price versus staggered payment over a period of five years, recommend the optimal bidding procedure and develop a license template for new license.
As identified by Frequency Allocation Board (FAB), 30 MHz paired spectrum in 1.9GHz/2.1GHz band is available for auction. PTA is entrusted to carry out the auction process, fulfilling policy objective of optimal outcome mitigating chances of collusion among bidders. According to the policy directive reserve price of 1 MHz shall be determined by the federal government after the receipt of report by consultant. The previous government had budgeted Rs 79 billion from auction of 3G in 2012-13 under the head of non-tax revenue income; however it failed to generate the amount. The incumbent government has revised the budgeted inflow to Rs 120 billion under the head of 3G for the current fiscal year.