Final round of 3G spectrum licenses auction ends without change
ISLAMABAD: The final round of auction process for 3G licenses concluded at $902.82 million on Wednesday without any change from the previous four rounds and a $17.82 million increase in the bids since their beginning, Dawn News reported.
The total opening price of the four lots of 3G licenses was $885 million while there was an increase of $5.9 million in Lot D and $11.92 million in Lot A at the end of the three round auction.
At the end of the auction’s first round there was no increase in the bid price whereas there was an increase of $5.9 million in the bid price of Lot D at the end of the second round. Moreover, an increase of $5.9 million and $5.92 million in the bid price of Lot A had taken place by the end of the third and fourth rounds of the auction process.
Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Dr Syed Ismail Shah had earlier told Dawn that the first round of the license auction process had concluded with the four competing companies agreeing to the base price.
He later said that the bidding companies had three rounds of waiver available at their disposable which had been utilised in the previous three rounds (five – seven).
The companies that would succeed in winning the two 10 MHz licenses in the 3G auction would be awarded the two 10 MHz 4G licences.
Hence the expected total turnover of the auction would stand at $1.322 billion, with the addition of two $210 million 4G licenses added to the already accumulated amount of $902.82 million in the 3G liceses auction.
Some sources had claimed that the auction might be extended till tomorrow but the PTA chairman confirmed that the auction process would conclude today and the names of the winning companies would be announced shortly.
Initially, three 10 MHz 3G licences and two 10 MHz 4G licences were announced for auction but currently the auction for four lots of the 3G spectrum were underway.
The addition of another lot of the 3G spectrum licenses was made in accordance to a stipulation in the information memorandum for the spectrum auction.
The auction for the 4G licenses would take place after the completion of the 3G licenses auction.
The second and third rounds of the auction for 3G licenses, began with a two per cent incremental bid price.
The PTA committee is authorised to increase the bid price by one to three per cent per round.
There are a total of eight rounds of the auction process.
The base price for a 3G licence is $295 million and for a 4G licence it’s $210m.
Mobile phone companies can bid for one 10MHz bandwidth licence or the entire spectrum, comprising three 10MHz licences (a total bandwidth of 30MHz).
The four companies participating in the bidding had earlier logged on to the software of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) for the process.
According to PTA officials, the four bidders were assigned different colours, and each bidder would bid through the colour allotted to them instead of through their respective names.
The PTA expects to receive more than $1.3 billion from the auction.
The introduction of 3G and 4G spectrum in the telecom sector is expected to revolutionise the way subscribers stay connected.
4G provides even faster speeds and ultra-broadband services, putting data-intensive services such as online gaming, high definition mobile TV and video conferencing within the reach of the average consumer.
For consumers, the auction will not immediately translate into the advent of 3G connectivity on their mobile phones. In fact, the timeframe agreed upon between the PTA and mobile operators envisions 3G roll out within six months of the auction.
In the first phase, services will be available in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta and later on in other cities from each of the four provinces.
The second phase, which will start a year and a half after the auction, envisions the expansion of 3G services to about 80 more cities. In the third phase, which will begin about four years from now, 90 per cent of all tehsil headquarters will have access to 3G services.