Govt all set to auction 3G licences in March
ISLAMABAD – The government is set to auction the spectrum for next generation mobile network in March this year and for the purpose the consultant hired by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has started consultation process with stakeholders.
The purpose of starting consultation process is the finalisation of Information Memorandum that is the key document to be finalised before auction that is expected to be held in March 2014. The sources said that the government has huge financial gains expectations from this auction and is committed to do it in the current fiscal year. The government has targeted to earn around $1 billion from the said auction and also has projected the amount in the budget. Though mobile operators have concerns over the price of the auction and claim that they might not be able to invest on the promotion of technology after spending huge amounts on the licences. Presently there are 3 blocks of 10 GHz each are available with PTA for auction. On the other side there are 5 telecom operators in the market, moreover new entrants too might be allowed to enter in the bid that will make it a perfect competition and the government might be able to meet its financial gains expectations attached with the auction.
The sources said that it is not yet final that the 3 blocks will be sold to individually or the authority decide to convert the available spectrum in to 2 blocks. As per stakeholders if at least 3 companies buy the spectrum of 10 GHz each that will help promoting the new technology on fast track basis due to competition among the companies but if one company buys 2 blocks that will create a monopolistic situation in the market. In the second case the internet services will be available to consumers at a very high price.
Whereas, as per PTA sources there is nothing yet final at the end of authority and after due consultation process the terms and conditions will be finalised those will be decided while taking on board the stakeholders and will be available to public as well.