Much awaited Information Memorandum or IM for next-gen license auction has been published by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, after which we have a date of Auction for 3G and 4G licenses now.
While primary details are as they were revealed before, the auction for three 3G and two 4G licenses is set for April 7th, 2014.
Base price for one 3G license from 2100Mhz is set at $295 million while the reserve price for 4G license from 1800Mhz band is set at $210 million for a duration of 15 years.
In case a new operator wins the 3G and/or 4G license then it will also have to buy a GSM license worth $291 million from 850Mhz.
In order to win 4G spectrum in 1800 MHz band, the bidder must win at least one 3G license.
License auction will comprise of two phases. In the first phase, operators will have to submit sealed bids – which must not be less than the base prices of licenses — to qualify for the second phase.
Second and final phase will involve simultaneous multiple round ascending (SMRA) auction to determine the winner of spectrum. Second round of bidding will only happen if there are more operators than the licenses available for auction.
PTA has asked the stakeholders to submit their input on IM before March 10th, 2014. Operators will be allowed till March 19th to inquire about anything related to bidding.
By March 25th, 2014 – 4PM Pakistan Time – is the deadline for the operators to submit their sealed bids, along with a pre-bid deposit of 15% of the total value of the sealed-bid.
After assessing, PTA will announced qualified operators by March 28th, 2014.
Final round of auction – if required — will happen on April 7th, 2014.
IM has said that operators can either pay 100% of the license fee with-in 30 days of the auction or they can pay 50% with-in 30 days of the auction while rest of the payment can be made in 5 years in five equal yearly instalments.
Coverage and Rollout Obligations
IM details that operators will have to spread their 3G services in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta plus 10 more cities – one of which must be in each province – with-in six months. Down the line, they will have to provide coverage to 80% of District headquarters with-in 18 months.
Check below tables for more details on rollout obligations.
Minimum Rollout Obligation for 3G Licensees
Minimum Rollout Obligation for 4G Licensees
Minimum Data Rates for 3G and 4G
3G: Operators will have to ensure a minimum of 512Kbps data rate for over 90% of covered area
4G: Operators will have to ensure a minimum of 2Mpbs data rate for over 90% of covered area
IM said that operators will have to ensure national and International roaming services for its 3G and 4G services. Moreover, customers will be allowed to port out numbers from one network to other using MNP with-in a duration of one year.
IM urged the operators to encourage local manufacturing and R&D with-in Pakistan.