Breaking: Pakistan’s 3G Auction Plan Revealed, Base Price Set at $295 Million, 4G On Sale Too!


A photographer of Associated Press of Pakistan today unintentionally (read mistakenly) revealed government’s plan for auctioning 3G and 4G licenses.

While everyone is waiting for the IM, here’s what we have already found through a snap — published above — that was pictured during today’s top level meeting between 3G Advisory Committee and Anusha Rehman, Minister for IT and Telecom and Ishaq Dar, Finance Minister.

Luckily picture’s angle fully revealed the most important slide of presentation that 3G consultants were giving to Anusha Rehman and Mr. Ishaq Dar.

Here are the highlights for 3G Auction:

  • Government has plans to auction 30 Mhz from 2100Mhz spectrum while another 20Mhz in 1800 Mhz spectrum, with a block size of 10Mhz
  • Buyer of 1800 Mhz block will have to buy at least one block from 2100Mhz
  • License buyers will have to pay at least 50% upfront
  • Bidding will be sealed in the first phase. Second round bidding would be open.
  • License will be granted for a duration of 15 years
  • Base price:
    • 2100 Mhz: 295 Million dollars per 10Mhz block
    • 1800 Mhz: 210 Million dollars per 10Mhz block


Update: Pakistan to Auction Three 3G and Two 4G Licenses in April

Mr. Ishaq Dar has confirmed that above mentioned proposal for next-gen licenses has been approved by Prime Minister of Pakistan. For details click here.


This is what consultants for 3G – hired by PTA – have proposed the government, as evidently they are presenting the plan to the Anusha Rehman, Minister of Information Technology and Mr. Ishaq Dar, Finance Minister of Pakistan.

Consultants are now just waiting for government’s nod to finalize the IM for the public release by first week of next month.

Not to forget, this plan is not final and there might be a change in the base price or even the blocks that are on sale.

A good sign is that spectrum from 1800Mhz is put for auction as well.

Through sources we have heard that government might take-back the decision of auctioning 1800 Mhz spectrum, just to sell it at a later time.

However, moving forward, for the betterment of country it is extremely vital to auction 4G spectrum right away.

This will not only pave a way for the next gen broadband services in the country but in fact this can turn out to be an historic decision as move is likely to put Pakistan back into the top runners – regionally and globally – in telecom services and offerings.

Again, above mentioned plan is not final – however, it is very likely that these details may remain intact in the IM.

Image via APP and ET

Tech and telecom reporter for over 15 years

  • good news indeed!
    p.s: O! how i wish that the suited and able people to represent us in ministries.

    • Yes Zaim i am 100% sure they will, currently Pakistan is most frutile country in growing IT infrastructure and Telecommunication is back bone of this.

      There is huge gap between world and us which was due to this 3G technology.

      Once we have that and we will be open market for smart phones, tablets and Cloud computing they all will be like digging gold out from Pakistan.

    • Lower frequency can go through materials more easily (things like building walls, etc). That is why TV is even lower than that (under 800MHz).

  • BUt…….but….PTA chairman appointment has been challanged..If hez gone then auction will be set back..for ATLEAST another 3 months..

  • Well done Propakistani!!
    You have only missed out the name of the poor photographer, otherwise you have pinpointed the guy and the poor chap’s job is at stake just so you could get more hits on your website. Cheap tactics for publicity !!

  • this is a criminal act to public content of such an important internal discussion. Cheap publicity and media tactics. please !!! we should avoid and respect privacy for the interest of every one and nation primarily.

  • In my understanding, APP can definitely take ProPakistani to court for using its copyrighted image without its consent (which appears to not have been obtained because that would have killed the breaking story). But kudos to ProPakistani. Good reporting.

    • My bad.I thought its was Associated Press. But it is APP… So ProPakistani has every right to use this picture. Good reporting.. And bad government as usual :)

  • People are commenting as if 3G has been launched. This news flashes just pop up to keep us hopelessly interested in 3g.

  • $500 Million dollars each from 3 operators ??? absolutely ridiculous assumption … the sector has zero support from GOP, highest tax rates and you are in a middle of war and no foreign investor will put this kind of money in our economy … they should’ve followed Bangladesh model which is proving very successful for economy and the industry … but they are only interested in reducing the budget deficit for this year … short sighted !@#!@#$!@#

  • Good, lets just do it, we shouldnt waste any more time, techno world is really moving very fast, by the time we will start 3G, 4G advance will be main stream in 1st world.

  • The auction of 3G licenses can help Pakistan in long term only if local investment is encouraged by the Government instead of foreign direct investment i.e. international telecom companies. These companies may be able to bring in $500m in the beginning, but they will be sending out each paki rupee they earn here in pakistan in the form of dollars to their home countries, end result in the long run is loss of dollar, less foreign currency reserves and weak Rupee. This is what these international companies are made for, to suck blood out of the 3rd world countries.

    Thats why countries like india have a policy of having at least 50% share of the local investors/companies/persons in such companies, that way at least half of your rupee will remain in your own country and would not be converted into dollar to be sent back to the home country of the foreign investor.

    Our policy makers need to use their retarded brains for a while and try to make policies which would strengthen our economy in the long run.

  • It should be sold for a few billions rather than millions…..!! that’s peanuts for the number of active users actually using cell phone and internet services (existing 3G service) throughout Pakistan…… Considering companies like Whatsapp being sold for 19 billion, the proposed amount seems very low (and appears to be highly affected by corporate influence)…!!!

  • Considering the addressable market, GDP and size of economy, the proposed prices are peanuts. Tunisia being a small country sold a single 3G license above U$1B, most lately Telenor and Ooreedo bought 3G licenses in Myanmar while spending billion of U$. anyone who traveled to these countries can clearly differentiate the potential and addressable market when compared with Pakistan.

    The reason behind this lowest price benchmarks for 3G & 4G auction are mainly ARPU and inability of our regulator to enforce policies and backing telecom sector at the same time.

    Apart from regulator, commercial teams (driver of lower ARPU) of all the operators are responsible for setting up this price benchmark thereby resulting in -ive CAPEX spending which halted the growth in this sector.

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