ICT Forum Terms 3G / 4G Auction Process Satisfactory


ICT Forum Pakistan has shown its concerns over various news stories that started appearing after 14th April, the day 3/4 G Auction bids were submitted. A statement issued by ICT Forum Pakistan, an independently working think tank with focus on Pakistan’s telecom sector, said that such baseless stories – involving a respectable foreign news agency – were frustrating, and a distraction in the management of Auction process.

In a rhetoric manner there had been some clarifications by Govt. and PTA, however the general perception about the process remains only partially addressed, the statement said.

ICT Forum said that a successful 3/4 G Auction, after three abortive efforts, has become very important for society and economy of Pakistan. Any attempt to meddle or tinker or make it controversial may create scare and may discourage fair participation of bidders.

While showing its contentment over the 3G / 4G spectrum auction process, the forum feared that there might remain some unsold spectrum during the auction.

Check below the excerpt from the statement:

Spectrum resource of any country is a valuable (commercial/strategic) asset and therefore its auction and process design must be in expert hands, and PTA and it’s Consultants have so far done well completing all process stages through visible and transparent process design within internationally accepted norms.

However there are two noticeable issues:

  • Chances of leftover spectrum after auction process and
  • Absence of new entrant in the Auction.

In the view point of our Forum these issues were always expected. That is why in the suggestions submitted by this Forum, during the consultation stage, two of the inputs given were:

  • Initially, during the time allowed for 4G coverage, winners of 1800 MHz spectrum may be given a moratorium for that limited period, to use a part of the 1800 MHz band for any technology that they choose (eg: 2G)..”
  • Through the IM a commitment should be given that this particular piece of spectrum, in the 850 MHz band, could also be purchased by the existing Licensees, provided there is no new bidder for it. Therefore at the stage of initial sealed bids, all bidders may bid for it. In case there is a new bidder, the bids of the existing licensees may be returned unopened.”

Both the above suggestions were not accepted. Had these suggestions been incorporated, it might have allayed negative comments that are coming now.

The absence of new entrant would not have been felt and 1800 MHz band would be more lucrative for the operators, generating fierce competition.

Despite the above, ICT Forum appreciated that in such broad based auction process the accepted approach is to put all the available spectrum on the table for auction and it depends on the business strategy and approach of operators which of the slots suit them so that they can apply their business sensitivity tests while finalizing their bids. In such cases, sometimes there is some unsold spectrum at the end of the auction.

Internationally there are examples where the auction had been successful, yet there had been left over spectrum slots which were auctioned in later auctions.

Among Professionals and expert analysts there is an almost unanimous view that in the past few months PTA has raised its level and remained above board and comfortably addressed all intricate/complex issues of spectrum auction.

It appears that enough measures through widespread consultative process were taken ensuring fair competition, extracting decent sale-proceeds through two stage bidding/auction process. Efforts made in critically important areas deserve a pat, rather than lashing, on the back.

As analysts we believe that though there was room for improvement in the auction process (as stated above), at this stage there is need to refrain from adverse/personal or biased views, Rather objective inputs & facilitative analyses/research would better serve the purpose.

We, as professional analysts, wish the process a success while keeping an eye on the auction and its implementation.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • rimsha khan

    3G and Pakistan…Best NGN……New arenas….New opportunities… New Development…Welcome 3G…Thx PTA and the Cellular companies…

    • khan

      you are right bus dua karen mujhe nOkia e55 mill jae ta ke 3G use kar sakun

      • Haida Kay

        hahaha gud one :P

        • Khan

          Nokia e55 is best.
          sub kuch hai is men.yeh aik smart phone hai,
          Baki glaxy iphone htc to banda public men use bi ni kar sakta keo ke logo ke pass nokia 1280 ho aor hamare pass iphone 5c to yeh ajeeb lagta hai.
          Nokia e55 dekhne men simple hai per is men boht kuch hai :) :D :D

          • Yasir Ali

            Good thinking khan , I apriciate ,

    • Mahnoor Kamal

      @rimsha khan can you please elaborate NGN???

      • rimsha khan

        Next Generation Network (NGN)

        • Mahnoor Kamal

          I know this… tell me the technical points, what do you mean by “BEST NGN”??

  • muski

    consecutively getting 3G and 4G signs on my Telenor signal bars! Hopefully the abovementioned services would come to us at economical prices… or else.. . ALL will be in VAIN.. . :-)

  • Muhammad Aamir

    I hope this auction will take place smoothly, no one can cease us to bring new era technology!

  • Bonga

    More than anything else, the 3G & 4G spectrum auction was carried out to bridge Federal Govt’s budgetary gap. Having said that, significant FDI could have been realized had new entrants come to Pakistan, and the best way to do that was to let them secure licenses in the 850MHz band. The biggest area of contention was new entrant’s condition to impose a 1-year moritorium on 3G service launch, which would have been unfair to the incumbents. A workaround could have been to have new entrants gain market entry via an MVNO arrangement with incumbents while their own facilities were being built —- and I don’t know if such a scenario was offered or explored.

    It is a real shame that 850MHz spectrum is not being utilized, and this is where I will fault the MoIT & PTA for not trying harder. This could easily would have brought $3-4 Billion FDI while creating thousands of jobs.

    Just my 2 cents worth!

  • Ayesha Waseem


  • mariyam

    oh my god i can use mobilink 3g @ nite from 11pm , just go to settings , change ur network from gsm to umts only, in f8 markaz i live near mobilink office , speed is 16mbps, wooooooooow i cant beleive this, its free tooo really

    • AK Mustehsan

      That’s for testing purposes, it’s not seriously meant to be used by the general public. And 3G is NOT even coming because of lack of board of directors.

      • sana

        3g is coming why to be so hopeless.

      • Tanveer Ali

        Dear bro auction will be held on 23rd of April. Two gays are left. This time auction will not be delayed.

      • Rashid Iqbal

        no my bro you are wrong and see the brief of chair man PTA what he say you have believe on media which always gave us wrong reports

        • Mahnoor Kamal

          you are true my brother @disqus_QhZnbZufBB:disqus …

        • AK Mustehsan

          It’s basically the international media like Reuters.

      • Mahnoor Kamal

        Don’t believe on rumors…

        • AK Mustehsan

          It was in fact a rumor, made by Reuters. Well you guys finally got both 3G and 4G LTE.

    • Rana Rehan

      can u plz tell me the method??

      • mariyam

        where do u live in islamabad , n do u have telenor?

    • sana

      u are ryt but ithe companies are testing it..mariyam.

  • mariyam

    u will have to wait for 5 to 10 mint becuse network will first recognise u, its amazing ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh god really fast…..

  • sana

    i was reading coments down below why w all are negative about 3g and 4g some peoples says that its not coming bla bla bla…so why to be so hopeless and are they working in govt sector that they know all about it..just spreading retures all ove the blogs..dont lose hope..3g and 4g both will come in pakistan just wait for 2more days and see then i know that people will disapper 4rm the blogs.

  • Rashid Iqbal

    INSHALLAH, This auction will be on time and take place smoothly.and we all enjoy the 3G and 4G technology hope for the best

    • Mahnoor Kamal

      :-) well said…

  • Sadam Waqas Khan

    Cellular companies participation is making this auction successful, hope this will produce jobs opportunities in telecom sector

  • naveed

    a big change will be in a telecom sector…