All Four Operators Bag 3G Spectrum, While Only Zong Took Home 4G license

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After waiting for years, and a fairly long auction day, Pakistan is all set to roll-out the 3G service after the successful auction of the 3G and 4G spectrum.

We hope you enjoyed ProPakistani’s day long minute by minute live coverage of the auction; lets summarise and review the final outcome of the auction.

All four operators participating in the auction, namely Mobilink, Telenor, Ufone, and Zong, bagged the 3G spectrum; while only Zong went on to bid and acquire the 4G spectrum.

After eight rounds of bidding, Zong and Mobilink won 10Mhz block for 3G spectrum, while Telenor and Ufone won 5Mhz blocks for 3G spectrum.

According to information revealed by PTA — during the sealed-bid phase — Ufone had submitted a bid for 15Mhz, while Telenor, Zong and Mobilink had submitted a bid for 10Mhz from 2100Mhz spectrum for 3G services.

Only Zong managed to secure 10Mhz of 4G spectrum from the 1800Mhz Band.

Even though both Ufone and Zong had shown interest in 4G spectrum; but since Ufone failed to grab the 10Mhz lot of 3G spectrum from 2100Mhz band, a mandatory requirement for acquiring 4G spectrum, Ufone was consequently held not eligible to win the 4G spectrum.

This meant that one 10Mhz of 4G spectrum went unsold. However, Chairman PTA Dr Ismail Shah was optimistic that this unsold spectrum will also be sold in the coming few months. On the other hand, Finance Minister Mr. Ishaq Dar claimed that this unsold 4G spectrum will be sold within a month.

Mr. Dar made these comments during his speech after the conclusion of the auction.

Through this successful auction of the 3G and 4G spectrum the Government of Pakistan managed to generate a total of US$ 1.182 billion. Out of which US$ 902.82 million came from 3G and US$ 210 million came from 4G spectrum.

While the 4G spectrum was sold to Zong at the base price of US$ 210 million, the collective price of the 3G spectrum was US$ 17.82 million higher than the base price of US$ 885 million.

The two 5Mhz of 3G spectrum were sold at the set base price of US$ 147.5 million. Out of the two 10Mhz blocks of 3G spectrum, the base price of which was set at US$ 295 million, one was sold for US$ 306.93 million and the other for US$ 300.9 million.

With the conclusion of the auction, now the telecom operators will compete with each other to be the first one to commercially launch 3G service in Pakistan.

Operators have been testing 3G services from sometime now and a lot of high profile parts of Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, and Peshawar were experiences 3G service throughout the auction day; hence, it should not be long before we get to know the various packages each company will be offering.

We predict that 3G service will be rolled out within two weeks time.

ProPakistani would like to congratulate the PTA, MoIT, telecom operators, and all other entities involved in this process for a successful auction of the 3G and 4G spectrum. 


  • It will be interesting to see who commercially launches 3g first.

    My one question is? Is zong network 4g ready? Are the sites ready to deliver lte?

  • Aamir Bhai, first of all Welldone for your yesterday coverage. I really appreciate.

    I dont think currently Zong is ready for 4G but they will start the services after a year.

    Let see how they manage this 3G in our country related to internet speed.

    • there are some rules by pta also, check those for deployment of technology and the time limit.
      they are obliged to provide the service, it also means they are ready, that is why they bid for it

  • Brilliant coverage by you guys yesterday, i have a question Mobilink has secured a 10mhz spectrum of 3G are they able to buy 4G now if they can as a 4G spectrum is available.

  • Aamir good job yesterday.How come Telenor and Ufone got 5MHz block each for 3G and Zong got both blocks of 10Mhz and Mobilink 10Mhz block of 3G only.How have they contended for this specially three big operators?the difference b/w base price and sold price and the difference of 10MHz and 5Mhz sold price is also negligible.

    • actually mobilink and telenor are well established companies where zong is growing and also they want to get advantage into a different area other than voice because they are facing least AROU now. Telenor did not go for 4G because they are waiting for pakistani market to be meture enough with 3G to adopt 4G… zond want to be market leader in mobile broadband as they could not survive with current situation… it is a big investment just to raise their level…

      • Actually i have a thought that Zong is fooled by 3 bigs.none of them opted for 4g.telenor ufone delibrately took 5mhz @base price,where as mobilink has to bid Somewhat marginal more than 5mhz to get 10 mhz.

        • China mobile is world’s largest company and it was not only bidding.. it was a strategic decission.. what would you do if you have to invest 22 billions PKR only for license and $$$ for network prepration etc… come on dear.. think deeply

        • Telenor Pakistan Telenor Pakistan did not bid for 4G as we believe the ecosystem for 4G in Pakistan is very much in its infancy and thus does not merit an investment in 4G license at this point in time… This is what telenor thinking about 4G

  • Very good live coverage.

    P.S. My Chrome kept telling me ProPakistani is vulerable to Heartbleed SSL bug. May be you can do something about that as well!

  • excellent work done by PTA well at last what PTA said they have fullfill it and the auctions have been done in their time..

  • Hats off tou you Aamir for live coverage. I was continously online to see what is going on. I hope these next generation licenses bring a new era in Pakistan. These are not substitue of food or other basic needs but still can play a positive role towards making Pakistans economy strong.

  • Folks, to lauch a 4G it requires a complete Network swap and all 3 opcos hasn’t ready for 4G. it may be predicted that Zong installed new network by keeping in a view of 4 G.
    Point to pnder : Zong will utilize this 4G MHz smartely and first it will utilize for 3G by providing high speed data travel.

  • Now confuse between mobilink or ufone. I think i have to wait for the decision regarding unsold 4G spectrum. Definatley not going towards ZONG for 4 or even 6G :-D

  • its good news now 3G technology is in pakistan and also 4G, we all are thankful for Pakistan government PTA and all the telecom companies which participate in auction and specially for zong good great work and one thing more congrats all the nation………..

  • i am thinking of changing my network from telenor to zong. i will wait and see the quality of 3g services from these telecoms

    • Telenor 3G is also good 7.2 mb per sec (lahore) with out too mich users but zong have a wide coverager of 3G in Lahore

  • its good to have new tech. but what role will it play to develop or ruin the new generation is still a big question which very few will understand

    • Many reasons … Very few people have lte cell phones of which very few of them use it as its data plan will be like sky high …

      Even 3g will be expensive roughly Rs.1200-1500

      • they spent 4.3 billion $ for 3G and 4G will require much more.. so it is not about license.. it is about network over hauling…

  • Excellent live coverage of 3G/4G spectrum auction provided by you people yesterday. Thanks for your valuable coverage. Keep good work going on :)

  • Congratulations to you all. Very glad for this breakthrough. Hope that Mobilink (which was part of Egyptian company Orascom Telecom) will provide you with the best 3G service. Long live Pakistan and Egypt.

    • It is to remind you that the Mobilink is not the part of Orascom telecom. Its is now the part of VimpelCom (A Russian Company)

      • Mobilink is still owned by the Egyptian company Global Telecom (ex Orascom Telecom). Vimpelcom is owning 51% of Global.

  • There were two 4g licenses announced,zong got one 4g license.will anyone tell me that what will happen for 2nd 4g license?

  • Zong should start giving out 4G supported on contract/plan as most of the people cannot afford a 4g device…. This is the only way 4G would reach every NOT SO BLESSED smartphone users…

  • It certainly has been an excellent experience to have ProPakistani as a primary
    source to get updates from regarding the auction yesterday. I’m delighted.

    I believe everyone including myself is interested to know more about tariff that
    I suspect will be around PKR 1,500 for 1GB of data for most of the operators.
    There will be some bundled packages available also that will mean lower cost
    per GB for resource hungry users. Still most of the people will have to keep
    their PTCL DSL thing running in parallel. (I’ve negative feedback about PTCL’s
    service by the way)

    In case you are interested;
    I’ve been reading about mobile networks in Pakistan recently specially about
    Mobilink (as that’s what I use) Mobilink is a child company of Vimpelcom
    (A Russian telecom giant). Parent company of Mobilink is 42.95% owned by
    Telenor group (that was surprising for me to know)

    I’d also like to thank ProPakistan for yesterday as you have put some real
    effort in providing us with updates. Welcome to 3G Pakistan.

    Let’s wait for LTE as I’ll only believe in it the day I’ll see ZONG starting to offer
    the service with at least some happy users.

  • It certainly has been an excellent experience to have ProPakistani as a primary
    source to get updates from regarding the auction yesterday. I’m delighted.

    I believe everyone including myself is interested to know more about tariff that
    I suspect will be around PKR 1,500 for 1GB of data for most of the operators.
    There will be some bundled packages available also that will mean lower cost
    per GB for resource hungry users. Still most of the people will have to keep
    their PTCL DSL thing running in parallel. (I’ve negative feedback about PTCL’s
    service by the way)

    In case you are interested;

    I’ve been reading about mobile networks in Pakistan recently specially about
    Mobilink (as that’s what I use) Mobilink is a child company of Vimpelcom
    (A Russian telecom giant). Parent company of Mobilink is 42.95% owned by
    Telenor group (that was surprising for me)

    I’d also like to thank you ProPakistan for yesterday as you have put some real
    effort in providing us with updates. Welcome to 3G Pakistan.

    Let’s wait for LTE as I’ll only believe in it the day I’ll see ZONG starting to
    offer the service with at least some happy users.

  • if they plan to sale unsold 4g, they must also have to introduce one 10mhz 3g tie up with 4g because it is necessary to have 3g with 10mhz lot to bid for 4g, Mobilink has won 10mhz but it is not interested in 4g and zong already have 4g. ufone would be interested but ufone don’t have 10mhz lot which is necessary for 4g, they must tie a 3g 10 MHz with 4g for auction. it is a big chance for warid to come in competition again.

  • Can any one tell the 3g and 4g bands for each provider? As this will make an impact on which mobile phone supports which band?

  • I am experiencing 3g hsdpa and hspa+ from jazz in multan from the day of auction and i am quite happy with the speed….its almost 7 mbps on hspa+ and downloading speed is 1.5 mbps… :)

  • I have an inspire 4g. It supports 3G+ (not 3G) as it has 1900MHz antenna. Will it support 4g? Because its 1800Mhz lesser than 1900Mhz. Anyone have any idea?


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