All Four Operators Bag 3G Spectrum, Zong Took Home 4G License


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 update 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. Before the auction, Ufone had submitted a bid for 15Mhz, while Telenor, Zong and Mobilink had submitted a bid for 10Mhz.

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, according to the bidding mechanism devised by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) it was 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.

The announcement of the winners of the auction was delayed by over an hour as Mr. Dar and the Minister of State for IT and Telecom (MoIT) Mrs. Anusha Rehman failed to arrive at the auction hall on time.

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.

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