Poll: Should Pakistan Auction More 3G/4G Spectrum in 2015?

We are getting news that Government of Pakistan is planning to auction more spectrum for 3G and 4G services with-in next few months.

This intent, as we are told, picked up especially after Pakistan won Mobile Global Awards for successfully auctioning spectrum in 2014.

For the purpose, Anusha Rehman, Minister for State for Telecom and Information Technology, reportedly discussed the matter with international telecom players at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where she received the excellence award on behalf of Pakistan, to almost invite them for the upcoming spectrum auction in Pakistan.

Telecom operators, who are currently busy with SIM re-verification drive, were somewhat astonished by the development. Not that they didn’t expect this, but because they were burdened with SIM re-verification of 103 million SIMs with-in six months of their 3G roll-outs, they were hoping for some more time before government could auction any further spectrum.

According to PTA’s license term with 3G and 4G operators, government can auction unsold spectrum (one 10Mhz block in 2100Mhz and another 7.38Mhz in 850Mhz band) any time now. This unsold spectrum, if sold successfully, can bring the top dollar for the cash-starved government.

Naturally Ishaq Dar, Minister for Finance, must be weighing all possible options to generate revenues for federation and auction of unsold spectrum is the going to be his best bet.

But, there are various other things that regulator and Ministry of IT will have to consider before auctioning the spectrum. For example to evaluate the market need, for which PTA is already in process of hiring consultants that will advise regulator on best time to auction the spectrum.

As per experts, one 4G block can be sold easily to top two players or to Warid as it has its LTE operations up and running (without any additional spectrum but) with quite successful reception.

It won’t be out of place to mention, that other than unsold spectrum from previous auction, PTA can not auction new 3G and 4G spectrum before October 2015.

With more than 10 million 3G subscribers with-in first six months of operations in Pakistan, the appetite is clearly there but considering low ARPUs (even during post-3G time), SIM re-verification campaign (that took four months of operators) and low uptake of 4G subscribers for Zong, another auction with-in next few months can be a gamble.

So here’s the multi-million dollar question:

Should Pakistan auction more 3G/4G spectrum with-in 2015 or not? Participate in below poll and comments to share your input and thoughts with us.

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

    • Hamza bhai aap ghalat site par agai hian………………Goga Pan shop say ruju kaein SIM wahan milti hai………..

      • If you can’t help him perhaps you should not comment at all? Asking questions is how we learn new things. People like you discourage that process and that has a negative impact on everyone.

      • Bhai meine ap se sirf price pochi hai ! Is mein is bakwas ki kya zarorat hai ! …ap logo ki vaja se hamara ye mulk taraqi nahi kar raha ..agar kisi questn ka answer nai hai ap k paas to reply hi naa karein

        • Better to consider warid LTE, zong 4g sucks when compare to warid, but main game is where you live and which operator is giving the best signals ay your location you need to check that out first, even on mobilink I’m getting 9mb/s its really good if you ask for its packages and speed and compare to other networks, as per 4g LTE from warid speed varies from 10 mb/s -40 mb/s at my location..so better to check the speed and traffic and signal issues first..warid LTE sim 150 rs and zong 100 rs.

      • Meine sirf price pochi hai …kyo k meine abhi 4g phone liye hai or mujhe sim ki zarort thi ! Toh meine socha chalo kisi se poch leinge ..agar aj kal toh bhali ka zamana hi nai hai

  • gatiyya tareen speed hai telenor or mobilink or ufone ki bakwasss hai 3G paisay koot rhy hain bs awam sy Vodaphone ya T-mobile jesi companies hi asal 3g or 4g speed dy sakti haiin

    • For ur kind information only zong is providing best 3g as compared to telenor ufone and mobilink…i have used all 4 networks personally to experience 3g speed..!! Try zong its way faster and reliable.

      • Rates bhi double hain ap ki super 3g k… zong offering 280 mb in 70/- week. Telenor 75 mai 1 gb + 500 mb daily motion. 3+ mbs is not a bad speed at all…

        • This package seems expensive! I do the package which offers 3GB+Rs.100 free balance for 3 days – Telenor. I load every month Rs.600, in this way, I get 30GB for the entire month as well as Rs1000 free balance through which I can call 5 hour per month to all networks. What an amazing package! I’m getting the below speed. Ab Bol! :P

      • Yeah dear you both all right , some new cimpany will invest in pakistan , 5 company already have , but only in some cities , they give 90 % covrage to pakistan will take 10 years more , they still ignore small towns and villages

    • its time to change our thinking pakistani operators are also giving best speed on 3G n 4G as compare to said.

    • Do u want to tell that u have used T.Mob or Vodaphone? Please don’t say yes because i know u haven’t.

  • “one 10Mhz block in 2100Mhz and another 7.38Mhz in 850Mhz band”
    Aamir, 10Mhz is available in 1800 band.

  • i don’t see the point of this poll. Goverment does not care what we think, only for ways to make $$$

  • Please post some article about recent development on DTH technology. PEMRA has already hired a swiss firm to draft policy.

  • Of course it is better to wait. Government can earn more if they wait. But the government needs dollars desperately so they will rush this through. Perhaps the next government will then create a court case over this and licenses will be cancelled. Like what happend to steel mills privatization.

  • Rather than auctioning new spectrum, current strategy should be to bring this facility to the far flung areas of the country.

      • and Pakistan was the last country to launch 3G/4G mobile telephony in South Asia. :D

        but one thing is good pak 3G/4G plans are cheapest compare to Indian 3G/4G operator’s plans.

          • :D and Pakistan’s 3G speeds are also good.
            In India, i hardly get 5-6MB/s on 3G network.
            but some Indian operators like Reliance, Vodafone, Airtel etc gives 16-20Mb/s 3G speeds on Metro cities.

            what about pakistan’s 4G plans and 4G speeds ??

            • Brother! There is a huge difference between MBps and Mbps. MBps stands for Megabytes Per Second whereas Mbps aka Megabits Per Second. If you say, I’m getting 5-6MB/s it means you’re getting 40-50Mbps. Take Care, Next Time! :D

        • Its funny how Pakistan gets the technology after all the hype of ‘new technology’ and gets these technologies after the prices have gone down – like a boss :P

  • Turk Telecom is coming to Pakistan very soon. Instaphone license with 3G and 4G license will be sold to Turk Telecom and they will launch with the brand name of Arena Mobile … Ericsson will be the main partner for deployment. Instaphone’s some sites are still there and they dont need much time to get operational. Hope for the best :)

  • Existing companies are making fool us. 1: Speed is not good. 2: Packages are very expensive, 3: Very limited data.

  • According to me, our 3g/4g market is in the baby phase, selling more means making it a vulnerably saturated and may be investors won’t get attracted to the deal.

  • First of all this is the easiest way of earning for both
    officials and government. Ishaq Dolar ko short cut mil gya hay.

    Secondly PTA should also check the services offered by
    present license holders. I am in Gujrat and only Mobilink is offering the best
    services here. I am not getting even half of MB speed. This is the
    responsibility of the regulator to maintain proper check and balance.

    Lastly, there is no need of license right now. The present
    operators are not approaching their break even. Let them earn and ask them to offer cheaper

  • Pakistan should go ahead for 3G auction. I addition 4G/LTE auction be considered as Pakistan has the most dense/ population OFC network in the world. Not only Pakistan will lead in telecommunication but thousands of experienced telecom engineers will find jobs in the world market.

  • Yup sure they must auction more 3G and 4G licenses and bring some more competition. Advantage will be to end users.

  • It’s about a year , still 25 % area of Pak can use 3G and 4g , all 5 companies ignoring small twons and villages , only few big cities ,

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