Ishaq Dar Asks PTA, MoIT to Hold Next 3G/4G Auction Within Next Few Months

Ishaq Dar, Minister Finance, has asked Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Ministry of IT and Telecom to complete its preparation for auctioning next round of 3G and 4G spectrum in near future. Mr. Dar remarked this during a contract signing ceremony between USF, Telenor and Ufone yesterday.

Ishaq Dar said that Government has budgeted the revenues from spectrum auction for the current financial year and hence auction must be completed before the end of fiscal year.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has already advertised the RFPs (request for proposals) for hiring a consultant company that could advise the regulator on auctioning of 3G/4G spectrum in the country, however, no one is finalized for the job as of yet.

It won’t be out of place to mention that one 4G block and another block from 850Mhz band is leftover from the last auction that was held in April 2014.

Anusha Rehman, State Minister for IT and Telecom, recently made few calls to arrange a buyer for 850Mhz spectrum — supposedly to be a new entrant — however it is said that no solid response was received.

It is yet unclear that what amount and magnitude of spectrum from which band Pakistan may auction now, as already operating mobile phone companies with 3G and 4G spectrum, particularly Ufone and Telenor, are nearing their capacities and may need more spectrum during months to come.

Such decisions will be taken by MoIT and a policy will be drafted to specify the spectrum that government may intend to sell. Based on this policy from MoIT, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority will prepare Information Memorandum (IM) that will constitute detailed specification of the auction including the base price, auction mode and other modalities  of the auction.

This whole process should require least six months if not more.

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


  • Dear AAMIR
    What If Zong buy another Remaining 10 MHz spectrum of 4G LTE or Mobilink?? Warid Ke Toh ……. Lag Jayen Gay. Because Warid doesn’t have enough Average Return Per User ARPU and Finances to buy new LTE licence in an auction on High price (As Warid did in previous auction). And Warid is already facing problems due to Narrow 5 MHz spectrum same like Telenor and Ufone.

    • Warid has 8.8 MHz spectrum and they won’t be in trouble because of their (current) low subscriber base and strong yet reliable end-to-end Ericsson equipped network.

      • Got 3G speed (3 Mbps) on warid 4G but 7+ Mbps on Zong 4G. No comparison. Ericson equipment does not add spectrum to Warid…

      • Dear Rizwan Warid has 5 MHz spectrum of 900 MHz and 8.8 MHz spectrum of 1800 on which it was running its Data and call services before LTE launch. now Warid shifts its Call services to 5 MHz spectrum of 900 MHz which is ok for approximately 10 Million customers it currently has on its network. and spare 8.8 MHz for LTE. But with time when warid expands its network and users on both call and data sevices added, its 5 MHz spectrum coata will become full soon and warid will have to use 8.8 MHz spectrum for voice services as well. And then its Voice and data services will surely be affected and nothing would have been done by Ericsson equipment than. so warid is the company who badly need more spectrum.

    • Off course Mobilink has bright chances of getting 4G License. One thing is clear that new 4G liecence will get interest of only existing Cellular operators. If Zong did not show interest in new auction then Mobilink will be high contender for 4G after Telenor. If Zong shows interest in another 4G spectrum than it will be between Mobilink and Zong according to me.

      • Why Telenor has more brighter chance then mobilink to win 4G license? currently mobilink 3G is far better then other. Not including zong here.

          • hmmm basically but with me Mobilink has good 3G service i used both Telenor and Mobilink but mobilink is much faster and relaible then telenor with my experience. Maybe where i live there service is better there.

            But don’t forget after zong … Mobilink only have 10MHZ 3G license and the rest other surviving with 5MHZ 3G.

            • I was talking about expansion of coverage. Mobilink didnt use to cover a full city and moved to other. Still Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad are not fully covered. there are lots of main areas of these 3 cities and mobilink 3g is not available. same for other cities as well

          • no it is not a monopoly. warid had 4g and other telecoms have 3g. No one ever stopped others to buy 3g/4g license.

            • But due to narrow spectrum warid needs more spectrum as warid is not able to expand coverage all over pak. And if Zong buys this new spectrum Zong can create monopoly in lte

              • No I dont agree with you. Warid has less user-base it wont be affected as much and its own fault for not laying 4g infrastructure outside urban areas. Chinese are not stupid to pay dar and norra govt more this time.

                • Warid has shifted its voice and sms data on 5 MHz of 900 spectrum which is ok with these number of users. But when warid expands its 4g network to across Pakistan definitely warid’s user base will increase and with increased number of users using both voice and lte services it will be impossible to manage between 500 Mhz for voice and text, so warid will have to use its 8.8 MHz of 1800 MHz spectrum. than there will be problem for both Voice and data.
                  And yes there are only minor chances that zong again get 4g spectrum. But this time Mobilink and Telenor will fight for 4g license as both have noticeable chunk of market share and resources.

                  • It is the question of when. But last time I heard mobilink was in talks to buy Warid. If you see 4g coverage on Warid website you will understand what I’m talking about. Secondly our spectrum requirements will grow. 10mhz or 20mhz won’t be enough. We might need 40 mhz each like rest of the world.

                    • Exactly. This is where Zong could buy another 4g lte license and warid could need more spectrum soon. Or could never reach to more than 30-35 cities with lte coverage.

                    • probably yess. I have earlier said there are rare chances that zong spent more on 4g when 3g is enough in country right now. moreover there are few more frequencies PTA still didn’t announce like 1900 and 2600 MHz on which 4g could have been run. Might be in future when need grows.

                    • you are a telecom insider that you know which blocks are free or not? and why you keep talking about zong again and again?

  • Yeh lo one more way for Mr Eeshark Dollar and his corrupt friends to loot Pakistan.
    Auction Ho ya no Ho the biggest losers are the general public
    until these ridiculously high taxes are removed 3g and 4g will not reach its true potential.

    • What a Shame!!! People Like You Always Complain I’m Thankful At least Our Country Has 3G and 4G Now We Waited Years And Years For It Atleast Be Thankful They Brought 3G In Pak That No Other Minister Was Able To Do

      • shame nahe hai bhai 40 percent tax hai har mobile usage pe, people will stop making call altogether and switch to viber whatapps etc. lekin dosri bat yeh hai kay hamara auction price bhi hi hai aur spectrum bhi kam auction hua hai is liye 12 months tak 3g ,4g ki speed bhi bekar hojaie gi. read amir’s article about 3g service dissatisfaction in Pakistan.

        • Totally Agreed With You (3G Is Not What It Has To Be) But Why Blaming It On Ministers If Youre Not Getting 1MBPS What Companies Promised You Then Its Not Givernments Fault Is It? Choose One 2G/3G & 4G You Wanna Go Back When There Was Only 2G Or You Wanna Use 3G Choice Is Yours I Hope You Got Your Answer

  • IMO, this time Mobilink is hot favourite for 4G licence while Telenor might bid for more 3G spectrum. Zong won’t be in trouble because they already have 10MHz of spectrum for both 3G and 4G respectively and because of customer base as well, so is the case with Warid. Ufone will only play the role of a spectator this time and I’d love to see a new entrant.

  • Really would love it if warid or mobilink get that 4G spectrun block… Though im a bit more biased towards mobilink. As if they get it, warid would have more comoetition. And according to mobilink’s track record… A VERY cheap 4G offer might be possible ;)

  • Mobilink will get this. Secondly they are already in process of laying Their ofc too… Will enhance their functionality

  • Zong will get this new spectrums..after all its china mobile, world largest and on the top..Zong will need these spectrums in future so its bettr to get all these spectrums on time.. Love to Zong.. Love to Pak China friendship..

  • Wait yar, let Dar sahib first find some way “how to make money on this” plus “who to award this” …… He is not prepared as yet,

  • It might be much better if all telecom companies had followed Norway’s example and upgraded directly to 4g Warid 4g isn’t good enough because they dont have enough spectrum and their service is limited to selected urban areas.

  • There will be strong competition between Mobilink and Telenor for getting 4G licence.For 3G licence competition will be between Ufone and Telenor.

  • These Mobilinks Telenor And All Other Companies Are Not Companies They Are Like Schemes If You Do That Youll Get That Do This And Win This Why Not Just Concentrate On Qualities Rather Than Giving Millions Of Cash Prizes Sick Of em’

  • Ministers had kept 3g/4g slot’s base price so high so that now we have to pay this much price for it. And they had set low speed standards for 3g, remember 256k?


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