Major Telecom Operators May not Participate in 3G/4G Spectrum Auction

Major telecom operators Monday skipped an important meeting on the Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) spectrum (3G) auction, raising serious concerns in government circles regarding the successful auction of spectrum that’s planned during next month, it is learnt.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Monday arranged an information session for prospective bidders to explain the auction process, rules and other details. However, according to a PTA senior official, only Mobilink, Telenor, World Call and Multi Net participated in the session.

According to officials, it is a matter of grave concern some of the major operators — including Ufone and Zong — did not participate in the important session.

Our sources anticipate that Mobilink wouldn’t be participating in the auction, especially when they already merging with Warid that has 4G network in place already.

While Zong and Ufone are out of the race — as suggested by their absence today in the meeting — only Telenor seems to be the interested bidder for the planned auction. However, the base price is deteriorating their decision for buying more spectrum that they badly need.

Only Mobilink, Telenor, World Call and Multi Net participated in the pre-bid briefing session

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Telenor is yet to get a go-ahead from its headquarter on this base price (of $395 million) for 10MHz in 850MHz band.

PTA has set May 29 as deadline for prospective applicants to submit applications form with pre-bid deposits.

PTA, on other hands, is yet to receive any bid from telecom operators for the Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) spectrum (3G), officials confirmed.

The auction of NGMS spectrum (3G) in the 850 MHz range is scheduled to be held on June 20 with base price of $395 million as announced by the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

Frequency lot included in the auction is spectrum band— 850MHz, spectrum quantity—2x10MHz, spectrum range—UL: 824-834MHz and DL: 869-879MHz.

PTA last month released Information Memorandum (IM) for the auction of spectrum in the 850 MHz range and to grant the successful bidders rights to establish, maintain and operate 3G/4G network and to provide the services across the country. The IM sets out the rules, process, planned timetable and other background information to help prospective applicants to decide if they want to participate in the NGMSA.

Also Read: Spectrum Auctions – Merely for Making Money?

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