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

      • They are getting because here no one could stop them. I lived in China for more than 4 years and if they might be there they might have been publicly executed for corruption. But here in Pakistan they post their photos with Chinese leadership and think they are some kind of genius. I can only say that the day Chinese got involved completely in Pakistan they will call the shots.

  • PTA should wait and see what happens to the auction prices in India… 395 USD still is very cheap….compared to the other countries in the region with the volumes and potential that we have…….
    As far as Ufone and Telenor is concerned they missed a chance with the previous 4G auction……. and now they really will need more spectrum….. if they want to compete in the data race….which will be really hot 2018 .. onwards….

    • Either you keep taxes high or the spectrum fee high. You can’t put both the things at high-end.

      • 395m USD is just 41 Billion Rs for 15 years use of spectrum… u know how much the operators make in a year.. Surely u have visibility of the the reports……

        • Do you know how much operators have already invested ? Yeh telecom key towers beej daal ker nahi uggey. Thanks.

          • 850 Mhz will reduce towers,,, no need to invest more in Towers…..I see 5 towers and in the same area…… they didn’t learn fast…..

            • 800MHz LTE speeds are only up to 50 Mbps while regular HSPDA+ (3G) can go up to 42 Mbps. So I wonder how much speeds could be obtained in the spectrum range…

  • Its Quite Obvious that Zong is not interested in this spectrum as they already have both 3G and 4G 10 MHz. Mobilink also got 4G by acquiring Warid, So Mobilink attend meeting just to take some “Swaad”. Telenor is struggling with its 3G speed due to 5 MHz only against large number of users. But Telenor’s parent company seems confuse wheather to invest that much money in Pakistan or not. But Truth is they badly need this spectrum for survivol.
    Meanwhile Ufone is getting enough money against Supercards to make new commercials and buying Zaitoon Ka Tail for Arabs.
    So there is only Telenor which might or might not be the winner of this spectrum on base price.

  • Indian TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has recommended Rs 11,485 crores (1.8 b US $) per MHz as base price for auction of spectrum in 700 MHz band where ARPU in India is Rs 90. Our dual nationals are asking for base price of US $ 395 m for 10 MHz (39.5 m US $ per MHz) where ARPU in Pakistan is Rs 440. Can somebody answer?

      • I think Germany did the right thing when they sold 4g based spectrum for even lower price than 3g. They know asking too much for spectrum will hurt them economic growth and increase cost of business.

      • Please read following Indian Economic times ,

        Telenor threatens to exit India, runs up
        huge operating loss, By PTI | 27 Apr, 2016, , Telecom revenue forecast stumps DoT; Ravi Shankar
        Prasad flags issue, By Anandita Singh Mankotia, ET Bureau | 13 Apr, 2016, By Deepali Gupta, ET Bureau | 21 Oct, 2015, Trai likely to absolve telcos for rise in call
        drops By Anandita Singh Mankotia, ET
        Bureau | 24 Jul, 2015 Reliance Jio holds
        the potential to add Rs 1,00,000 crore in RIL’s market capitalisation: Deven
        Choksey, By ET Now | 23 Jun, 2015

    • My dear .. ARPU in India is 750 while in Pakistan is 250 !! Please read the reports on google when Warid was being sold to Singtel !

      • It is Rs 90. Please read
        Telenor threatens to exit India, runs up
        huge operating loss
        By PTI | 27 Apr, 2016,

  • This is just plain ridiculous. Its SPECTRUM / “air” / “nothing”. They already put the base price so high only, so much for the greed of these dakus that we call the government. 3G/4G is all about providing access of information to the masses which directly goes to improve the literacy/ knowledge / gdp. When taxes don’t net their own expidentures, they run towards doing such choti harkatein.

    Stoneage may rakhna chatain hain yaay ganjaay hamay by adding fuel to the already devasted economy. The bidders are foolish to even go to such sessions and express interest.

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