Breaking: Jazz Becomes Only Operator to Bid for 4G Spectrum

Jazz has emerged as the only bidder for the auction of Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) (3G/4G) spectrum and will get it at base price of $295 million, we have checked with sources.

Ufone, Telenor and Zong are not participating in the spectrum auction and the government has also failed in attracting any new operator to the market.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had announced that it will hold spectrum auction on May 24, 2017. The deadline for submission of applications was May 17, 2017 and  only Jazz submitted the application.

The spectrum included in the NGMSA comprises of 10 MHz of paired spectrum in the 1800 MHz band, however, exact lot details will be finalized later as per the re-farming plan.

As per the Information Memorandum (IM), in case where bidding is not required due to single bidder, applicant that submitted a pre-bid offer supported by a legit pre-bid deposit will be awarded the license for use of spectrum.

The government, however, reserves the right to withhold the spectrum for a future auction or award it as deemed appropriate.

It must be mentioned here that Jazz opted for new spectrum and is in favor of disposing off Warid spectrum that it got through acquisition. It maybe recalled that Warid’s spectrum is expiring in 2019.

With this, Ufone — as we thought it could participate in the auction — is left with limited options in the long run by not participating in the bid.

Update

PTA has officially confirmed that it has received one bid till the deadline of 17th May (1600 hrs) for a 10 MHz paired slot in 1800 MHz.

A statement issued by the regulator said that bid was placed by Jazz.

PTA said that it will now evaluate the bid as per IM and if it is found to have met all required conditions the bid will be declared successful.

Jazz — if termed successful bidder — will have two options for payment i.e all payment (USD 295 Million) made upfront, or 50 percent payment can be made upfront and remaining 50 percent in 5 equal annual installments with one year LIBOR plus 3%.

In addition successful bidder will also pay 10% tax on the auction winning price to FBR which comes to 29.5 USD Million.

It may be noted that this is the third NGMS auction held so far since 2014 and a total of USD 1.98 Billion have been earned for the national exchequer through these spectrum auctions.