Pakistan to hold spectrum auction in March 2012

Pakistan now has 2mn broadband users

Pakistan’s Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has announced plans to hold the country’s spectrum auction in March of this year. The body said that the licenses issued will be technology neutral and the auction winners will be able to deploy 3G or 4G-LTE technologies.

The auction has been delayed several times already, but the PTA said that it is now in preparing an information memorandum for the auctioning process.

The auction process will be overseen by a joint professional group, the Auction Supervisory Committee, comprising of public sector stakeholders, including representatives of the country’s Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information Technology and the PTA. The PTA has also set up its own committee for making preparations to conduct the auction in the most possible transparent manner.

“It is pertinent to mention that the introduction of cellular mobile broadband services in the country will initiate a new economic cycle in the country and accrue great benefits for the national economy,” said PTA director Muhammad Younis.

“It will also usher in new era for proliferation of a number of new applications for data intensive value added services.  This will greatly fulfill the requirement and demands of cellular mobile phone subscribers and professionals who are eagerly waiting for this service.”

According to news agency Reuters, the base price for the auction would be $210m, and any incumbent mobile networks awarded a 3G license will be able to offer services immediately, although new entrants will not be allowed into the market until March 2013.

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