Last update: Sat, 06 Feb 2016 05am

PTA raises Rs 108.48 million through spectrum auction

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) generated Rs 108.48 million from the successful spectrum auction for Wireless Local Loop (WLL) services at Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) applied for all the (Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit-Baltistan regions) nine lots offered, ie, 1X1900 MHz and 2X3.5 GHz in all three regions of AJ&K and G-B while LinkDotNet Telecom Limited applied for one lot of 3.5 GHz in TR-I (Mirpur).

PTCL will be offered all the lots applied in TR-II (Muzaffarabad) and TR-III (Gilgit-Baltistan) on base price in accordance with the IM while in TR-I each 3.5 GHz slot will be offered to bid winners at the highest bid price of Rs 10 million each. The 1,900 MHz slot in TR-I (Mirpur) will go to PTCL at the price of Rs 55.8 million. The auction was conducted in an open and transparent manner through open outcry method, PTA spokesperson Khurram Mehran told BR.

PTCL and LinkDotNet Telecom Limited (LDN) participated in the auction for one lot of 3.5 GHz in TR-I (Mirpur Region). LDN offered the highest bid of Rs 10 million during the process and therefore, was declared the successful bidder for one lot. PTCL took the second lot by matching the same price of Rs 10 million. Spectrum will be awarded after necessary payments by the successful bidders. The total bid price for all spectrum lots comes to Rs 108.4 million.

The auction was witnessed by representatives from AJ&K and GB Councils, Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT), Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) and the telecom industry. The spokesperson said that subsequent to the Policy Directives of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Councils, PTA published advertisement and Information Memorandum (IM) for "Auction of Spectrum in 1900 MHz and 3.5 GHz for WLL Services at AJ&K and GB" on 16th October 2015.

In accordance with the timelines of the auction process, an information session with the prospective bidders was held on 10th November 2015. Applications along with pre-bid deposits were received till December 7 and the qualified bidders were notified on 15th December, 2015. An information package containing necessary details of the auction process was also provided to the qualified applicants on December 21. Chairman PTA, Dr Syed Ismail Shah said the auction was aimed at enhanced telecom services for the people of AJ&K and G-B. The successful operators will be able to offer new wireless services.

He said it's a win-win situation for all government, operators and the consumers as it will ensure revenues for government, business for operators and better services for consumers of the far-off regions. This will have positive cumulative effect on the economies of these regions. He said that the PTA suggested the government to set up handset assembly plants and data centers in AJ&K and G-B as natural climate in these areas is very favourable for such businesses.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015