ISLAMABAD: The government has set base price of $31 million and $29 million for the additional spectrum auction in 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands respectively, which is likely to be held in June 2021.
This was revealed by well placed sources to Business Recorder. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications is likely to issue policy directive next week to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for conducting spectrum auction in June 2021. Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Syed Amin ul Haque told Business Recorder that the spectrum auction will be held in June 2021.
When asked about the expected revenue from the auction, the minister said it would neither be too high nor low. Haque further said the utmost priority would be to ensure transparency, provide business friendly environment, attract investment and create job opportunities.
PTA had hired an international firm - Frontier Economics Ltd - as consultant for spectrum auction of 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands. The firm presented its report to the Advisory Committee for the release of Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) on April 29, 2021 which was presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin. Sources revealed that the consultant had recommended $30 million and $27.5 million as the base price for 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands to the Advisory committee. PTA in its proposals to the advisory committee suggested a base price of $31 million and $29 million for 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands, respectively. Sources who attended the committee meeting said it was decided to set base prices of $31 million and $29 million for 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands, respectively while keeping in mind demand in the market, revenue generation and improving quality of services. In September 2020, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had constituted the advisory committee for the release of unsold Next Generation Mobile Services spectrum to improve mobile broadband services in the country. The Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the committee were: (i) to examine and evaluate the market assessment report and recommendations of PTA for release of maximum NGMS spectrum in Pakistan; (ii) to examine and finalise policy directives for the federal government for the release of NGMS spectrum; and (iii) to oversee the release process to be conducted by PTA.
PTA official said that the objective of the consultancy was to devise a strategy for existing mobile cellular licence renewal and additional spectrum auction in 1800 & 2100 MHz bands in light of international best practices suited for telecom market.
Further, the consultancy was aimed at spectrum pricing benchmarks for renewal and auction with future projections, targeting to achieve overall economic growth and incentivize foreign investment, considering impact of past benchmarks and other relevant factors.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021