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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has announced not to conduct auction in 2100 MHz band in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and spectrum would be awarded to the single bidder i.e. Telenor, Pakistan at base price of $0.87 million.

Sources revealed that Telenor, Pakistan has submitted bids for 15 MHz spectrum in 2100 MHz bands.

However, the other three operators i.e. Jazz, Zong, and Ufone decided not to participate in the auction for 2100 MHz. Sources revealed that 15MHz spectrum in 2100MHz band would remain unsold. This may hurt the government revenue estimates from the spectrum auction.

The PTA had invited applications from cellular mobile operators for 16 MHz paired spectrum in the 1800 MHz band, and 30 MHz paired spectrum in the 2100 MHz band for technology neutral Next Generation Mobile Service (NGMS) in AJK and GB. The authority issued a statement saying that auction will be conducted for 1800 MHz band on 28th September 2021 in line with auction rules published in Information of Memorandum, whereas, no electronic auction will be conducted in 2100 MHz band.

In accordance with the timelines mentioned in Information Memorandum (IM) for the Spectrum Auction for Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) in AJK and GB 2021, the PTA received bids from CMPAK (Zong), PMCL (Jazz), PTML (Ufone) and Telenor, Pakistan on 22nd September 2021, for both 1800 and 2100 MHz spectrum bands.

After scrutiny of submitted bids, the PTA hereby, declares all four bidders as qualified. Current spectrum auction will provide improved quality of service to the consumers of AJK and GB and enhance coverage footprint for voice and data services.

This will positively impact the tourism sector of the AJK and GB. Total revenue generated and final auction results will be declared after completion of auction on 28th September 2021. The PTA is conducting the auction process with assistance of internationally-reputed consultant JV Telconet/ Frontier Economics who was onboard since April 2021, and conducted thorough consultation with cellular industry and other stakeholders.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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