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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is all set to conduct spectrum auction in 1800 MHz band in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) today (Tuesday). All of the four cellular mobile operators including Jazz, Telenor, Zong, and Ufone have been notified as qualified bidders and would participate in the auction process.

The auction would start at 10:30am in PTA headquarters and would continue until all auction proceedings and process have been completed. The base price for 2x1 MHz (1 MHz paired) spectrum in 1800 MHz bands is $0.87 million.

However, no auction would be conducted in 2100 MHz band in AJ&K and GB and spectrum would be awarded to the single bidder i.e. Telenor, Pakistan, at base price of $0.87 million. Telenor Pakistan had 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.

The 15 MHz spectrum in 2100 MHz band would remain unsold. 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 had 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 AJ&K 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 declared all four bidders as qualified. Current spectrum auction will provide improved quality of service to the consumers of the AJ&K and GB, and enhance coverage footprint for voice and data services.

This will positively impact the tourism sector of AJ&K 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 the 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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