Ministry of IT&Telecom issues policy directive for next spectrum auction

Ministry of IT&Telecom issues policy directive for next spectrum auction

ISLAMABAD (APP): Ministry of Information Technology & Telecommunications has issued Policy Directive to PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) for conducting transparent and competitive auction for allocation of single block of 10 MHz paired spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.

Base price of the block on offer has been set at USD 295Million after thorough analysis and based on the market demand study of the PTA and international technology and market benchmarking, said a press release issued here on Wednesday,

In pursuance of the policy framework finalized by the Advisory Committee for auction of frequency spectrum left unsold in the NGMS auctions 2014 & 2016 and subsequent approval from the cabinet, the ministry has issued directives.

Due to rapid growth and escalating demand of mobile broadband services requirement of more frequency spectrum, which is a critical input for high quality mobile broadband services, was foreseen.

It is pertinent to mention that the penetration of mobile broadband services have quickly grown from a paltry figure of less than 3% in 2013 to more than 27% of the mobile phone user in wake of the successful and transparent spectrum auctions.

Keeping in view the future demand of the industry in terms of frequency spectrum an Advisory Committee, under chairpersonship of Minister of State for IT, Mrs. Anusha Rahman, was constituted by the Prime Minister to analyze the market situation and recommend a way forward.

The Advisory Committee convened a series of meetings and extensively deliberated on different options and market scenarios. In its last meeting, the Advisory Committee finalized its recommendations for approval of the Cabinet.

In the policy directive, PTA has been directed to design the auction process in a manner to fulfill policy objective of optimal outcome . PTA will conduct the auction within this financial year.

Payment terms and conditions will remain the same as were in 2014 NGMS auction. All existing mobile operators as well as new entrants will be eligible to participate in the auction.

New license for provision of NGMS services will be issued to successful bidder for a period of 15 years. Provisions of Telecommunication Policy 2015 related to sharing of infrastructure and national roaming will be applicable.

It is expected that the current move by the Government to supply the market with critical commodity of frequency spectrum will prove to be an important milestone in enabling mobile industry to aggressively expand their networks to each and every nook of the country while maintaining quality of service standards for Pakistani users and digital economy of the country.