Telecom companies not ready to buy 3-G spectrum on high rates

By Aamir Sultan

Islamabad, Dec 22 (Pak Destiny) PML-N government may not generate $1.2billion from the sale of 3-G spectrum as the telecom companies are reluctant to buy the license on such a huge price.
The five operators – Mobilink, Ufone, Telenor, Warid and Zong – are mulling to offer not more than $200million for the 3-G license.
The government is offering award of three licenses expecting to generate $350million from each one.
Telecom sources told Pak Destiny that the government is likely to face disappointment as none of the operators is willing to buy the spectrum on such a high price.
They are of the view that even in India and Bangladesh the auction of 3-G spectrum could go beyond $200 per license.
In such a scenario the government will generate maximum $600 at the end of the day.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman has stressed the need for a speedy completion of the auction process for the introduction of Next Generation Mobile Services in the country, through a transparent, competitive and efficient process.
She was talking to the team of Value Partners Consultants Limited, who called on the Minister at the Ministry. The meeting was attended by the Secretary IT, Chairman PTA and officials of Ministry and PTA.
While highlighting the government’s perspective on the upcoming spectrum auction, the Minister reiterated that the auction process should be designed to ensure best interest of the Country. Furthermore, it was highlighted that several new international players have also shown keen interest to participate in the spectrum auction.
The next generation mobile services are essentially focused on providing data services over mobile broadband. The existing broadband penetration in Pakistan is 1.7%, and the entire field is open equally for existing as well as new operators.
The consultants appreciated the efforts made by the government and ensured that the process will be completed in an efficient and timely manner, and, in accordance with the best practices across the globe. – Pak Destiny

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