Islamabad: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) conducted Auction of Spectrum for Wireless Local Loop (WLL) Services at Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) at PTA Headquarters today. Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and LinkDotNet Telecom Limited (LDN) participated in the auction of one lot of 3.5 GHz in TR-I (Mirpur Region). The auction was witnessed by representatives from AJ&K and GB Councils, Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT), Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) and the telecom industry.
The auction was conducted in an open and transparent manner through open outcry method. Linkdotnet offered the highest bid of Rs. 10 million during the process and therefore, was declared the successful bidder for one lot. PTCL took the second lot by matching the same price of Rs.10 million. Spectrum will be awarded after necessary payments by the successful bidders. The total bid price for all spectrum lots comes to Rs. 108.4 million.
It is imperative to mention that subsequent to the Policy Directives of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Councils, PTA published advertisement and Information Memorandum (IM) for "Auction of Spectrum in 1900 MHz and 3.5 GHz for WLL Services at AJ&K and GB" on 16th October 2015.
In accordance with the timelines of the auction process, an information session with the prospective bidders was held on 10th November 2015. Applications along with pre-bid deposits were received till 7th December and the qualified bidders were notified on 15th December 2015. An information package containing necessary details of the auction process was also provided to the qualified applicants on 21st December.
PTCL applied for all of the (Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit Baltistan Regions) nine lots offered i.e. 1X1900 MHz and 2X3.5 GHz in all three regions of AJ&K and GB while LinkDotNet Telecom Limited applied for one lot of 3.5 GHz in TR-I(Mirpur). PTCL will be offered all the lots applied in TR-II (Muzaffarabad) and TR-III (Gilgit Baltistan) on base price in accordance with the IM while in TR I each 3.5 GHz slot will be offered to bid winners at the highest bid price of Rs.10 million each. The 1900 MHz slot in TR I (Mirpur) will go to PTCL at the price of Rs.55.8 million.
On this occasion, Chairman PTA, Dr.Syed Islamil Shah said that this auction is aimed at enhanced telecom services for the people of AJ&K and GB. The successful operators will be able to offer new wireless services. He said it’s a win win situation for all government, operators and the consumers as it will ensure revenues for government, business for operators and better services for consumers of the far-off regions. This will have positive cumulative effect on the economies of these regions. He said that PTA has suggested government to set up handset assembly plants and data centers in AJ&K and GB as natural climate in these areas is very favourable for such businesses. He congratulated the successful bidders and thanked AJ&K and GB Councils, MoIT, FAB and operators for cooperation in the successful auction.
(Khurram Ali Mehran)