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[April 23, 2014]
PTA all set to hold 3G, 4G auction today
(Daily Regional Times (Pakistan) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is all prepared to conduct much-awaited spectrum auction of 3G and 4G technologies as the final round for the purpose would commence here on Wednesday (April 23). As part of its arrangements, the Authority has also exercised full-fledge mock auction where all qualified cellular operators participated to understand the procedures and rules associated with the auction process. An official at PTA on Tuesday said with mock-auction completed, all operators will now enter into the final round of auction where they would bid for their desired spectrum. PTA has not revealed any information regarding type (3G or 4G) and amount of spectrum that operators will bid for, however, a total of 30Mhz in 2100Mhz band while 20Mhz in 1800Mhz band will be auctioned in lots.
As per details, all participating operators - Mobilink, Ufone, Telenor and Zong will take part in bid from their head-offices through Internet, an auction hall is being setup in Islamabad where PTA officials, members of auction committee and media will be present to witness the auction. Bids are likely to start with the base price. Each bid will expire after 45 minutes before which operators will be allowed to bid higher to become standard highest bidder. At the end of auction, the standard higher bidder will be granted the spectrum and a license to offer next-generation licenses.
Auction may continue for several hours - if not days - till we get the final winners. Moreover, the official said PTA has allowed operators to offer 3G services in the auction hall on April 23. In this regard, necessary arrangements have been made by operators to offer high-speed wireless broadband through 3G services in the auction hall. Officials of cellular companies have also confirmed that 3G services will be available to customers within two weeks after the auction. However, availability of service will be in phases. Major cities will get 3G with-in 2-3 months while rest of the Pakistan can expect 3G or even 4G services with-in 6-12 months of the auction.
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