ISLAMABAD (MEDIA )
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has said it will conduct a mock software based exercise to educate qualified cellular companies about the bidding process for auctioning of next spectrum auctions of 3G/4G technology. The News reported.
“All four cellular companies are expected to be cleared by the PTA in the qualifying process on Thursday,” the Chairman PTA Dr Ismail Shah, said in an exclusive chat with The News in Islamabad.
The federal government remains confident about raising over a billion dollars through the 3G/4G auction; Finance Minister Ishaq Dar estimates it at $1.3 billion. “My role as Chairman Supervisory Auction Committee was finished after finalizing policy directive and Information Memorandum (IM) and I have already asked the PM to de-notify this committee,” he said during the press conference on Wednesday. He added it was the PTA which was responsible for conducting this auction in a transparent manner. The Chairman PTA – in his exclusive chat – assured that transparency would be ensured till the completion of this process. “Let me assure you that we will make all documents public and the people should trust on us,” he maintained. The PTA, he said, already received over $200 million in shape of 15 percent bidding money from four interested parties so far.
He remained reluctant about giving the exact figure saying that maintaining secrecy was required to ensure increased competition in the spectrum auction.
He said that the PTA would conduct its mock exercise on April 21, 2014 in order to give exact knowledge to qualified cellular companies about the modus operandi going to be adopted in the upcoming auction. The Chairman PTA said that they would devise a strategy for the upcoming auction by finalizing 3 or 4 lots of the available spectrum of 50 MHZs.
This was in consultation with consultants under which 3 licenses would be auctioned for 3G and 2 licenses for 4G.
“If any lot of available spectrum does not sell out in this process then the PTA will again come up with another auction after one month,” he said and added that the PTA adopted this path in a bid to maximize revenues for the sake of the country.
He hoped that there would be cut throat competition and bidding would fetch over $1.3 billion in case the entire offered spectrum is sold out on April 23, 2014. The upcoming auction might continue for two days on April 23 and April 24, 2014 multiple rounds of biddings, he said, adding that the first round of bidding process would start from the base price of $291 million for 3G license and $210 million for 4G license.
These rounds, he said, would continue until and unless any party did not opt to come out from the process. He said that the earned money through upcoming spectrum auction would be deposited into the Federal Consolidated Fund (FCF) as and when the amount would be received by PTA.
“The FBR will deduct its due taxes on upcoming auction of 3G and 4G technologies,” he said and added that he could not estimate the exact figure of going into the kitty of the tax collection machinery.
The Chairman PTA said that in the previous spectrum auction of 2G, Pakistan had received on average price of $21.39 per M/MHz for spectrum of 900 to 1800 MHz but the upcoming auction in case of only base price would increase per MHz cost up to $29.5, registering a possible growth by 25.8 percent amid recognized fact globally that the price decreased after moving towards higher side of spectrum.