ISLAMABAD ( ABRAR MUSTAFA )
Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) has finalized all arrangements for the Spectrum Auction for Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) to be held on 23rd April 2014.
The Auction process will start at 8 AM Pakistan Standard Time. Bidders will be allowed to log into the Auction System. The First Round of bidding will start at 10 AM. There will be multiple rounds of bidding. The duration of each round will be at least 45 minutes or more. Results will be announced after each Round at PTA website (www.pta.gov.pk). After evaluation Telecom authority cleared four cellular companies for final round. Ufone Mobilink Telenor and Cmpak are get certificate and on 23th they will bid for 3G/4G spectrum.
The Auction will take place using an electronic System which will allow the bidders to participate in the auction. PTA has chosen the Simultaneous Multiple Round Ascending (SMRA) Auction mechanism. SMRA is the most preferred auctioning mechanism and is widely used in modern day auctions worldwide. It is also preferred over the traditional open cry out auctioning model as SMRA allows both auctioneer and bidder flexibility to simultaneously bid on lots of their choice, privacy and time to make educated decisions during the auction. Some of recent auctions conducted in United various countries were all SMRA based auctions.
Pakistan will earn at least $1.1 billion through the upcoming spectrum auction of 3G and 4G, Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Dr Ismail Shah said on Saturday. “I can guarantee that this upcoming auction of 3G and 4G will fetch at least $1.1 billion,” he said while briefing newsmen about the process of upcoming auction in Islamabad. “In case of selling out all offered spectrum of 50 MHZs through auctioning of five licenses, the revenue can go beyond $1.3 billion.”
Chairman PTA Dr Syed Ismail Shah said that they had devised proper security apparatus to defend against any attack by hackers on the web-based auction process. Giving reasons for offering 3G/4G licenses simultaneously, he said that in the last mobile sector policy it was written that 3G would be sold out in three years but 10 years passed and it could not be yet done.
The web-based auction, scheduled to be held on April 23, 2014, will be conducted through Simultaneous Multiple Round Ascending (SMRA) mechanism. The parties participating would give their bids by sitting in their offices knowing only the offered price, but not how much the other party was offering for this spectrum. The bidding process might continue for two days in Pakistan as in India it had continued for more than 30 days because it was done on regional basis.
The third-time-lucky auction is an obvious watershed for the fiercely competitive, fractious telecom industry: after a decade of tremendous growth, the industry now finds itself up against a ceiling where competitors must scavenge from each other in order to grow further. And the 3G/4G game will raise the stakes. The average Joe, meanwhile, is salivating at the prospect of better network quality, live streaming and faster data access. While the more sophisticated users are talking of m-learning and expecting a boom in locally developed apps, even better quality Viber calls, even faster video downloads as well as online gaming sound exciting to a nation with few legitimate avenues of entertainment.