Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology has directed the nation’s telecoms regulator the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to complete the auction of 3G concessions within the next three months, reports The Express Tribune. The ministry, headed by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, has issued a notification to create a committee to supervise the tender. Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh will chair the group, which will consist of a number of other high-ranking ministers, as well as the head of the PTA and the executive director of the Frequency Allocation Board.
Three licences are up for grabs, each permitting the use of a 10MHz block of 3G spectrum. PTA officials said that they have made all preparations for the 3G licence auction and would be inviting bids soon. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the country’s existing mobile operators will be permitted to bid in the auction, with one caveat that, should a bidder not already operating in Pakistan win, they will only be allowed to launch commercial services after March 2013, when a moratorium on new licensing expires.