3G auction back on track

9 Oct 2013

Pakistan’s PM has approved plans to restart the nation’s long-delayed sale of frequencies for 3G services, the Nation reports. The announcement follows appointment of two officials to the most senior positions at sector regulator the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) at the start of this month. The posts of Member Technical, Member Financial and Chairman had been left vacant since January this year following the sacking of the chairman and the retirement of other two chiefs that month, leaving the watchdog unable to operate effectively. With the PTA operational once more, the government has issued a policy directive, instructing the regulator to allocate the spectrum on a technology neutral basis, in a transparent manner and in the shortest timeframe possible. To that end, the PTA has launched a tender for a consultant to advise on the sale. The deadline for the consultancy tender is 12 November. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the most recent attempt to offer up the frequencies, in 1H 2012, was derailed over suspicions of foul play in the consultant selection process. The government expects the spectrum sale to generate between USD1 billion and USD1.5 billion for state coffers.