Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif has given final approval to conduct the nation's much-delayed 3G spectrum auction.
The government has issued a policy directive laying out the key goals of the auction, the Nationreported. These include remaining technology-neutral, so if operators want to deploy 4G rather than 3G they will be entitled to.
Under instruction from the government, regulator PTA has now launched a tender for a consultant or consultants to advise on the terms of the auction, including the number and size of the blocks to be allocated, and to manage the auction process.
PTA has been instructed to conduct the auction as early as possible and to keep the process transparent. While no date has been set, the deadline for consultants to submit their proposals is 12 November.
The government aims to raise between $1 billion and $1.5 billion from the spectrum auction. The PTA will determine the reserve price.
The government had planned to allocate three 10 MHz blocks of spectrum, but PTA has reportedly not yet determined whether to sell the entire spectrum to one company or distribute it to more than one.
Pakistan's 3G auction has been delayed multiple times, due in part to the fact that the PTA was for a long time unable to commence the auction has it lacked a chairman. The government recently appointed an interim chair for the regulator.