Pakistan courting foreign players for 3G auction

Dylan Bushell-Embling
19 Feb 2014

Pakistani regulator PTA has been seeking to drum up international interest in the nation's upcoming 3G auction, and has revealed it is considering putting 4G spectrum on the block as well.

PTA chairman Syed Ismail Shah recently visited Saudi Arabia to invite companies including Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to participate in the auction, Arab Newssaid.

STC has expressed an interest in the auction and pledged to continue dialog with PTA, the report states.

Domestic operators Mobilink, Telenor Pakistan and Zong – a subsidiary of China Mobile – are all expected to participate in the upcoming auction.

Pakistan's government finally gave final approval to plans to conduct a 3G auction in October, following multiple delays. The auction is expected to commence in March.

The PTA plans to auction spectrum in the 1900-Mz and 2100-MHz bands, and is also considering including 1800-MHz spectrum suitable for LTE services. Pakistan hopes to raise up to $2 billion from the auction process.

Pakistan's former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani gave in-principal approval to allowing foreign participation in the auction back in November 2011.

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