The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has set the base price for a planned auction of 10 MHz of paired 1800-MHz spectrum at $295 million in anticipation of strong demand.
Bidding will be open to both existing and new operators, and the winner will receive a 15-year, technology neutral license for the spectrum block.
During the earlier 2014 auction, the 1800-MHz block as well as a 10 MHz block of 850-MHz spectrum were left unsold. The high reserve price was considered one of the reasons why the bands were left unsold, but the floor price of the newest planned auction is 29% higher than the $210 million base price of the initial auction.
But according to the PTA, demand for spectrum has been increasing as the mobile sector expands, so the regulator still expects robust competitive bidding.
The unsold block of 850-MHz spectrum was auctioned separately last year. Telenor Pakistan was the sole bidder in the auction, securing the spectrum for $395 million and becoming Pakistan’s second mobile operator to secure a 4G license as a result.