Norway's Telenor has secured a 4G license in Pakistan for $395 million as the sole bidder for an 850-MHz spectrum block.
Telenor Pakistan will join China Mobile subsidiary Zong in holding a 4G license following the auction, wire service Agence France-Presse reported.
The operator is seeking to capitalize on burgeoning demand for mobile broadband in a market where smartphone shipments soared 123% in the first quarter of last year.
As of the end of April, the number of broadband users in Pakistan grew to nearly 29 million, the report states, marking a higher population penetration than India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Telenor Pakistan was the lone bidder for the 10 MHz block of 850-MHz spectrum, even though the auction was open to both domestic and international participants. The government had been hoping to use the auction to attract a new entrant into the market.
The operator will be allocated the spectrum within 30 days of making its payment.