With three out of four telcos pulling out of 4G bidding process, Ufone is left as the only potential buyer for last 4G spectrum.
During last three years, the government has successfully completed two rounds of next generation spectrum (3G/4G) auction. In February 2017, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif constituted an Advisory Committee for the auction of the third and final spectrum which is headed by Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Anusha Rahman.
An “Information Memorandum” has recently been released by PTA, inviting the existing as well as new licensees to apply in the bidding process for 10MHz of spectrum in 1800MHz band (Band 3) for technology neutral NGMS across Pakistan. The base price of the paired spectrum has been set at USD 295 million.
In 2014, the auction for 3G/4G licenses raised $1.112 billion. Last year, after no other telco participated in the bidding of the 850 MHz 4G spectrum, it was awarded to Telenor. Mobilink and Warid merged into Jazz earlier this year and Jazz has got sufficient spectrum of its own. Ufone remains the only company which doesn’t have the 4G spectrum.
Ufone is currently working on upgrading its 3G network and there is no confirmation whether the telco will participate in the bidding or not. The government is working hard to ensure that the auction is successful as it is going to be the final auction under the last budget of the present government.
We will update you when there is a further development in the story.