Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has permitted telecom operators to share their networks including 3G and 4G services, with competitors to maximize social and economic benefits derived from use of allocated spectrum.
PTA has published “Spectrum Trading Policy” on their website. Spectrum Management is the process to regulate the use of radio frequencies in an efficient manner. Spectrum trading is a process that allows the holders of certain wireless licenses to transfer or lease the license rights to another. Section 8.15 of the Telecom Policy 2015 deals with the subject of Spectrum trading. It states,
“Spectrum trading will be permitted under specific conditions. Spectrum trading occurs through the outright sale of the rights and obligations or term lease, subject to license conditions and approval by PTA / PEMRA under intimation to FAB.”
The types of trading can be the outright sale of the rights and obligations, term lease and spectrum swapping. The seller will be expected to pay a Trading Fee. The processing fee will be charged on both transferor and transferee and will be Rs. 500,000 in the case of cellular mobile licensees and Rs. 100,000 in the case of local loop (LL) licensees. It also states,
“Maximum 75% of total spectrum held by a licensee, can be traded. The transferor and transferee both will be in compliance with the prescribed spectrum caps as and when declared from GOP/PTA/FAB.
In case, the transfer is executed, the transferor and the transferee shall surrender their licenses to PTA and PTA will issue new licenses reflecting the terms of the trade.”
Spectrum may be traded between holders of the same license type only. For example, spectrum trading may take place between LL licensees or mobile licensees but not between an LL licensee and a mobile licensee to maintain the basic value of the different categories of the spectrum.
PTA and FAB reserve the rights to revoke any license that concerns national security, a hazard to public health and safety, non-compliance with the national laws and policies, international obligations and international relations.