Pakistan’s telecoms regulator has started looking for consultants to help sell two blocks of spectrum that were not sold in last year’s auction, which raised $1.1 billion for the government.
The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has invited request for proposals from consultants, which would be responsible for evaluating market demand for spectrum and determining the base price and timeframe, The Express Tribune said.
The two slots – in the 850MHz and 1.8GHz bands — were not sold in last April’s auction of 50MHz of 3G and 4G spectrum and a block of 850MHz airwaves from Instaphone, which went out of business.
The 850MHz block had a reserve price of $291 million and was only available to new operators, a restriction by the PTA. It didn’t sell, nor did 10MHz of 1.8GHz spectrum, with a $210 million base price per 10MHz. The 2.1GHz frequency had a reserve price of $295 million per 10MHz, and all 30MHz were sold.
The Express quoted an analyst as saying that the consultants also should assess what spectrum will be required in the future and when to hold new auctions.
With the last auction less than a year ago, some operators said they have sufficient spectrum and that the market isn’t yet prepared for another auction, which can be time consuming and costly.
However, a number of foreign operators reportedly have expressed interest in the Pakistan market, and number five operator Warid Telecom will likely need additional spectrum since it’s rolling out LTE service on its existing spectrum, the Express said.