Under the direction of Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, the Auction Advisory Committee will convene today. The committee will put the finishing touches on its proposals for the 3G/4G top-up spectrum auction.
According to ProPakistani’s sources in the Ministry of IT and Telecom (MoITT), the government plans to sell off more 3G/4G spectrum to raise between Rs. 40 and 50 billion. A significant operator’s desire in acquiring extra spectrum following quality-of-service problems led to study of the issue.
Sources claim that an additional 18 MHz of spectrum was preserved because no players participated in the prior auction. The federal government is examining the possibility of auctioning spectrum with a base price of at least 5-10 MHz. The purchase of a 5 MHZ spectrum has the interest of an existing operator.
The market assessment study, spectrum supply and demand, and PTA’s recommendations for the release of available spectrum for NGMS in Pakistan will all be examined and evaluated by the advisory committee. The committee will approve the spectrum auction if it finds the PTA report and the IT Ministry’s briefing to be satisfactory. The advisory group will charge PTA with selecting a consultant to help with the spectrum auction.
Yesterday, a high-level meeting was conducted at the Ministry of IT and Telecom prior to the meeting of the auction advisory committee. It was presided over by the Additional Secretary in charge, Mohsin Mushtaq. Senior members of the Frequency Allocation Board, PTA, and Ministry of IT and Telecom were present during the meeting (FAB).
PTA briefed attendees on the market assessment study, while FAB informed them on the spectrum that was available. The impact of the strengthening currency and operators’ interest in the auction were other topics of discussion during the conference.
An advisory group was established by the federal government of Pakistan in October 2020 in preparation for the sale of next-generation spectrum. In March 2021, the auction advisory committee was changed to include representatives from AJ&K and GB. The advisory committee was formed by the coalition administration in July 2022.
Along with the Minister of Finance, the Minister of IT and Telecom, the Minister of Economic Affairs, the Minister of Science and Technology, the Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of IT & Telecom, the Secretary of Law & Justice, the Chairman of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the Executive Director of the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB), the Representative of Army General Headquarters, the Director General Tech of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and a Member Legal of the MoITT are also present.
Prior to this, Pakistan held spectrum auctions for NGMS in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2021 in accordance with federal government policy directions. According to sources at MoITT, the dollar’s volatility at the time is the most concerning development because the rupee’s value is steadily declining. The government should first stabilize the dollar since holding an auction in such a circumstance is not an easy option.