STAFF REPORT ISB: All telecom operators have jointly refused to participate into the upcoming remaining available spectrum auction unless their problems of taxations, external interference due to jammers and power generation for shifting of towers to solar energy are not resolved.

The government plan to fetch multimillion dollars into national kitty through auction of remaining spectrum of Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) seems in doldrums with the latest threat given by the telecom operators.

According to a joint communication signed by top guns of telecom operators including Mobilink, Telenor, Ufone, Warid and Zong, which was sent out to PTA, the Cellular Mobile Operators (CMO) had committed a very major investment in the NGMS auction held in April 2014, but the government did not honour its commitment made in this regard despite assurance.

On the contrary, they said, the industry problems have increased manifold in the post auction scenario on account of adverse changes by the government in taxation, security related compliances and other allied matters.

Moreover, the telecom operators would like to highlight that telecom sector policy review is also in progress for a while now and some of critical ancillary matters are still not clear for making an informed decision for investing in the sector through spectrum auction.

According to the letter, the problems faced by the industry have time and again shared with PTA, Ministry of Information Technology, and other concerned authorities through several communications.

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