PTA invite bids for 1800 and 2100 MHz bands of NGMS

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) invite bids applications from local and foreign bidders for the auction of additional next generation mobile services (NGMS) spectrum in the country.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) invite bids applications from local and foreign bidders for the auction of additional next generation mobile services (NGMS) spectrum in the country.

In a statement, the authority said it invite bids the applications under the Pakistan Telecommunication (Reorganisation) Act, 1996 and the policy guidelines issued by the government for those interested in providing services of 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands.

The information memorandum containing the terms and conditions, requirements and standards is available on the PTA website.

The release of the NGMS spectrum in the country would contribute to the overall economic growth through digitalisation and improve the quality of broadband services.

During a recent meeting, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet had turned down a proposal to revise the criteria for the release of additional spectrum to telecom companies.

The ECC had decided to auction the additional spectrum in line with the past practice and complete the auction by the end of September 2021.

It observed that the recommendations of the committee, headed by the adviser to prime minister on institutional reforms and austerity, did not cover exchange risk and payment in installments by the operators.

Also read PTA invite bids gets Rs15.82b from telecom companies

The ECC had considered recommendations of the committee for “Release of NGMS Spectrum in Pakistan for Improvement of Mobile Broadband Services amid Covid-19”.

The information technology and telecommunication ministry informed the ECC that another committee on the payment terms for spectrum price/licence fee had also deliberated on the “Issues of Cellular Mobile Industry for Digital Enablement”.

The IT ministry requested the ECC to approve the policy directive for the auction of NGMS spectrum in Pakistan.

The ECC was also requested to deliberate and decide on the recommendations given by the committee on the issues facing the telecom sector for digital enablement.

During the ensuing discussion, the IT & Telecom Division informed the ECC that the recommendations of the committee, headed by the adviser to prime minister on institutional reforms and austerity, were different from the policy directive for the auction of NGMS spectrum whereas the policy directive was in line with the past practice.

The ECC discussed the matter threadbare and observed that the recommendations of the committee did not cover exchange risk in cases where 50% balance amount would be paid by the telecom operators in installments. Therefore, it would be advisable to go by the past practice.

The ECC considered the summary submitted by the information technology and telecommunication ministry and decided that the ministry should ensure completion of the auction process by the end of September 2021 in line with the past practice.

The spectrum auctions for the NGMS in Pakistan were conducted in 2014, 2016, and 2017, under the directives issued by the federal government.

However, the demand for data services grew exponentially and in just seven years, the number of broadband subscribers in the country increased from 14 million in 2014 to more than 100 million in April this year.

Source Tribune

Arsalan Ahmad

Arsalan Ahmad is a Research Engineer working on 2-D Materials, graduated from the Institute of Advanced Materials, Bahaudin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arsalanahmad-materialsresearchengr/

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