After eight rounds of bidding, Zong and Mobilink won 10Mhz block for 3G spectrum, while Telenor and Ufone won 5Mhz blocks for 3G spectrum. According to information revealed by PTA — during the sealed-bid phase — Ufone had submitted a bid for 15Mhz, while Telenor, Zong and Mobilink had submitted a bid for 10Mhz from 2100Mhz spectrum for 3G services.
Only Zong managed to secure 10Mhz of 4G spectrum from the 1800Mhz Band. Even though both Ufone and Zong had shown interest in 4G spectrum; but since Ufone failed to grab the 10Mhz lot of 3G spectrum from 2100Mhz band, a mandatory requirement for acquiring 4G spectrum, Ufone was consequently held not eligible to win the 4G spectrum. This meant that one 10Mhz of 4G spectrum went unsold. However, Chairman PTA Dr Ismail Shah was optimistic that this unsold spectrum will also be sold in the coming few months. On the other hand, Finance Minister Mr. Ishaq Dar claimed that this unsold 4G spectrum will be sold within a month.
Mr. Dar made these comments during his speech after the conclusion of the auction. Through this successful auction of the 3G and 4G spectrum the Government of Pakistan managed to generate a total of US$ 1.182 billion. Out of which US$ 902.82 million came from 3G and US$ 210 million came from 4G spectrum. While the 4G spectrum was sold to Zong at the base price of US$ 210 million, the collective price of the 3G spectrum was US$ 17.82 million higher than the base price of US$ 885 million. The two 5Mhz of 3G spectrum were sold at the set base price of US$ 147.5 million. Out of the two 10Mhz blocks of 3G spectrum, the base price of which was set at US$ 295 million, one was sold for US$ 306.93 million and the other for US$ 300.9 million. With the conclusion of the auction, now the telecom operators will compete with each other to be the first one to commercially launch 3G service in Pakistan.
Operators have been testing 3G services from sometime now and a lot of high profile parts of Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, and Peshawar were experiences 3G service throughout the auction day; hence, it should not be long before we get to know the various packages each company will be offering. We predict that 3G service will be rolled out within two weeks time. Pakiworld would like to congratulate the PTA, MoIT, telecom operators, and all other entities involved in this process for a successful auction of the 3G and 4G spectrum.
Note : The information Pakiworld received yesterday revealed that despite winning the spectrum, the commercial commencement of 3G service may take a week or two at most. On a related note, mobile phone users won’t have to get new SIMs for availing 3G services. All current mobile phone users with their currently working SIMs will be able to use 3G services. Yes, a compatible handset is a must.