PTA conducts auction of WLL services in Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) conducted an auction of Spectrum for Wireless Local Loop (WLL) services at Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) on Tuesday.

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and LinkDotNet Telecom Limited (LDN) participated in the auction for 3.5 GHz in TR-I (Mirpur Region). Representatives from AJK and GB Councils, Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT), Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) and the telecom industry witnessed the auction.

The auction was conducted in an open and transparent manner through open outcry method. LDN offered the highest bid of Rs. 10 million during the process and therefore, was declared the successful bidder for one lot. PTCL took the second lot by matching the same price of Rs.10 million. The Spectrum would be awarded after the necessary payments by the successful bidders. The total bid price for all the spectrum lots was Rs. 108.4 million.

It is imperative to mention that PTA published advertisement and Information Memorandum (IM) for “Auction of Spectrum in 1900 MHz and 3.5 GHz for WLL Services at AJK and GB” on October 16, 2015.

An information session with the prospective bidders was held on November 10, 2015. Applications along with pre-bid deposits were received until December 7, 2015 and the qualified bidders were notified on December 15, 2015. An information package containing necessary details of the auction process was also provided to the qualified applicants on December 21, 2015.

PTCL applied for all of the nine lots offered in Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit Baltistan regions that include. 1X1900 MHz and 2X3.5 GHz in all three regions of AJK and GB while LDN applied for one lot of 3.5 GHz in TR-I (Mirpur). PTCL were offered all the lots applied in TR-II (Muzaffarabad) and TR-III (Gilgit Baltistan) on a base price, while in TR I each 3.5 GHz slot were offered to bid winners at the highest bid price of Rs.10 million each. The 1900 MHz slot in TR I (Mirpur) would go to PTCL at the price of Rs.55.8 million.

On the occasion, PTA Chairman Dr.Syed Islamil Shah said that the auction was aimed to provide enhanced telecom services for the people of AJK and GB and that the successful operators would be able to offer new wireless services, adding that its a win win situation for the government, operators and the consumers as it would ensure revenues for government, business for operators and better services for consumers of the far-off regions. This would have positive cumulative effect on the economies of these regions, he added.

He said that PTA has urged the government to set up handset assembly plants and data centers in AJK and GB as the natural climate of these areas is very favorable for such businesses. He congratulated the successful bidders and thanked AJK and GB Councils, MoIT, FAB and operators for cooperation in the successful auction.

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