PTA Extends Deadline for Hitting 4MBPS Benchmark for 4G/LTE

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority made an amendment to the Information Memorandum (IM) for Spectrum Auction for Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) and granted a grace period of six months in achieving the throughput key performance indicator of four megabits per second.

Sources told Propakistani that the benchmark for technologies standardized for 4G/LTE was an average download data rate of two megabits per second (Mbps). This would be increased to four Mbps in two years from the effective date, and with an equal yearly increase, for the upload throughput to be at least 25 percent of the download throughput.

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However, according to the amendment, a grace period of six months in achieving the throughput KPI of four Mbps will be granted following the second year after the effective date. This will be spent in testing and subsequent improvement by the licensee as directed by the PTA.

The amendment noted that if the licensee disputes any outstanding amounts due under this license, the licensee shall either deposit 50 percent of the disputed amount in an escrow account opened by the PTA and on terms specified by the authority, or furnish unconditional and continuing bank guarantee to the satisfaction of the Authority and in favor of the Authority, equal to 50 percent of the disputed amount.

Upon resolution of the dispute, the amount deposited in the escrow account will be paid to the authority or refunded to the licensee along with bank profit accrued during the period the amount was deposited in the escrow account. In the case of a bank guarantee, the same will be encashed or returned to the licensee. A Late Payment Additional Fee (LPAF) shall not apply to the extent of the amount deposited in the escrow account. However, in case of the submission of a bank guarantee, LPAF will continue to apply on total outstanding dues from the due date till the date of payment.

The notification further stated that if the payment of Pre-Bid Deposit is being made from sources in Pakistan, it should preferably be made through wire transfer or through RTGS in PTA’s Account titled Pakistan Telecomm. Authority Fund A/C, Account No. 3000942222 (IBAN PK39NBPA2221003000942222) maintained with Corporate Branch, National Bank of Pakistan, Islamabad, under intimation to DG Licensing, PTA and reference “Spectrum Auction for NGMS in Pakistan 2021”.

As an alternate, in exceptional circumstances where there is technical difficulty in wire transfer/RTGS mechanism, the Pre-Bid Deposit can be made through demand draft or banker’s cheque drawn, in favor of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.

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The licensee shall pay to the authority an annual spectrum administrative fee (ASAF) in an amount calculated by the authority on the basis of the proportion of access spectrum assigned to the licensee (under this license and any other licenses) out of the total spectrum allocated to all cellular mobile operators, to cover 75 percent of FAB’s total budgeted expenditure for the next financial year.

The ASAF shall be applicable for the next financial year starting from 1st July every year and is payable in advance latest by 30th June every year. In case of a change in spectrum assignment pursuant to spectrum auction or whatsoever reason, the proportionate basis shall be revised for calculation of ASAF purposes and billed accordingly.