Ufone has become the only operator to have submitted its bid for the auction of spectrum, as the deadline to submit bids expired minutes ago.
It may be recalled that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is auctioning additional spectrum in the country and was hoping to get bids from all the operators, but according to sources, it could convince only Ufone to participate in the auction process.
The PTA published Information Memorandum on 5 August 2021, and the deadline for the operators to submit their applications and sealed-bid with pre-bid deposits was 9 September 2021.
It merits mentioning here that the PTA is auctioning spectrum in 1800 MHz and 2100MHz band and since there is no other participant, Ufone is likely to get the spectrum at the base price.
The base price for 2×1 MHz (1 MHz paired) spectrum in 1800 MHz was set at USD 31 million while the base price for 2×1 MHz (1 MHz paired) spectrum in 2100 MHz was set at USD 29 million.
Our sources said that Zong didn’t participate in the auction due to certain reservations while Telenor believed it’s not viable for them to invest in additional spectrum at this point.
“We analyze all investment opportunities based on what is right for our customers and business. The existing circumstances did not present the economic viability to invest in the spectrum during this year’s auction. Regulatory reforms, spectrum roadmap, price resetting and healthy market competition remain critical enablers to narrowing the digital gap and furthering the technological developments in the country,” the spokesperson for Telenor Pakistan told Pro Pakistani.
Jazz, after it acquired Warid’s spectrum, probably didn’t have the need for any additional spectrum (with 47.2MHz of band in total) at this stage. However, its growing customer base may get it to think of acquiring more spectrum in near future. “Properly designed spectrum auctions, with reasonable pricing, fair license conditions and rollout obligations, can deliver strong socio-economic benefits. However, after careful assessment of the Spectrum Auction 2021, Jazz has decided not to participate in it,” a spokesperson for Jazz said.
Ufone, on the other hand, is jubilant to have participated in the auction.
Below is the current spectrum allocation for different cellular operators: