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Pakistan delays 3G spectrum auction
12 March 2012
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority admits delay caused by potential bidders’ failure to arrange funds
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said it has delayed its 3G spectrum auction since international investors failed to arrange the required funds in the time provided. But the PTA also had encountered hurdles in the appointment of a consultant for the auction, according to local reports.
International investors said it was difficult to adhere to the timelines decided for the auction process, reported The Express Tribune, citing the PTA, which said it would announce a revised schedule for the auction soon.
The government had set a three-month deadline for the auction of the 3G licences, which the PTA and the auction supervisory committee failed to meet. The PTA was also asked to hire a suitable consultant to oversee the transaction, but the telecommunications regulator suggested that its services be utilised instead of an external consultant, a proposal reportedly supported by the ASC. The PTA will now follow Operators informed Pakistan’s government that if it aimed to complete the transaction by March, then half the bid amount needed to be provided in the subsequent fiscal year to help in funds arrangement, but the Finance ministry rejected the proposal, said the report, citing sources in the IT ministry.
The PTA said: “Due to the great interest shown by operators through their representatives in World Mobile Congress being held in Barcelona, Spain, the pre-bid meeting which was earlier to be held on March 5 2012 has been postponed to allow more time to the operators to evaluate the emerging situation and allow them more room to plan. The new date shall be announced shortly.” GTB
Further reading from Global Telecoms Business:
Pakistan to hold 3G auction on March 29 19 Jan 2012
Pakistan considers 3G licence options 27 Jul 2011
Pakistan Telecoms picks HP next-gen OSS 18 May 2010