Pakistan has taken a step closer towards the long-delayed allocation of 3G and 4G licences for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) provinces with the shortlisting of two consultants to advise on the auction process by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Pro Pakistani writes that the chosen firm will conduct a comprehensive study of the AJK & GB telecom market and design an open, competitive and transparent auction process for the sale of spectrum for 3G and 4G services. Pakistan’s regulatory authorities have recommended that three 2×10MHz blocks in the 2100MHz band be made available – 1920MHz-1930MHz/2110MHz-2120MHz (Block A), 1930MHz-1940MHz/2120MHz-2130MHz (Block B) and 1940MHz-1950MHz/2130MHz-2140MHz (Block C) – alongside one 2×10MHz tranche of 1800MHz frequencies (1775MHz-1785MHz/1870MHz-1880MHz).
In addition, one block each of 2100MHz and 1800MHz spectrum (1950MHz-1960MHz/2140MHz-2150MHz and 1759.1MHz-1769.1MHz/1854.1MHz-1864.1MHz) is to be set aside for regional operator the Special Communication Organisation (SCO).
The licences will be valid for 15 years and reserve prices are yet to be determined, but will be decided by the AJK & GB Council based on the recommendations of the consultant and the Auction Supervisory Committee (ASC).