ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar said on Friday that the Prime Minister has approved the final policy directive for auctioning of 3G and 4G technology in the country to provide people high-end and new generation information and communication technologies.
Addressing a press conference here, the Finance Minister said that the final auctions in this regard would be held in April.
“As per final policy directive approved by the PM, three licenses of 10 MHz in the 2100 MHz spectrum band (3G), two licenses of 10 MHz in 1800 MHz band (4G) and one license of 7.38 MHz in 850 MHz band for new entrants entering in the market will be auctioned”, the minister added.
Ishaq Dar said that the base price in the auction for a 3G license has been set at US$ 295 million and the base price for a 4G license would be $210 million whereas for the licence for new entrant, the base price in the auction would be $291 million.
“The successful bidders in spectrum auction would have to pay minimum 50 percent upfront payments while the remaining payment would be made in five equal installments in five years with mark up”, the Minister said adding that in 2011, the base price for a 3G license was set at $210 million while the payment process was to be completed in 15 years.
He said that with the introduction of advance technology, people would get rapid availability of high-end and new generation information and communication technologies in the country that would promote connectivity, efficiency and massive reduction in cost of doing business.
He said that the government, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Consultants are very confident that the auction will receive strong support and participation both from the existing and prospective telecom operators.
He also reiterated the government’s resolve to hold the auctions in more transparent and competitive way.
Senator Ishaq Dar said that the process had been neglected in the past and the new government has taken steps to fast track it so that the objectives of introducing new generation technologies can be achieved at the earliest.
To a question, the Finance Minister said that foreign investment would be encouraged to establish industry for mobile manufacturing in the country as with the introduction of advance telecommunication technologies, demand for 3G and 4G mobile sets would be increased.