3G licences auction being reviewed

STAFF REPORT IBD: The Supreme Court has been informed that the process of auctioning the 3G technology licenses is currently being reviewed as the government making efforts to hold such auction at the earliest, which represents not only 3rd Generation technology but also 4G and Long-Term Evolution LTE technologies.

The Secretary Information Technology revealed this during a recent hearing of a petition seeking auction of the 3G technology which has been repeatedly delayed during the last couple of years.

Giving detailed causes of the delay in ushering in the 3G spectrum, the secretary stated that the policy directive for the auction was issued by the ministry on December 19 2011. Subsequently the PTA initiated the process of hiring consultants but the process was stopped on the instruction of Auction Supervisory Committee. Again in November 2012 the process was initiated but it could not be completed by the PTA. The IT ministry further informed the bench that the spectrum being auctioned represents three blocks of 10 Mhz each in the 2100 Mhz band.

While other blocs can be made available the same is dependent upon Frequency Allocation Board making available such spectrum.

In view of the previous expressions of interest received at least five blocks can be auctioned while ensuring competition in auction or alternatively raising the base price of the spectrum.

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