The next-generation telecommunications (3G and 4G) licenses auctioned by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority yesterday, April 23, 2014, managed to raise over $1.1 billion according to the latest reports.
Four major players were in the race for the licenses, including Telenor, Mobilink, Ufone and Zong. The license on offer included four 3G licenses and two for 4G technology. The bidding went on for most of the day and ended in the evening, with all carriers successfully getting 3G licenses and only Zong, part of China Mobile, managing to pick up a 4G license.
One 4G license still remains and is expected to be auctioned off earlier. It is also interesting to note that Warid Telecom did not take part in the auction, despite holding a fair share in the Pakistani market.
It is estimated that Pakistan has around 132 million mobile phone users, but unfortunately, they have not been provided high speed broadband and mobile internet facilities up till now. On the other hand, neighboring countries like Afghanistan and India have had 3G technology for a couple of years now.
The 3G licenses alone managed to raise just over $900 million, and the one 4G license auctioned off to Zong went for $210 million. Earlier, the estimate given by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was of $2 billion, but the actual amount raised is closer to $1.2 billion.
According to a Zong representative, the company is going to launch the new services in Lahore and Karachi immediately. A chief executive with Mobilink also made a statement, lauding the transparent process and the step towards progress.
“After this auction, not only 132 million subscribers but the whole Pakistani nation has taken the road of progress,” he said.
- See more at: http://www.newspakistan.pk/2014/04/24/1-1-billion-raised-pakistan-auctioning-3g-4g-licenses/#sthash.hstMspSh.dpuf