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Pakistan to Hold Delayed 3G License Auction in April

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Pakistan's government has confirmed that the long delayed and often cancelled auction for the country's 3G licenses will go ahead this April.

Federal Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar confirmed the news following a leak of a government document last week suggesting the April date had been set.

He also confirmed that they are seeing interest from a number of overseas bidders, which could drive the price above the USD2 billion that the government has said it hopes to raise from the auction.

The 15-years licenses will be offered after the government approved the recommendations from an independent consultancy. While the details are not confirmed yet, it is expected that the regulator will offer a total of 50Mhz of spectrum split into two bands. That is more than had been expected, and may reflect the increased level of interest from overseas bidders.

The base price is expected to be $295 million per 10 MHz for 3G and $210 million per 10 MHz for 4G.

Any winners will have to pay half the license fee upfront, with the remainder as an option over the next five years, although interest will also be added to the outstanding amount.

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Tags: 3g license  pta  Pakistan