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Pakistan Disappoints with Just 4 Bidders for 3G Licenses

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Pakistan's telecoms regulator, the PTA has confirmed that it received four bids to participate in the country's forthcoming 3G license auction, although no new entrants applied despite significant lobbying by the regulator to encourage them.

That will disappoint the government, which had spoken regularly of seeing strong overseas interest in the auction, and had hoped increased competition would drive the auction bidding as high as USD2 billion for the licenses.

The four incumbent mobile networks, China Mobile (Zong), UFone, Mobilink and Telenor all submitted bids.

One sizeable incumbent, Warid Telecom did not apply for the auction, which is likely due to the fact that its owners have put the company up for sale.

After evaluation of bids, the PTA said that it will announce the qualified bidders on April 17, 2014. As the demand is more than the supply the allocation of spectrum will happen through an auction process.

The auction is still scheduled to take place on the 23rd April.

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