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Auctions usher in mobile internet for Pakistan

Pakistan’s 3G and 4G spectrum auctions have concluded successfully, raising over $1.1 billion.

The long-awaited process resulted in the four local operators all obtaining 3G spectrum in the 2100MHz band.

The bidding for 3G spectrum was led by Zong, which secured a 10MHz band licence and also qualified to bid for one of the two available 1800MHz 4G licences – which it went on to win.

Mobilink refrained from bidding for a 4G licence, focusing instead on procuring the other 10MHz 3G licence. Ufone meanwhile failed to qualify for the 4G auction after it initially bid for 15MHz of 3G spectrum, but only obtained 5MHz. Telenor Pakistan won a 5MHz licence.

There are two licences remaining – the second 1800MHz 4G licence, and another 3G licence reserved for newcomers to the market. These will be auctioned off in the near future.

The 3G auction raised $902.8 million for the country’s government, while the 4G auction netted a further $210 million.


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