Thursday, February 23, 2012

PTA may change 3G auction date beyond March 29

The bidding date for 3G licensing in Pakistan which PTA had announced earlier in its Information Memorandum 2012 (IM) as March 29 may go beyond the schedule.
A latest PTA advertisement which seeks Expression of Interest (EoI) from telecom consultants from all over the world was put on display at PTA’s website.
Government is happy over projected 3G earningsThe advertisement says, “PTA intends to hire the services of a consultancy firm of international repute (the “Consultant”) for providing services for the auction of mobile cellular license and 3G Spectrum/licenses. The consultant shall advise, assist and provide full support to PTA on steps necessary and critical to make the two auctions a success, ensure the participation of credible telecom operators in the auction and fetch optimum value from the auction”.
PTA has set the last date of submitting (EoI) as March 26 whereas, it will take another 20 to 30 days before successful consulting firms are selected for assisting PTA for the 3G spectrum licensing.
It is interesting to note that, as per IM issued by PTA, bidders or interesting cellular operators for taking part in the auction will be qualified by March 12 2012 before they can participate in the bidding process on March 29. At the moment, Information Memorandum seems to be clashing with PTA’s latest decision of hiring consultants for finalizing ‘credible telecom operators’ and create a complete roadmap of licensing process which may differ all together with the earlier strategy highlighted in IM 2012.
An official from a leading telecom operator commented on the situation “It appears impossible that PTA would be able to hire a consultant firm(s) before scheduled bidding date. It is likely that bidding process will take place a month or two after consultants have been hired. In such a case, 3G auction date may be extended till May-June 2012″.
“It is very much possible that PTA is going to implement what it had promised onFebruary 14 before Senate’s Standing Committee on ITOfficial added.
Earlier, Senate’s Committee had raised objections on entire 3G auction mechanism designed by PTA and called it biased.
When contacted, PTA’s spokesperson said, the 3G auction will take place as per scheduled mentioned in Information Memorandum 2012 on Mobile Cellular License/Spectrum Auction(3G/4G/LTE etc.) which can be downloaded from here
Whereas, the Information Memorandum clearly states that “All information contained in this IM is subject to updating and amendment. Any such change shall be duly announced and communicated to the applicants through the Q&A process and shall also be notified at PTA web site”
PTA telecom consultant on 3G
A low resolution view PTA Advert

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