Published on January 27th, 2012 | by Arsalan Mir9
Mobilink Confirms to Bid for 3G, Senator Questions Transparency of Auction
In a recent media breif by Mobilink, Rashid Khan, President and CEO said that his company “is evaluating the information memorandum of 3G spectrum and has decided to participate in the bidding”. With this announcement Pakistan’s largest cellular networks comes forward as the first potential bidder for the 3G auction scheduled for March 29, 2012.
Going further, Khan said that despite the global economic recession there was an enabling environment for cellular business in Pakistan. This comes as a very expected statement from a mobile operator in market where the ARPU is near USD 3.
It must also be noted over here that, as advertised by PTA in local newspapers earlier this week, the base price of 3G license is USD 210 million with USD 31.5 million. The auction will be conducted through multiple rounds and open outcry method while each operator can secure 2 block of spectrum.
Commenting on the base price, Rashid Khan said it was a reasonable base price determined on the basis of telecom policy. He also ruled out that the five telecom sector companies were colluding for the bid.
On the other hand, Senator Pervez Rasheed of PML(N) has questioned on the transparency of 3G auction in the senate session that the base price of 3G license of $210 million is much lower than the base price at the time of 2G license which was $290 million. He demanded to immediately stop this process and review its conditions to avoid any chances of embezzlement.
Senator Pervez was supported by Haji Adeel, Ilyas Bilour of ANP, Col. Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi (retd) of MQM, Prof. Khurshid of JI and others warning the government not to proceed with its auction plan without taking them into confidence. They also had reservation on the license being auctioned on “technology neutral” saying that this would be like a charity.
The earlier version of the post had a typo error in the base price of 3G license, the same has now been corrected.