Islamabad  - State Minister for IT and Telecom Anusha Rehman has invited international telecom companies to participate in upcoming spectrum auction for Next Generation Mobile Services, expected this year.

Rehman extended the invitation during her meeting with the group CEOs of Etisalat, Telenor and VimpleCom Groups, in Barcelona Spain on Friday.

Rehman, along with PTA chairman Ismaeel Shah and MD PSEB, participating in GSMA conference being held in Barcelona. According to officials, during her meetings with top brass of world telecom companies, she discussed matters pertaining to further development of Pakistani telecom market especially in context of immense market potential of mobile broadband provision, application development and associated services.

Government of Pakistan is currently considering auction of the frequency blocks left unsold in last year’s spectrum auction of State for IT invited them to further consider strengthening their respective positions through participation

She communicated to executives that the policy focus of Pakistan government was to provide universal, affordable and equitable access to the people of the country and her government believes that proliferation of broadband is the modus operandi to achieve all these goals.

Pakistan intends to sell spectrum 1,800 Megahertz, 850 Megahertz, and 2100 Megahertz, which were left unsold in last year’s auction.

In this regard, according to officials of Ministry of IT, Ministry of Finance has given go-ahead signal for the auction of these spectrum before June this year.

Pakistan has auctioned 3G and 4G spectrum licences last year, inviting bids for the auction of spectrum in 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz and 850 MHz bands, but later categories failed to attract customers, reportedly due to high cost.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had put on sale 30MHz of spectrum in 3G [2,100MHz] band and 20MHz of spectrum in 4G [1,800MHz] band. The base prices for 3G and 4G licences were $295 million per 10MHz and $210 million per 10MHz, respectively.

According to officials meetings held in cordial atmosphere and the participants showed keen interest, however, it would be early to say that would these meetings bear any fruit, or not. Pakistani delegation is scheduled to leave for the country today. (Friday).