ISLAMABAD - Government is all set to hold auction of remaining spectrum by the end of June, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Chairman Dr Ismail shah announced Friday.

During a ceremony held at PTA headquarters, he said that the authority was ready for more spectrum auction which is expected to be completed by the end of June, 2016.

It will further enhance quality of cellular services in the country. “The advantage of availability of 3G/4G technologies is not just the availability of high speed internet; rather it is bringing information which leads to transparency and efficiency,” Shah told the select participants who gathered to celebrate best performance title in a recent PTA survey.

PTA recently carried out a comprehensive Quality of Service (QoS) Survey of 2G and NGMS in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar to check voice and QoS as per the required standards.  Many questions were raised on the authenticity of the results as the authority gave a clean chit to all the operators in terms of service quality. It is relevant to mention here that consumers have been complaining since long that mobile services in the country actually suffered after the gigantic addition of new users in last couple of years.

Many believe that the results were just to encourage others operators to buy more spectrum. According to insiders, government has set a reserve price of $395 million for 2x10MHz of 850MHz spectrum to be auctioned by the end of June.

Finance ministry recently approved a proposal to auction off the 850 MHZ band, before holding an auction for the 1.8GHz spectrum that was unsold in the 4G sale in 2014.

According to sources, on the direction of Ministry of IT and Finance, PTA has initiated the bidding process.

The regulator has released Information Memorandum (IM) for use of spectrum in the 850 MHz range and to grant the successful bidders rights to establish, maintain and operate Next Generation Mobile Networks and to provide Next Generation Mobile Services across Pakistan.

The process of the award is named as the Next Generation Mobile Services Award (NGMSA).  Information Memorandum (IM) is a policy guideline, to set the rules related to the process of auction, planned timetable and other background information to help prospective applicants to decide if they wish to participate in the auction or not.

Many believe that the auction may not attract many offers as many of the operators don’t want to invest further into the telecom sector due to high competition and shrinking profits. Some telecom operators of the country have been demanding PTA to set a floor price but PTA believes market should operate on its own.