Pakistan Expects to Raise $2 Billion from Radio Spectrum Auction

Pakistan’s Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar has confirmed that the country intends to push ahead with its radio spectrum auction by this coming March. He made the announcement during a visit by Telenor’s CEO, Jon Fredrik Baksaas.

The Finance Minister who also chairs the Spectrum Auction License Committee said that there is a lot of interest being shown by telecom sector in the auction of next generation spectrum license and assured that the process of auction would be smooth and transparent.

The Finance Minister said that though Pakistan expects to earn an estimated US$2 billion through the auction of three spectrum licenses, although they have only allowed for US$1.2 billion in the annual budget.

Telenor’s CEO, Jon Fredick Baksaas said that Telenor views Pakistan as a developing economy with a great potential.

Expressing his interest in participating in the next generation spectrum license, Mr. Jon Fredrick Baksaas apprised the Finance Minister that the Group which has been working in Pakistan for nearly a decade has invested US$2.3 billion and contributed another half in shape of various taxes, besides providing employment to 3,800 persons directly and over 25,000 persons indirectly.

Baksaas added that Telenor sector plays a vital role in stimulating growth in the economy and the steps being taken to auction the next generation spectrum license would help Pakistan accelerate growth.

Briefing the Finance Minister on the future plans of the Group, the President Telenor said that the Group takes a long term view of Pakistan and added that the penetration rate of telecom in Pakistan is higher than India and the auction of next generation spectrum license would only improve it further.

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