State Bank Suggests Changes to 3G License Terms

The State Bank of Pakistan believes that the government could generate USD 630 million from a 3G spectrum auction. However, the bank has suggested some changes to the terms and conditions of the auction. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had planned to auction 3G licenses in FY 2012 and then earlier this year, but these plans fell through due to various reasons. The State Bank believes that the 3G licences could generate significant revenues for the Pakistani government as the base price has been set at USD 210 million per license and there are three licenses available. However, the bank says that allowing one firm to bid for two licenses goes against the spirit of competition in the industry. Additionally, the bank recommends that payment for the licenses be staggered after an initial payment of 50 percent of the bid price, rather than the currently suggested one-time upfront fee.

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