Jazz has been announced as the winner of 4G spectrum auction held recently by Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). As per the sources, PTA had initially called for bids from various operators for its spectrum auction for Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) 2017. However, only one operator participated in this auction. PTA has been conducting these auctions regularly; as it is the third NGMS auction held since 2014 yielding an amount of $1.98 billion for the country.
Interestingly, Jazz being the only operator to participate, has been considered the winner by default. Official notification has been sent to Jazz regarding its success and the company should now prepare to pay the spectrum fee within a month.
According to the regular procedure, Jazz will pay a total sum of $324 million ($295 million spectrum fee + $29.5 million tax amount). However, it will be paid in two parts; 50% fee will be paid upfront within 30 days while the remaining amount will be paid by January next year.
Sources from officials indicated that the operator had the following two payments alternatives:
- Pay the entire amount i.e. $324.5 million upfront
- Pay 50% fee upfront and the remaining amount to be paid in 5 equal installments with one year LIBOR+3%
Once the regulatory requirements are met and payment has been made, Jazz 4G spectrum will be assigned within the 1762.3-1785 / 1857.3-1880 range. Therefore, it is now the company’s decision to select its frequency within the given range.
Official ceremony to be held once payment is made
Additionally, it has been announced that the spectrum will be given to the operator in an official ceremony once the payment is made. Later, the company will be able to operate under this new spectrum.
It is important to note that Jazz is already operating on 4G spectrum in more than 50 cities; after acquiring it through Warid. However, the reason behind purchasing a new spectrum is that the company is planning to dispose off Warid’s spectrum which will eventually expire in 2019.
Jazz Director of Communication, Anjum Rahman said in a statement:
“We have already become a tech company and soon we will be becoming a video company as well. Besides, there are a number of other projects in the offing, which demand high usage of data along with high internet speed.”