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Government Issues Policy Directives for Auction of Spectrum in GB, AJK

Islamabad: The Ministry of Information Technology has issued policy directives to the telecom regulator for the auction of spectrum in AJK and the Gilgit Baltistan (GB) to enhance the quality and reach of mobile telephony as well as broadband in these areas. This is in response to the government’s decision to provide fast internet services in mountainous regions of the country.

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The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is likely to release the Information Memorandum (IM) to all five cellular providers in the region after obtaining the policy instruction.

There are currently five mobile service providers in AJ&K and GB, including the state-owned Special Communication Organization (SCO), Jazz, Telenor, Zong, and Ufone.

The government has set the base price per megahertz in the 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands at $0.87 million, and 16 megahertz spectrum in the 1800 MHz band and 30 megahertz spectrum in the 2100 MHz band have been put up for auction to four mobile carriers for 15 years.

However, SCO has been granted 10 MHz of additional spectrum in both the 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands.

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PTA will provide the four mobile operators with an Information Memorandum (IM) outlining the complete auction procedure, including eligibility requirements and participation processes.

Students and tens of thousands of visitors who visit the hilly regions have criticized the administration in GB and AJK for failing to provide speedy internet connection.

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