Ufone wins Pakistan’s unused spectrum bid for $279 million, the country’s telecom authority said. The Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) began selling unused spectrum late last year.
The spectrum is in the 1800 and 2100 MHz bands, which operators typically use for 4G LTE networks (long-term evolution) that offer fast video streaming and Internet downloads.
“Total Spectrum won by Ufone is 9 MHz in 1800 MHz band which is 70.3 percent of the total offered spectrum in the said band during the current auction,” the PTA said in a statement.
The addition will boost Ufone spectrum holdings from 6 MHz to 15 MHz in 1800 MHz band, enhancing quality and increasing coverage for voice and data services, it added.
Pakistan has nearly 100 million 3G/4G subscribers, and the new spectrum known as Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) is seen a precursor to any 5G launch.
The Pakistan telecom market is dominated by Jazz, backed by Netherlands-based Veon Ltd; Telenor Pakistan, backed by Norway’s state-controlled Telenor; Zong, owned by China Mobile; and Ufone, which is controlled by state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd.