Pakistan invites Saudi telecom companies to 3G auction

Updated 14 February 2014

Pakistan invites Saudi telecom companies to 3G auction

Pakistan’s Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has extended an invitation to Saudi telecom companies and entrepreneurs to participate in the auction of 3G telecommunication licenses, which is expected to be held in March 2014. Pakistan expects to earn an estimated $2 billion with the auction of these licenses.
Syed Ismail Shah, chairman of PTA, recently extended the invitation in his meeting with Abdulaziz A. Alsugair, chairman of the board of Saudi Telecom Company (STC). Commercial Attaché of the Pakistani Embassy, Waseem Hayat Bajwa was also present.
Norwegian telecom conglomerate Telenor, China Mobile and Pakistan-based Mobilink have already shown interest in bidding for the 3G licenses.
Highlighting the opportunities, the PTA chief mentioned that Pakistan has an untapped data market, with less than two percent penetration that can be captured by new companies who obtain the 3G spectrum.
He said: “The government is considering not only to auction spectrum in the 1900/2100 MHz range but also in the 1800 MHz band for deployment of long term evolution (LTE) in the country, thus making it a very attractive option for investors.”
The STC chairman showed his enthusiasm in the upcoming auction, acknowledging that statistics pertaining to opportunities in Pakistan were highly attractive. He also appreciated the efforts being undertaken by Pakistan and agreed to continue the dialogue with PTA.
According to reports, Pakistan’s mobile sector has been increased with more than 129 million mobile subscribers as compared to 13 million in 2005.
The total tele-density is climbing up to around 75 percent with the widespread use of smart phones, while the launch of 3G and LTE services is expected to result in exponential growth in broadband subscribers in Pakistan.


Sweden bans Huawei, ZTE from upcoming 5G networks

Updated 20 October 2020

Sweden bans Huawei, ZTE from upcoming 5G networks

  • European governments have been reviewing the role of Chinese companies in building their networks
  • Sweden’s security service called China ‘one of the biggest threats against Sweden’

STOCKHOLM: Swedish regulators on Tuesday banned the use of telecom equipment from China’s Huawei and ZTE in its 5G network ahead of the spectrum auction scheduled for next month.
The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) said auctions the setting of the license conditions followed assessments by the Swedish Armed Forces and security service.
European governments have been reviewing the role of Chinese companies in building their networks following pressure from the United States, which says they pose a security threat because, among other concerns, Chinese companies and citizens must by law aid the state in intelligence gathering.
Sweden’s security service called China “one of the biggest threats against Sweden.”
The United Kingdom in July ordered Huawei equipment to be purged completely from Britain’s 5G network by 2027, becoming one of the first European countries to do so.
Huawei and ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the decision by Sweden, home to Ericsson, one of Europe’s leading telecoms equipment suppliers.
“The ban leaves network operators with less options and risks slowing the rollout of 5G in markets where competition is reduced,” said Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight.
The ban is likely to benefit rival telecom equipment makers Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia.
PTS said companies taking part in the auction must remove Huawei and ZTE gear from existing central functions by Jan. 1, 2025.
The regulator defined central functions as equipment used to build the radio access network, the transmission network, the core network and the service and maintenance of the network.
PTS said the license conditions were decided to address the assessments made by the armed forces and security service.
It has approved the participation of Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility, Telia Sverige and Teracom in the planned spectrum auction of 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz, key bands crucial for the rollout of 5G.
Tele2 and Telenor will participate together as Net4Mobility to secure spectrum for a joint nationwide 5G network.
Tele2, which uses Huawei equipment in its network, which had earlier called Huawei an important vendor, said the PTS decision “does not change our plans substantially.”
“We may have to phase different costs differently between years to meet security conditions on time,” a spokesman told Reuters.
The 5G spectrum auction was originally planned for early 2020, but last year PTS said it would delay the auction due to a security review. PTS announced in April this year that the auction would begin in November.