4G License Auction 2014, Pakistan raises $1.1 billion with 3G
Pakistan on Wednesday raised more than $1.1 billion in its long-delayed auction of next-generation telecommunications licences, snapped up by the country´s four existing mobile network providers.
The government sold off four licences to provide 3G services, which allow broadband-speed internet on mobile phones, and one for superfast 4G connections.
The total is close to the $1.2 billion estimated for the sale in the federal budget for 2013-14 but below a bullish prediction of $2 billion made by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in January.
The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was elected last year on a platform of boosting Pakistan´s floundering economy and ministers hope the licence sale will bring a boost by improving communications.
Pakistan has more than 132 million mobile phone subscribers but has lagged behind its neighbours in setting up 3G, which is now the norm in many countries.