Pakistan Telecommunication Authority

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Pakistan Telecommunication Authority
Abbreviation PTA
Established 1996
Region served
Chairman (Acting)
Muhammad Naveed[1][2]
Parent organization
Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (Urdu: پاکستان ٹیلی مواصلات اختیار‎, abbreviated as PTA) is a state owned enterprise responsible for the establishment, operation and maintenance of telecommunications in Pakistan. Headquartered in Islamabad, PTA also has regional offices located in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Muzaffarabad and Rawalpindi.

By November 2013, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) reported that overall cellular phone subscription has reached 132 million with increase of 25 million new numbers in the past two years.[3][4]


The Pakistan Telecommunication Ordinance 1994, established the primary regulatory framework for the telecommunication industry including the establishment of an authority. Thereafter, Telecommunication (Re-Organization) Act no XVII was promulgated in 1996 that aimed to reorganize the telecom sector of Pakistan. Under Telecom Reorganization Act 1996, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) was established in 1996 to regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance of telecommunication systems and the provision of telecom services.[5]


To regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance of telecommunication systems and provision of telecommunication services in Pakistan. To receive and expeditiously dispose of applications for the use of radio-frequency spectrum. To promote and protect the interests of users of telecommunication services in Pakistan. To promote the availability of a wide range of high quality, efficient, cost effective and competitive telecommunication services throughout Pakistan. To promote rapid modernization of telecommunication systems and telecommunication services. To investigate and adjudicate on complaints and other claims made against licensees arising out of alleged contraventions of the provisions of this Act, the rules made and licenses issued there under and take action accordingly. To make recommendations to the Federal Government on policies with respect to international telecommunications, provision of support for participation in international meetings and agreements to be executed in relation to the routing of international traffic and accounting settlements.[6]

Responsibilities of Authority[edit]

In exercising its functions and powers under the Act, the authority ensures:

  • Rights of licensees are duly protected.
  • All of its decisions and determinations are made promptly, in an open equitable, non discriminatory, consistent and transparent manner.
  • All applications made to it are disposed of expeditiously;
  • The persons affected by its decisions or determination are given a due notice thereof and provided with an opportunity of being heard.
  • It encourages, except subject to the exclusive right of the company in basic telephone service, fair competition in the telecommunication sector.
  • The interest of users of telecommunication services are duly safeguarded and protected.


Acting Chairman Muhammad Naveed with Houlin Zhao in 2018

PTA, has given number of Mobile, Fixed Line licenses to operators for services in Pakistan. This happened in 3 auctions by the Next Generation Mobile Services.

NGMS Auction 2014[edit]

PTA Auctioned spectrum for 3G and 4G services in 2014. One 4G licenses and three 3G licenses were finally auctioned on 23 April 2014.[7][8] The 4G license was bagged by Zong (as well as 10 MHz 3G license), while the 3G licenses were auctioned to Telenor (5 MHz), Mobilink (10 MHz) and Ufone (5 MHz). While Warid Pakistan was the only operator in Pakistan not to bid on the auction; Later on, Warid started LTE services using a previously acquired technology neutral license. The auction raised a total of $1.22 billion including 10% advance tax for the government of Pakistan.[9]

NGMS Auction 2016[edit]

Another auction was held in June 20for a 10 MHz block in the 850 MHz (Band 5) frequency, the base price was set at USD 395 million.[10] Telenor Pakistan was the only bidder in the auction and won the license for 850 MHz which it now uses for 3G (HSPA+) and LTE.[11]

NGMS Auction 2017[edit]

PTA plans to hold another auction on the 16th of May 2017 to auction a 10 MHz block in the 1800 MHz (Band 3) frequency, which was un-sold in the 2014 NGMS auction.[12]

The base price will be set at USD 295 million.[13]

It was first mentioned that Ufone could've been the only operator to participate in the 2017 NGMS auction,[14] however as of April 24, 2017, PTA officials had revealed that all telecom operators have shown great interest in the available spectrum and the auction has been delayed to 24 May 2017 on the request of all telecom operators.[15]

Contrary to earlier rumours and statements, the only operator to bid for the 1800 MHz 4G spectrum in the 2017 auction would be Jazz, the other operators, Telenor, Zong and Ufone did not submit any applications and a statement from PTA mentioned that Jazz was the only operator to submit the application before the deadline which was the 17th of May 2017.[16][17]

On the 18th of May 2017, Jazz became the winner of the 4G spectrum auction. It will be officially awarded the spectrum after the fee is paid.[18][19]

Recent Achievements[edit]

1) Auction and subsequent spectacular growth in Mobile Broadband. Broadband density in the country jumped from under 2% to over 15% in less than 2 years.

2) Verification of all the SIMs in the country resulting in a unique identity for every SIM.


  1. ^ "The government finally appoints Muhammad Naveed as an acting Chairman PTA". March 29, 2018.
  2. ^ "PTA - The Authority". Archived from the original on July 19, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "Cellular phone subscription reaches 107m". Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  4. ^ Administrator. "Telecom Indicators". Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  5. ^ Administrator. "History". Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Functions". Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ AFP (17 January 2014). "Pakistan plans 3G licence auction by March". Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ "PTA Releases Information Memorandum for 850MHZ Spectrum Auction". 2016-04-29. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  11. ^ "Telenor wins 850MHZ spectrum licence - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  12. ^ "PTA to Hold 4G Auction on May 16th, IM Released". 2017-03-31. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  13. ^ "Official: Pakistan to Auction 4G Spectrum for $295 Million". 2017-03-28. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  14. ^ "Ufone Could Be the Only Operator to Participate in 4G Spectrum Auction". 2017-04-04. Retrieved 2017-05-02. Although Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has made the upcoming auction for Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) spectrum (3G/4G) more lucrative for new entrants, it remains pessimistic about the participation of any new player.
  15. ^ "PTA Delays 4G Spectrum Auction". 2017-04-24. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  16. ^ "Breaking: Jazz Becomes Only Operator to Bid for 4G Spectrum". 2017-05-17. Retrieved 2017-05-18.
  17. ^ Ahmadani, Ahmad. "Jazz emerges as sole operator to bid for 4G spectrum | Profit by Pakistan Today". Retrieved 2017-05-18.
  18. ^ "PTA Notifies Jazz as the Winner of 4G Spectrum Auction". 2017-05-19. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  19. ^ "Jazz became the winner of 4G spectrum: Dunya Ko Bataa Do | NetMag Pakistan". NetMag Pakistan. 2017-05-19. Retrieved 2017-05-20.

External links[edit]