Tuesday July 16, 2024

Govt renews mobile operators licenses for Rs3.1 billion

By Mehtab Haider
June 25, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The government has received Rs3.1 billion on account of license renewal fees from three mobile operators Telenor Pakistan, Jazz and Ufone for operating in Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said.

PTA said the cellular license renewal ceremony was held on Thursday. Three cellular mobile operators i.e., Telenor Pakistan, Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (Jazz) and Pakistan Telecom Mobile Limited (Ufone) deposited payment (50 percent of the PTA determined license fee) amounting to Rs3.19 billion against their license renewal fee with PTA.

PTA Chairman Amir Azim Bajwa lauded the efforts of the cellular operators for playing a crucial role in providing connectivity across these regions. He also appreciated the tireless efforts of concerned officials of PTA, frequency allocation board and ministry of information technology for timely conclusion of the renewal process.

“AJ&K and GB are the prime areas of tourism in Pakistan and the license renewal will pave the way for provision of 3G/4G and next generation mobile services to the consumers of these areas as well to the tourists,” Bajwa said.

Continuous efforts are being made to bring state of the art telecommunication services to far flung areas enabling access to a multitude of opportunities for businesses, education and health.

Secretary IT and Telecom Sohail Rajput congratulated the mobile operators on renewal of licenses. “AJ&K and GB have immense importance in government policies, and it is the government’s priority to provide advanced telecom services in these regions. There are vast opportunities for public-private collaboration in various sectors including telecoms.”

Due to license renewals, this will not only contribute towards uninterrupted provision of better telecom services to the people of AJ&K and GB but will also help in promotion of competition and investment in the telecom sector

Total license renewal fee stands at $13.5 million, said spokesman of Telenor Pakistan. PTA renewed Telenor Pakistan’s license to operate in Kashmir and Gilgit. The licence, which would have expired on 25 June 2021 is being renewed for 15 years.

“In this digital age, smart connectivity has become a necessary utility and Telenor Pakistan is committed to continue serving the people of AJK and GB through provision of next generation mobile services. Over the years, we have taken steps to build digital infrastructure in the region that enable access to digital and financial inclusion,” said Irfan Wahab, chief executive officer of Telenor Pakistan.