ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has renewed Jazz license, due for renewal since 2019, after dismissal of a petition from Islamabad High Court (IHC).
The PTA spokesperson said that renewed license has enhanced terms and conditions for coverage and quality of service, as established during the recent Pakistan spectrum auction.
The license signing was held at the PTA Headquarters, on Monday.
The license is renewed at a price of $449.2 million, out of which, Jazz has already paid $333.64 million on account of license renewal fee and applicable markup.
The government had approved renewal of licenses of two mobile operators, i.e. Jazz and Telenor, Pakistan at around $450 million each, while the third operator - CM Pak had to pay $470 million.
Cellular licenses were issued by the PTA to two new cellular mobile operators i.e. Telenor Pakistan and Warid Telecom on May 26, 2004 for a period of 15 years, under the Mobile Cellular Policy, 2004, on payment of $291 million after auction.
Cellular license of Paktel Limited, now China Mobile Pakistan (Zong), was also renewed by the PTA under the 2004 Policy on October 23, 2004 for a period of 15 years on payment of $291 million. These licenses were due for renewal on May 25, 2019 and October 22, 2019, respectively. In 2014, the government renewed the license of Ufone at $291 million.
On August 21, 2019 the IHC directed Telenor and Jazz for depositing 50 percent of license renewal fee i.e. around Rs36 billion each in two weeks as guarantee.
The operators disagreed with the PTA's decision on fixing license renewal fee.
The operators had also requested for grant of stay order to avoid service disruption in the country after August 21, 2019 - the date fixed by the PTA for renewal of licenses.The court had directed both the operators to deposit half of the amount, i.e. 50 percent as guarantee till the final decision on the appeal of both cellular operators.
The PTA had rejected mobile operators' apprehensions relating to the price of license renewal and passed an order, while fixing the fee for license renewal at $39.5 million per MHz for frequency spectrum of 900 MHz and $29.5 million per MHz for frequency spectrum of 1800 MHz.The PTA has won the legal battle following the IHC's dismissal of the petitions for the pricing of license renewal filed against it by Jazz and Telenor.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021