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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) on Thursday issued policy directive for the renewal of the Jazz cellular mobile licence, which is expected to generate around $486.2 million revenue.

The ministry stated that in exercise of powers conferred under section 8(2) read with section 22 (3) of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act, 1996 and in view of the requirement set by Telecom Policy 2015 and as per provision of the cellular Mobile Licence renewed in 2007 i.e. to have a specific policy of the federal government for renewal of cellular mobile licence of Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited due for renewal on 5th July 2022, the federal government, issued the following directives for compliance by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Frequency Allocation Board.

(i) The licence renewal price for the right to use frequency spectrum included in the licence being renewed shall be in accordance with recent price benchmarks of renewal 2019 and spectrum auction 2021 i.e. per MHz price for frequency spectrum in 900 MHz and 1800 MHz shall be USD 39.5 million and USD 31 million respectively.

(ii) The licence be renewed with same quantity of spectrum i.e. 13.6MHz (7.6MHz in 900 MHz&6MHz in 1800 MHz) to generate an expected revenue of $486.2 million.

(iii) The tenure of the renewed licence shall continue to be 15 years.

(iv) Payment terms shall be 100 percent upfront or 50 percent upfront with remaining 50 percent on five equal annual installments on LIBOR+3 percent.

(v) The renewal fee shall be paid in US dollars with the option to pay in Pak rupee, which will be calculated at the market exchange rate applicable at the time of payment, as per precedence of earlier cellular license issuance/renewal.

(vi) The licence renewed under this policy directive shall be technology neutral in line with existing GoP policies.

(vii) Provisions for spectrum trading/sharing as per the approved regulatory framework or such sharing/trading will be incorporated in the renewed licence by the PTA.

(viii) Other terms and conditions including coverage obligations, quality of service etc will be at par with cellular mobile licence issued/renewed in 2021 by the PTA with no separate performance bank guarantee against rollout obligations.

(ix) The payment (100 percent or 50 percent upfront as the case may be) shall be due on or before 5th July.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet last month approved the summary of the MoITT seeking approval for a policy directive on the renewal of cellular license of Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (PMCL/Jazz).

Federal Minister for IT Aminul Haque said “everyone knows how much effort the government of Pakistan had to go through to get a loan of $1 billion from the IMF.”

On the other hand, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has dealt with all the issues for generating $486 million and this amount will not be a loan but will be the property of the government of Pakistan without any interest.

He said that last year, the licences of Telenor and Warid were renewed for more than $440 million, of which, 50 percent has been deposited in the national exchequer.

He further said that the fee for renewal of Jazz licence will be in one go or 50 percent and the remaining will be paid in five years in equal installments.

The licence will be renewed for 15 years, while all conditions including quality of services are as per rules.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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