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Friday, September 30, 2022

Cabinet blocks to renew Telecom companies’ licenses at throw away price

Cabinet blocks to renew Telecom companies’ licenses at throw away price

The Cabinet has refused to go ahead to Ministry of information Technology (IT) to renew licenses of Telecom companies at throw away price.


Ministry of IT had approached cabinet seeking blanket approval to renew licenses of Telecom companies without conducting study in line with PPRA. However cabinet deferred the issue and directed ministry of Information Technology to hold further consultations with stakeholders.


The Cabinet was approached to approve a plan of renewing licenses at throw away price but cabinet decided to seek consultations with stakeholders.

Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) had granted licenses to telecom companies-Telenor Pakistan, Warid Pakistan and Zong for 15 years and these licenses were going to expire in May 25, 2019.Under PPRA rule, PTA is to conduct to conduct study to form policy framework to conduct bidding process of telecom companies to renew their licenses. But the consultant had delayed the process and it was unlikely to complete in April 2019, IT ministry says.


Ministry of Information Technology wants now the government to allow Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) to conduct bidding for renewal of licenses of cellar telecom companies without conducting study by consultant based on the old prices discovered during the licenses of Telecom companies.


Ministry of IT says that PTA had hired a consultant M/S WRAP international which would not be able to conduct a study to form framework to renew licenses of Telecom companies that could cause a delay in bidding process due to change of government in Pakistan.


Prime Minister had constituted a committee to monitor the process to ensure timely completion of the renewal of licenses of Telecom companies. The committee had pointed out that consultation work of consultant could not be completed before April 2019 and however, various auctions of frequency spectrum included in the licenses had been held leading to updated prices by the market.

 IT ministry said that these actions could be considered to renew the licenses. The licenses were now due to be renewed on May 25, 2019 for the companies Telenor, Warid and Zong



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