PM to award 3G, 4G spectrum licences on Thursday

Published May 21, 2014
A woman reads a brochure of 3G and 4G of next-generation telecommunications during the online auction in Islamabad. – AFP Photo
A woman reads a brochure of 3G and 4G of next-generation telecommunications during the online auction in Islamabad. – AFP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will award 3G and 4G mobile spectrum licences to the successful mobile operating bidders on Thursday while deadline for free 3G services by different mobile companies will end on Friday.

Following the auction held by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in April, the government raised $902.82 million in the first auction for 3G mobile phone networks and $210 million for the 4G spectrum.

Winning mobile operators for 3G Licence include Mobilink, Telenor and Ufone, while ZonG was declared successful for both 3G and 4G Licences.

Official sources at telecommunication ministry told Dawn.com on Wednesday that ZonG has paid 100 per cent payment of license fee for 3G, 4G spectrums including 10 per cent of withholding tax while Mobilink paid all amount of license fee of 3G spectrum.

They also informed that Ufone and Telenor have paid 50 per cent of the licence fee also with 10 per cent of withholding tax.

Giving details of payments by qualified bidders/cellular mobile operators (CMOs), a top seated official at telecommunication ministry also said that Mobilink has paid $300.9 million, Ufone and Telenor paid $73.75 million each while ZonG has paid $516.918.

Pakistan has more than 132 million mobile phone subscribers and has now provided the latest mobile communication technology to its users.

Prime Minister Sharif previously directed the ministry of information technology to speed up the introduction process of both 3G and 4G technologies in Pakistan simultaneously to catch up with the rest of the world.

The award of these licenses will provide Rs260 billion additional revenue to the exchequer and at the same time open up thousands of employment opportunities in the country.

It may be mentioned that mobile consumers, who were enjoying the befits of 3G spectrum from last 28 days without paying any bills, would no longer find free service from Friday as they will have to pay for subscribing a bucket to use the service.

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