ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tele­communications Authority (PTA) on Wednesday formally renewed the integrated telecom licence of the Pakistan Telecommunication Com­pany Limited (PTCL) for the next 25 years effective from Jan 1, 2021.

The previous integrated licence was issued to the PTCL on Jan 1, 1997 and was valid up to Dec 31, 2020.

In a statement, PTA said that the licence is technology neutral. PTCL will be able to provide all state-of the-art telecom services under the renewed licence except mobile services across the country in 14 telecom regions, the authority added.

PTA said that to enhance the quality of services (QoS) parameters, the renewed licence entails conditions including five per cent annual increase of Next Generation Access Network (NGAN) connections and QoS service parameters as per international standards.

The new licence has several bindings on PTCL including improvements in consumer protection, help-line services, commercial agreements obligations and others have also been included in the licence.

The licence fee includes 0.66pc of annual gross revenue of PTCL, while 0.5pc and 2pc of annual gross revenues will be paid as annual licence fees and USF plus R&D Fund, respectively. PTCL will deposit the charges of already allocated wireless local loop (WLL) spectrum in US dollars on annual basis and will be able to use Radio Frequency Spectrum till 2024 as per the existing allocation.

The company will have to ensure consumer data privacy and network security as per licence conditions and the telecom regulator will monitor service quality periodically, as it was done for other telcos.

Meanwhile, PTCL said the company initiated the renewal process by formally requesting PTA in June, 2018.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2021

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