ISLAMABAD: The Uni­versal Service Fund (USF) has awarded a contract worth Rs2.07 billion to Ufone for providing high-speed mobile broadband services in Kech district of Balochistan.

USF Chief Executive Haaris Mahmood Chau­dhary and Group CFO and Acting CEO PTCL & Ufone Nadeem Khan signed the contract on Friday.

Information Technology and Telecommunication Minister Syed Amin Ul Haque and Defence Pro­duction Minister Zubaida Jalal witnessed the signing ceremony.

Federal Secretary for IT and Telecommunication Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui and PTA Chairman Amir Azeem Bajwa were also present.

Mr Amin said it was the priority to ensure that Balochistan remains at the forefront of technology development. The digital connectivity will open unprecedented new possibilities for the marginalised communities of Kech district, he added.

Ms Jalal said that the IT development projects for the people of Balochistan are in line with the true spirit of Digital Pakistan and will play an important role in alleviating the marginalisation of Balochistan and supporting the province to come on a par with the developed world.

The IT ministry through USF has contracted various development projects worth around Rs7bn to provide high-speed mobile broadband services in districts of Chagai, Noshki, Bolan, Mastung, Panjgur, Gwadar, Ziarat, Jaffarabad and Pishin.

These projects are expected to be completed within 12 to 18 months, Mr Amin said.

The project will benefit an unserved population of 0.34 million, and cover an unserved area of 23,964 sq. km. of Kech district.

In the last two years, USF has awarded projects worth over Rs21bn.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2021

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