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Jazz signs licence renewal agreement with PTA

By Our Staff Reporter 2021-10-19
ISLAMABAD: Jazz has signed a licence renewal agreement with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) amid a case the cellular company has filed against the telecom sector regulator in the Supreme Court over the same issue.

The signing ceremony was held at the PTA headquarters here on Monday. The renewed licence has enhanced terms and conditions for coverage and quality of service (QS).

Jazz had raised objections to the enhanced requirements related to the coverage area of telecom services and the quality of service during the recent spectrum auction, and the licence included these terms.

The operational licences obtained in 2004 by Jazz and Telenor Pakistan had expired in 2019, but both the operators developed disagreement with the PTA over the price of renewals and additional terms and conditions mainly related to the quality of service.

However, after having failed to resolve the issue with the telecom sector regulator, both the telecom operators had filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court, but lost the case in September 2021. Telenor and Jazz have challenged the IHC decision in the Supreme Court, but Jazz also decided to renew its operational licence by signing the agreement.

The PTA said in a statement that the authority had renewed Jazz`s licence due for renewal since 2019. `The licence is renewed at a price of $449.2 million out of which Jazz has already paid $333.64m on account of licence renewal fee and applicable mark-up, the PTA said.

Meanwhile, Telenor Pakistan said it had no pending amount against the government fee to be paid to the PTA as the company had been depositing all its dues as `protest payment` despite fighting a case against the PTA in the court. `However, we have a few reservations on the terms and conditions proposed for the renewal,` a spokesperson for Telenor said.

`In this regard we are actively engaged in discussions with the PTA to settle these terms amicably and look forward to a fair resolution,` the spokesperson added.

The statement said Telenor remained committed to serving the people of Pakistan through its best in class telecom and digital services and would continue to play its part in order to connect people to what matters most.