Pakistan Telecommunication Authority – in a historic decision today – suspended PTCL’s WLL licenses in five regions for using extra radio frequency spectrum than it was allocated.
In a directive, produced below, PTA said that PTCL’s WLL license for Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi and Multan is suspended for not complying with authority’s earlier directive in which it had asked the operator to free up the additional spectrum that it was illegally using.
PTCL offers EVO / Nitro wireless broadband services and Vfone on top of its WLL license.
If implemented, all EVO, Nitro and Vfone services will go offline in these five regions.
Just in case if you don’t know, Pakistan is divided into 14 telecom regions, out of which these five regions comprise of over 70 percent of telecom population of the country.
PTA — just after few hours of license suspension – has restored suspended license after PTCL paid the fine of Rs. 82.496 million, moments ago.
A high level PTA official confirmed ProPakistani that PTCL has paid the fine and suspension of its WLL license is subsequently reverted.
PTA said that it has also asked FAB to keep a check on spectrum usage to make sure that PTCL has also freed up the extra radio frequency spectrum that it was illegally using.
PTA official, further explaining the development, said that the fine of Rs. 82.496 million was imposed for the spectrum loss till 2011, and the fine money may get revised as matter was resolved today (in 2014).
PTA’s Directive also noted to all LL, LDI and mobile phone operators to terminate telecommunication facilities extended to PTCL in these five regions.
It maybe recalled that ISPAK had approached PTA in 2011 for alleged extra usage of spectrum by PTCL for its wireless broadband services.
PTA, after investigations and field monitoring reports of FAB, concluded in its Determination dated 16.09.2011 that PTCL has been using extra wireless spectrum illegally for its EVO services and hence a penalty of Rs. 82.496 million was imposed on PTCL with directions to stop using extra spectrum.
PTCL challenged that Determination in Islamabad High Court (IHC) maintaining that PTA’s decision is unjust. However, IHC – later on — dismissed PTCL’s appeal against PTA’s Determination in its order dated 03.12.2013.
PTCL has now approached Supreme Court challenging the PTA’s directive. However, before any decision in the Supreme Court, PTA today suspended its WLL licenses.
Below is PTA’s today directive on suspension of PTCL’s WLL licenses: