Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit & Baltistan regions will have to wait for few more months to get 3G and 4G networks, we have confirmed with concerned authorities.
According to Information Memorandum for the auction of 3G and 4G spectrum auction, next-gen licenses offered to 3G and 4G operators will allow the telcos to offer 3G and 4G services with-in territorial extent of Pakistan excluding Azad and Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit and Balistan.
IM had said:
A License for spectrum awarded in the NGMSA provides exclusive use of the frequencies licensed to that Operator. The services permitted are governed by each specific License (see 2.1.3 below). The territorial extent of each License is the whole of Pakistan excluding Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB).
When asked that why 3G and 4G service offerings in AJK and G&B were not included in the license, authorities said that all necessary measures are being taken to give the current license holders an extension to start offering services in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan as well.
PTA said that Kashmir Council is being consulted on the matter and an extension in license is in the pipeline already. Authority didn’t communicate any timeframe for the completion of the process or when exactly the people of AJK will be able to experience 3G and 4G services.
It maybe recalled that cellular operators in Pakistan were offered an extension of their cellular licenses to offer services in AJK in 2005 after earthquake in the region. Companies were then charged US 1 million per operator for the service extension in AJK.
PTA said a similar extension will be offered to already operating 3G and 4G operators.
No new auction will be carried out for 3G and 4G services in AJK, instead the winners of April 2014 auction will be held qualified to avail the extension, confirmed us PTA.
It maybe recalled that Special Communication Organization (SCO) – an army administered telecom company — is monopoly in AJK and Gilgit and Baltistan for provision of broadband services to the users. Users in AJK and GB are largely unhappy about the rates and quality of services that SCO offers.