Zong Sends USD 40 Million Legal Notice to PTA, Demands a Refund for Defective Spectrum

CMPak, that operates in Pakistan with the brand name of Zong, has sent a legal notice to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority for auctioning spectrum that is noisy and corrupted due to in-band interference caused by widespread usage of DECT 6.0 devices.

Zong, in a notice sent through its counsel, said that PTA, in collaboration with Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) put the defective band up for auction despite the fact that interference in the band was there since before the auction and is still in place despite PTA’s various damage control actions.

It maybe recalled here that Zong had participated in the spectrum auction in 2014 and was awarded frequency spectrum band of 1920-1930 and 2110-2120MHz for 3G network and services. Moreover, DECT 6.0 devices — that are imported from abroad — operate in the same 1920-1930MHz — create interference in Zong’s spectrum.

Notice said that PTA and FAB didn’t remove such interference from the band and sold a spectrum that wasn’t suitable for purpose of offering next-gen services.

Legal Notice, a copy of which is exclusively available with ProPakistani, said that sale of this defective band breach the warranties that came with spectrum purchase.

Zong demanded to be allocated a 5MHz substitute spectrum with refund of 5MHz spectrum and USD 40 million agasint damages

According to Zong’s Counsel, the situation has resulted into sub-standard next-gen services from the company with huge capacity losses and consequent investments, business and reputational damage to the company.

Legal Notice said that matter had been raised with concerned authorities, i.e. with PTA and FAB, during mid-2014. However, the issue hasn’t been addressed at fullest so far. Zong’s Notice accepted that PTA carried noticeable damage-control actions, however, scale of problem is still limitless given the undocumented number of DECT 6.0 cordless phones.

Notice said that with ongoing CAPEX and OPEX, Zong can not wait indefinitely for the spectrum to get cleared, while it paid full spectrum fee in a single go in advance.

Notice said that FAB’s proposal of substitute band allocation for Zong will incur significant additional cost associated with network modification and deployment on the new tentative band.

Legal Notice requested PTA to respond to legal notice with-in 15 days with following demands:

  • Zong should be allocated 5MHz of a substitute band in 1950-1955MHz and 2140-2145MHz band and remaining price of 5MHz that Zong has already paid — along with KIBOR plus 3 percent — should be refunded.
  • If money isn’t refunded then an equivalent amount of money must be rebated against various fee and dues that Zong will have to pay to PTA in future.
  • Zong be given a compensation of US 40 million dollars for
    • Loss of revenues during last 12 months
    • loss of market share
    • incremental costs incurred during this time in network optimization, cost of additional resources deployed to identify, evaluate and combat interference.

Notice said that PTA should settle these claims with-in 15 days, failing to which may result into further action for the redress.

Copy of the legal notice was also shared with Prime Minister Office, FAB, Chinese Embassy, MoIT, Cabinet Division and Finance Division.

Update

A Pakistan Telecommunication Authority spokesperson told ProPakistani that Zong and PTA, during a recent meeting after above mentioned legal notice, almost agreed on a solution.

He didn’t mention any details but said that a solution is being worked out and issue will be resolved amicably.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


    • They are talking about 3G band that zong acquired 1920-30MHz bandwidth which is the frequency used by Cordless Phones Dect 6.0 and people are commenting about 4G. Warid has refarmed 5 Mhz for LTE while on the other hand Zong has 2x10Mhz slots for LTE which is par smoother than warid.

  • Yeh baat i think this is going to be a big news in coming days if no settelment happen between zong and pta.

  • PTA walay paisay dey hi naa dain lols.. lakin zong bhi china ka hay band baja dega.. may god bless Pakistan.

  • Zong should pressurise pta and get there GSM 1800 spectrum converted to lte alongside there existing bandwidth of 10 mhz then they will have insane speeds XDDD

    • since i’m not a tech savvy person … can you explain me that even after auction of 4G license how are you still saying that 1800 spectrum allotted to zong is NOT lte/4G…… plz any telecom engineer here ??

      • You don’t have to be a tch savvy to understand this, what iam sayng is remember how warid refarmed there GSM 1800 for lte 1800 use, that’s what iam sayng they should add more bandwidth from there already acquired GSM 1800 and use it in lte to increase quality, because 1800 band has too much bandwidth and potential using it for just 2g services ain’t that efficient way of using spectrum

      • Because future is lte,
        Look at this article by ZTE, they suggest why its critical to use 1800 band as lte
        www .zte.com.cn /cn/events/lteworld2012/ solutions/ 201205/t20120516_364210.html

      • they r just messing things they are not capable of providing good Qos thats why making lame excuses just like telenor as there system is always upgrading
        in the eyes of customers while actually there systems are flaw

  • Aprreciate zong’s efforts to improve the quality of next-gen services, which will not just help them, but help the telecom industry as a whole.
    Correct me if i am wrong.

  • China walo k sath HAND kar dia PTA ne (Y) Bare kehty phrty thy Pakistan First 4G Network. Warid has latest technology 4G LTE begair spectrum kharide hue :D Huge loss of ZONG.

  • This exposes the Zong fanboys who routinely claim that Zong has the best internet services in Pakistan. Now we know that Zong itself thinks it’s services are not upto par to competition.

    • these are not merely claims this is a reality (try for your self to feel the difference) you can compare warid’s 4g with zong’s ..at random and you’ll find that at any given time Zong’s speed is faster than warid …. but the thing is that Zong can improve their existing fastest speed even more … then why settle for less … when you(zong) have paid lump sum for both licenses considering no other operator has shown such confidence in the Market… their Complain is Valid.

      • They don’t market there quality like every one else does , but I have used there data services at several different locstions and cities but they came out to be consistent

      • Zong has edge that they have 3G band , and biggest draw back in Warid is that ppl directly come from LTE to Edge (where 4G is nt available) , but if we compare LTE of Warid and Zong then Warid is more smooth.

        • Dear at mostly locations where 3G or 4G isn’t available you are going to have edge & Warid is still leading in terms of quality n price when it comes to both edge n 4g

      • zong is asking for compensation of loss of revenue and marketshare. This isn’t consistent with your “why settle for less” logic.

    • Recently I asked zong csr about my 4g not working n he immediately suggested me to downgrade my cell mode from auto tou 3g n eventually it worked so its obvious there 4g is down

  • Such To Ye Ha Zong Ko Ihsas Ho Gia Ha US Se Boht Bari Galti Ho Gai Ha Itni Bari Investment Kar K 3G Main Telenor or Mobilink NE Or 4G Main Warid Lte or PTCL Charji NE Daal Nahi Galny D
    Zong Ka User 20 K Load Se Uper Nahi Ha isly Bagny K Bahany Bana Rahi Ha
    Pehly PTCL Par Case Kia K Wo Charji Cloud Par 4G Lte K Logo Se Sale Kar Raha Ha Or Ab Pta Par 10MHz

  • Good Work CMPak,
    They are facing high RTWP, 99 – 85 dBm on 1920 – 1930 MHz band, in many cities due to DECT 6.0. It only affect their 3G services ( QoS and CS drop rate). While Zong 4G is unbeatable right now :)

  • I think ZONG is the only operator in Pakistan that is promised to provide best 3G and 4G services in Pakistan. PTA is sleeping authority that has no concerns as with consumer issues or CMOs issues. PTA is not reacting actively to remove any of public interest’s matters so far. Good decision by ZONG. PTA now should draft policies on realistic manners that all CMOs must provide QoS that is the best.

  • kabhe na kabhe koi na koi to karta
    wesay b Pakistan main koi kam standard k mutabiq nahe hota..
    wesay he telecom industry Pakistan main grow kar rha hai aur hamari govt hamesha asi industry k pechay parh jati hai..
    at the end awam ko he loss hoga
    in logon nay Internet py tax laga dia , telecom aur I.T products py tax.

  • I fully support zong decision. pta is one of the most corrupt institution in Pakistan. It serves the interests of only PTCL like Wadera jagerdar in vilages. zong is right. pta officials should be punished and fined for such negligence

  • Interference caused by DECTs in limited to specific parts of country. How they can fight legally on this issue. They didn’t lose market share instead their customers increased remarkably.

    • in big cities every 5th house is using cardless phones in their houses. and PTA failed to control sale of these phones as they are available in mega stores like Metro and Alfatah forget to control local shops

  • And what about the thousands Cordless phones(including me) these PTA crooks have confiscated if the ban over 1900 MHZ is removed?

    PTA high level authority should be sacked asap, how could they offer this frequency in the first place and why zong bid, knowing this would happen.

  • جمہوریت پر لعنت … عامر بھائی یہ نون کی حکومت کا ہی قصور ہے نا ؟؟؟

      • Sufi .. Bat to tum theek krty ho par bt ye ha kay agar tmray pas chalta ha warid kya iska ye matlab poray pakistan mai chalta ha ?? Warid ki service 4G ki to buhat limited ha .. Sufi mjay tmray speedtest pr bh shak ha ye kahi zong kay to nai??

  • Zong is already providing so good 3G / 4G Service. If the spectrum issue is resolved. Expect More speed.

  • Bat To Tum Aysy Kar Rahy Ho Jesy Zong Ki Coverage Pury Pakistan Main Ha Or Sub Se Mengha Network Ha 3G Main Telenor Best Ha 4G Main Warid Zong Ki To Ye Halat Hoi Ha Unhon Ne MNP BLOCK Kar Rakhi Ha Or Activate SIM Disown B Block Kar Rakhi Ha Froad Company Zong Dhong

  • This blurb needs to be edited: “Zong demanded to be allocated a 5MHz substitute spectrum with refund of 5MHz spectrum and USD 40 million agasint damages”


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