Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has decided to review the license fee of cellular operators which includes linking and delinking of renewal fee from the winning price of previous spectrum auction.
In this regard, an assessment study has been planned to be conducted that will also examine the renewal period of license awarded to cellular operators along with utilization of their allocated spectrums.
There were two operators —Mobilink and Ufone— who renewed their license at $291 million in the past for GSM services after the expiry of 15 years period.
Going forward, operators such as Telenor, Zong and Mobilink will be required to apply for such renewals licenses again. However, it depends on the new framework of the licenses regime by the telecom authority especially after the award of licenses and spectrum of 3G/ 4G technologies to various operators.
The study will also review the mobile phone operators’ renewed fees with respect to their contribution to the overall economic growth against incentivized foreign investment.
The assessment will also review the mobile operators’ obligations such as QoS parameters, content acceptability, consumer protection and other Terms and Conditions of the license in light of the emerging trends like Over-the-Top (OTT).
In this regard, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority will hire a consultancy service that will devise a framework for “Mobile Cellular License Renewal” to achieve technical and economic efficiencies.
The framework shall be developed in light of international best practices suited for Pakistan’s Telecom market for regulatory consistency for the investors, future sustainability of Cellular Operators and overall economic growth.
The consultant will conduct study / assessment in detail on the existing licensing framework of Pakistan and international best practice on license renewal. This will be done through consultation with the relevant stakeholders particularly MoITT to assess the telecom market, regulatory, financial and technical challenges in Pakistan.
The telecom authority describes this assessment study as part of its vision to create a fair regulatory regime to promote investment, encourage competition, protect consumer interest and ensure high quality Information & Communication Technology (ICT) services in the country.
In the first stage an Expression of Interest has been invited by PTA in recent days, which terms and conditions could be viewed here.