Telecom operators have recommended the government to rationalize duty/taxes on smart mobile phones as well as subsidize it through the Universal Service Fund (USF) for rural areas in the upcoming mini-budget to reap the full benefits of new technologies and meet modern world challenges.
Chief Corporate Affairs Telenor Pakistan, Kamal Ahmed said:
Without over 70 percent smart phones and penetration of 3G and 4G technology, it is difficult to cough with the challenges of upcoming global developments in the IT industry as well as get full benefits.
He was talking to media along with Bjørn Hansen, Vice President at Telenor Research here on Thursday. Kamal said that all telecom operators have conveyed their concerns to the government and recommended for rationalizing duty/taxes on mobile phones.
Replying to a question Ahmed said that Telenor license along with other two operators are due for renewal in May, 2019 and they have applied for the renewal. However they have demanded of the government to provide a level playing field as well as the same terms and conditions, on which license of one of the operator was renewed in 2014.
However it is worth mentioning that as per the rules and mandate USF can be utilized to reach the un-served and underserved areas by providing broadband services. For provision of subsidized smart phones, rules need to be amended.