Telcos Likely to Approach Court Over Price and Terms of License Renewal

The deadlock between Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Mobile operators on quality of service and rollout obligations — the integral parts of license renewal – persists as the latter have linked it with the value of renewal fee of the license.

While renewing the license, PTA, while exercising its rights, telecom consumers’ interest and for the proper conduct of telecommunication services, has decided to enhance the quality of service and rollout targets in order to meet the parameters of quality of service so as to bring it in harmony with the international best practices.

Further, the telecom licenses are going to be technology-neutral; therefore, the licensees are entitled to deploy any latest technology for the provision of the licensed services.

Accordingly, the necessary changes in the terms of licenses were incorporated as shared with the licensees.

Official sources told ProPakistani that the licensees have raised various concerns on the terms and conditions dealing with enhanced quality of service and rollout obligations.

In this respect, the licensees’ persistent stance has been that the issue of quality of service and rollout obligations is dependent on the value of renewal fee of the licenses. This is mainly due to the fact that higher the license renewal fee, lesser the amount operators will be able to spend on infrastructure to meet minimum quality benchmarks.

Even in the recent meeting on this issue, the licensees reiterated their earlier stance that without the determination of the renewal fee, the terms and conditions pertaining to the quality of service and rollout obligations cannot be finalized.

Not to mention, PTA had rejected mobile operators’ apprehensions relating to the price of mobile license renewals and passed an order while fixing the fee for license renewal at $39.5 million per MHz for frequency spectrum of 900 MHz and $29.5 million per MHz for frequency spectrum of 1800 MHz. However, mobile operators have concerns over the cost.

PTA has directed operators to pay their license fee before August 21st, 2019 or their licenses will be termed expired and they will not be allowed to provide telecom services after the deadline.

Telcos to Get into Litigation

CEO of a mobile phone company, who wanted to remain unnamed, while speaking with ProPakistani said that his company will definitely move court against PTA’s decision on price and terms of the license renewals.

Another official of a mobile phone company said that PTA didn’t address telcos’ grievances as was directed by Islamabad High Court in its May 21st, 2019 order.

The official said that PTA was directed to discuss the issues with telecom operators and come up with an amicable solution, however, that didn’t happen as PTA didn’t change its stance on any issue.

If telcos go into litigation, the matter could linger on for another few months until a solution is found. Not to mention, telecom operators will continue to hold the license fee until then.

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

  • Court Should be Asked each telecom :
    2004 Se Pehly Main Kitne User the Kitni Income Howi ? Kitna Tax Pay Kiya
    2004 Se 2019 tak Kitne User the Kitni Income Howi ? Kitna Tax Pay Kiya
    Ratio Nikaly : PTA Wale Jeet Jaynege K Tax Kam Pay Howa Profit 300% Howa
    Billion Dollar Payment Mill Jayega

    • Court should od also ask 2004 mein $ ka kya rate tha aur aaj $ ka kya rate hai.
      Court should also ask mobile network equipmeny ki import pe 2004 mein kitna tax tha aur aaj kitna tax hai.
      Court should also ask 2004 myn electricity ke kya rates thy aur aaj kya hyn.
      Court should also ask 2004 se ab tak employees ki salary kitne percent increase hui.
      Court should also ask 2004 myn income tax ka kya rate tha aur aaj kya hai.
      Court should also ask 2004 myn tower place ka rent kitna tha aur aaj kitna hai.
      Court should also ask 2004 se aaj tak jitne customer increase hue hyn un ke liyr 3G/4G license ki kitni fees deni parri aur coverage ke liye kitna kharcha hua.
      Court should also ask Ufone ka license renew kartay waqt yeh sab policies kyun mind myn nahin aai.
      Coyrt should also ask PTA ke agar mobile companies 2G license renew nahin karwati aur 50% mobile phone users jo 2G per hyn unko 3G/4G mobile lene ka keh deti hyn service on rakhne ke liye to kya hoga?

  • This will carry on for years. Meanwhile their licenses will be renewed on an ad-hoc basis.

    I think these telcos should seriously consider pulling out of Pakistan. The environment for foreign investors is hostile. The environment for ICT is doubly hostile. Best to pull out your money and go invest in another country.

  • Pakistan does not deserve more than 2 operators. Jazz and Ufone should merge their business and similarly Zong and Telenor should merge their businesses in order to achieve profitability. merger will decrease operating cost, increase revenue and investment from their respective head offices.

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