SCO Claims Its 4G Services in Gilgit Baltistan Are Legal

Special Communication Organization, also known as SCO, has claimed that its 4G services in Gilgit Baltistan without a license are not unlawful.

In an official statement, the company said that it’s a state-owned organization covered under section 40 of PTRA-1996, and therefore it is incorrect that SCO has acted unlawfully by providing 3G and 4G services in GB. The company further said that the matter is sub-judice before the Islamabad High Court in which stay order has already been granted to the company on the matter.

SCO maintained that by offering 3G and 4G services in GB without any license, it is not causing any loss to the national kitty as the company itself is a government entity.

It said that if the license fee has to be paid then it will come from the government itself (even in case it has to be paid) and the same is deposited back into government accounts. SCO stated that depositing a license fee for 3G and 4G licenses from one account and depositing in another account is meaningless.

It further said that by providing 3G and 4G services, SCO is generating more revenue for the government by launching 4G services and helping the local community that was in need of high-speed mobile broadband services.

SCO has said that it also offers its infrastructure and bandwidth to other operators for provision of communication to the people of GB. SCO further commented that it is providing latest telecommunication services to the people of northern areas on a non-profit basis.

SCO is the largest mobile operator providing services in more than 100 rural and 27 major cities of GB. SCO’s subscriber base stands 732,651 users in GB.

The company said that 72 men sacrificed their precious lives to provide and maintain the communications in rugged and challenging terrains of AJK and GB.

Despite the exclusivity of SCO, after the earthquake in 2005, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority allowed private operators to provide telecom services in AJ&K as well as GB which is in contradiction with Act (PTRA – 1996) and for the last 13 years these private telcos are operating in GB.

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

  • Thy provide the worst internet services in the World. I tried to establish sustainable tech business there so that youngsters get benefit. But failed due to poor internet connectivity. The irony is, they are a big hindrance for other mobile companies to start 3G and 4G services. This notorious company SCO is run by the Army, don’t know were billions of revenues are going.

  • Using SCOs logic the government departments should stop paying utility bills since its govt. money going back to govt. Army was mandated in 76′ to provide telecom services to people of AJK / GB on non-profit basis in order to facilitate them. Not to claim exclusive rights and cause hinderence in path of service delivery by other players. SCO got notification of NGMS spectrum auction delayed in AJK/GB for couple of years because they didnt have budget approved by GoP for 3G rollout. By the time the notification was issued, their license renewal became due. When PTA demanded renewal fee, they obtained stay from High Court, thus defering the auction indefinitely. At the same time, they started using the spectrum which was earmarked for them for offering Next Generation Services but without paying any fee, based upon same skewed logic that they are govt. entity.

  • SCOs logic is flawed. Govt. depts do pay for services to other govt. depts for services rendered. Consider example of utility bills. SCO should pay license renewal fee to PTA, withdraw court case, let NGMS auction take place in AJK/ GB, pay for NGMS spectrum, stop claiming exclusivity, ensure level playing field and revert back to its original role of a facilitator in providing telecom services. Its actions, at present, are tarnishing Army’s image in an already deprived and polarized region. The timings could not be worse.

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