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.