The Universal Service Fund (USF), has awarded a contract worth approximately Rs. 254 Million to the private telecom operator, Jazz Pakistan, for providing High-Speed Mobile Broadband services in rural and remote areas of Punjab.
The contracts were signed by the USF CEO, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, and Jazz Pakistan CEO, Aamir Ibrahim.
Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque, and Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry, witnessed the contract signing ceremony held at the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication, Islamabad, on Monday.
The Federal Secretary for IT & Telecommunication and Chairman USF Board, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, and Chairman PTA, Major General (R) Amir Azeem Bajwa, were also present at the ceremony.
Chief Guest of the ceremony, Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque, said, “While the COVID-19 pandemic slackened economic activity, vibrant Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems played a pivotal role in ensuring the availability of essential services to the community.”
He said, “In a way, the pandemic actualized the true potential of broadband services, transforming the way people lived their lives. In line with the Digital Pakistan initiative, we are committed to providing the required digital ecosystem by working with all relevant stakeholders for enhanced connectivity, improved digital infrastructure, and promotion of emerging technologies.”
He also congratulated Jazz and USF on the signing of the contract and expressed the hope that residents in Jhelum and Chakwal districts will have better connectivity through Jazz’s state-of-the-art network.
He said that the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication through USF would continue to empower the citizens in remote and far-flung areas to ensure that every Pakistani has access to the internet, enabling them to explore new socio-economic opportunities.
While sharing his views at the ceremony, Jazz Pakistan CEO, Aamir Ibrahim, said, “Our continued partnership with USF is a reflection of Jazz’s commitment to bridge the digital divide and connect our fellow countrymen with fast and reliable mobile broadband. Our ambition to digitally empower Pakistan is fueled through enhanced connectivity and by creating equal opportunities for all.”
USF CEO, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, said, “This project will benefit an unserved population of 0.34 million in 263 mauzas, thereby covering an area of 4,002 sq km of Jhelum and Chakwal districts. By providing mobile broadband to the unserved muazas across the country, USF is playing a crucial role in the socio-economic progress of the people at the grassroots level and has opened the doors of opportunities for the masses. USF will continue to work towards achieving the vision of Digital Pakistan.” He also thanked the ministers for their continued support and guidance.