ECC Likely to Approve Renewal of Jazz Cellular License

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet will, on Friday, consider a summary from the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication seeking approval for a policy directive on the renewal of cellular license of Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (PMCL/Jazz).

The Ministry’s summary states that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), exercising the powers conferred under section 5(2)(a) of Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act 1996, renewed the cellular license of Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (PMCL/Jazz) in 2007 for a period of 15 years. The license of PMCL is now due renewal with effect from July 6, 2022.

It is to note that sections 8(1), 8(2)(a), and 5(2a) of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act 1996 provide the policy framework for determining the terms and conditions of licenses.

PTA grants and renews licenses for any telecommunication system and any telecommunication service on payment of fees.

Furthermore, as per the Telecommunication Policy 2015, the renewal of license and associated spectrum at the end of a license period is in line with the government policy. In this regard, PTA makes recommendations to the federal government within the timeline stipulated in the respective license.

In the past, cellular licenses used to be renewed through policy directives of the federal government. For example, in 2019, the federal government issued a policy directive for the renewal of cellular licenses of Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (ex Warid/Jazz), Telenor Pakistan Limited (Telenor), and China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak/Zong).

PTA has given its recommendations for the policy directive to be issued by the federal government for the renewal of PMCL/Jazz license. The recommended price for the right to use frequency spectrum by PTA for the license being renewed is in accordance with recent price benchmarks of license renewals done in 2019 and the spectrum auction conducted in September 2021.

Based on the PTA recommendations, a draft policy directive seeking the renewal of the company’s cellular license will be placed for approval of ECC.

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