Mobile operators Appear before PTA for License Renewal Case Hearing

Mobile operators on Tuesday appeared before the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and presented arguments on their applications for licenses renewal, however, the final decision is yet to be taken.

Sources in cellular companies, as well as PTA officials, confirmed that first hearing on operators’ application held here on Tuesday, where all the senior officials including Chairman PTA and both members were present.

Mobile operators Appear before PTA for License Renewal Case Hearing

During the hearing, operators presented their arguments and pleaded for license renewal on the same terms and conditions as well as other benchmarks like roll-out obligations on which the license of Ufone was renewed in 2014.

“We are ready to pay $291 million (around Rs 32 billion in 2014) i.e. the same price Ufone paid in 2014 which is now around Rs 62 billion”, said a senior official of a cellular company on condition of anonymity who attended the hearing.

The official went on saying that the price of around $450 million is too much for them and the request was presented before the Authority. Replying to another question, the official said that they also asked for the same rollout obligations and other benchmarks to provide level playing field to all operators.

The official said that Islamabad High Court disposed of their petition while observing it a regulatory matter and directed PTA to itself decide about license renewal applications independently and with the new way by July 15.

Chief Justice IHC Athar Minallah while hearing the case has asked mobile operators to appear before the PTA on June 25. The court also observed that mobile companies can also file an appeal after the PTA decision on their applications for renewal of licenses.

The cellular mobile licenses of Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (ex Warid/Jazz) and Telenor Pakistan Limited (Telenor) were due to expire on May 25, 2019, and were due for renewal. The license of China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak Zong) is due for renewal on October 22, 2019. However, Jazz and Telenor had approached the IHC to decide on the terms of license renewal in an equitable, fair and transparent way.

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