The far-flung areas of underdeveloped provinces Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan are presently deprived of cellular services or having poor connectivity. Fr this purpose Universal Service Fund (USF) has granted an amount of Rs. 8.76 Billion to Telenor and Ufone in order to extend their cellular infrastructure to these areas which mainly includes Shangla, Zhob and Sibi.
Telenor and Ufone to Extend Cellular Services in KPK & Balochistan through USF Funding of Rs. 8.76 Billion
Area Wise Distribution of Fund:
- Shangla lot: Contract worth Rs. 1.95 Billion
This lot comprises of Swat, Shangla and Buner districts.
- Zhob lot: Contract worth Rs.3.61 Billion
Zhob lot consists of areas in Musakhel, Zhob and Sherani districts.
- Sibi lot: Contractworth Rs. 3.2 Billion
This lot comprises of Barkhan, Sibi, Killa Saifullah and Loralai districts.
A signing ceremony of USF with Telenor and Ufone, was held in Islamabad. Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization, Mr. Muhammad Ishaq Dar was the Chief Guest at the occasion and he was accompanied by State Minister for IT & Telecom, Mrs. Anusha Rahman and Chairman-PTA, Dr. Syed Ismail Shah. Mr. Faisal Sattar, CEO – USF signed contracts of Shangla and Zhob with Deputy CEO – Telenor, Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan andcontract of Sibi with Mr. Abdul Aziz, CEO-Ufone.
Chief Guest, Mr. Mohammad Ishaq Dar said on this occasion that:
“Federal Ministry of Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics & privatization is keen to see ICT Sector reach even greater heights in future. He added that it is Prime Minister‘s objective to pursue sound and equitable economic policies that put Pakistan on the path of sustainable economic development and in order to achieve this, support to Ministry of IT will be provided in all its initiatives.”
The Minister applauded Ministry of IT and USF for their efforts and congratulated them on their achievements. He also said that:
“Due to sound economic policies of the government, Pakistan has turned into an attractive destination for FDI. He urged telecom companies to effectively invest in the country and increased their participation in projects of pubic private partnership, such as projects executed today.”
The contracts of Shangla and Zhob have been given to Telenor Pakistan while Sibi will get the services of Ufone. It is expected that these projects will play fundamental role in the socio-economic development of these areas.