Three Pakistani operators have received contracts from the country’s Universal Service Fund as the regulator seeks advice on a new round of spectrum concessions.
As reported by The Nation, the USF has awarded contracts worth PKR895 million (US$5.4 million) to Jazz, Ufone and Zong for ‘Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development Projects’.
The initiative aims to provide connectivity in underserved areas, with each mobile operator responsible for delivering coverage to different regions. Jazz was awarded the Ghotki, Khairpur and Sukkur districts, and will aim to provide high-speed mobile broadband to around two million people in nearly 550 unconnected villages.
Ufone and Zong’s contracts are a little less demanding, with Ufone aiming to connect around 17,000 people across 15 villages in the Kalat and Ziarat districts. Zong meanwhile will focus on 227 unconnected villages in the Jaffarabad, Nasirabad and Sohbatpur districts, aiming to connect around 400,000 people.
Meanwhile, CommsUpdate reports that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is seeking expressions of interest (EoIs) from consultants as it considers the renewal and allocation of spectrum licences in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan regions.
The winning candidate would be appointed to review available and allocated 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 2100MHz spectrum in these regions and then advise on licence renewal policy. Additionally, they would be required to structure and plan an auction process for the available spectrum.
The PTA’s request comes swiftly after a similar call for EoIs regarding the nationwide sale of 1800MHz and 2100MHz spectrum.