Pakistani regulator backed by High Court over licence renewals

Pakistani regulator backed by High Court over licence renewals

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has won the backing of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for its 2019 decision to increase the licence renewal fees of mobile operators Jazz and Telenor Pakistan.

In early 2019, in the same month that Jazz and Telenor’s licences were set to expire, the PTA published a new policy in which it hiked up the cost of renewing an operating licence to almost US$450 million.

The operators took legal action against the eleventh-hour move, noting that state provider Ufone had paid just US$291 million to renew its licence in 2016, but the IHC ruled in favour of the PTA’s argument that licence fees are set at the regulator’s discretion.

ProPakistani reports that Jazz and Telenor now plan to challenge the ruling in Pakistan’s Supreme Court. However, in the meantime, both operators must pay the PTA’s stated licence fee.

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