The government of Pakistan has approved proposals from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to renew the licences of the country’s three leading mobile operators.
The operators will spend a combined $1.37 billion renewing their licences, with Jazz and Telenor Pakistan each set to shell out $450 million. China Mobile’s Zong is paying a slightly higher $470 million, with all operators to receive licences in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands that will be valid for 15 years.
First allocated in 2004, the licences of Jazz, Telenor Pakistan and Zong were set to expire on 25th May. The cabinet approved the PTA’s proposals after the authority finalised them in a process that led to a delay of several months.
This prompted market leader Jazz and Telenor Pakistan to bring a legal challenge against the PTA in the Islamabad High Court. The operators demanded an injunction that would allow them to continue delivering services following the expiration of their licences.
A statement from Jazz reported by TechJuice noted that the operator – which began renewing its licence over two years ago - “seeks to ensure that existing spectrum licence continues until equitable and fair renewal terms and conditions are finalised.”