Paktel refuses to pay GSM fees

6 Aug 2004

Pakistani cellco Paktel has refused to pay the USD38.8 million fee it owes the industry regulator, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), for the launch of GSM services, instead filing a law suit against the PTA, claiming that it had no right to demand the payment. The operator, along with its rivals Mobilink and Instafone, had initially been awarded its GSM licence in 2003 free of charge; only state-owned Ufone was required to pay a fee of PKR50 million. In April 2004, however, the PTA awarded two new cellular licences for USD291 million, and subsequently announced that the existing operators would also have to pay this amount in instalments. Paktel is required to pay USD38.8 million for its first instalment.