PTCL continues to fight PTA over illegal spectrum use

7 Jan 2014

Pakistan’s fixed line incumbent Pakistan Telecommunications Company Ltd (PTCL) has taken a dispute with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA ) over the use of extra spectrum to the Supreme Court, after the Islamabad High Court ruled in favour of the PTA, Pro Pakistani writes. The PTA claimed that it had found PTCL to be occupying 3.75MHz of spectrum not allocated to the operator, in addition to the 1895MHz-1900MHz/1975MHz-1980MHz frequencies assigned to the provider for its CDMA services. PTCL was reportedly using the extra spectrum in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi and the regulator imposed a fine of PKR82.496 million (USD775,440) on PTCL for the infringement in September 2011. PTCL challenged the decision in the Islamabad High Court, though the court ruled in favour of the watchdog, noting that: ‘PTCL has failed to point out any illegality or infirmity in the impugned order.’ In mid-2013, the PTA and ICT Ministry instructed PTCL to vacate the spectrum, adding that the telco’s use of the frequencies had caused the ‘loss of billion[s] of rupees to the national exchequer.’

The Internet Service Provider Association of Pakistan (ISPAK) has independently lodged a complaint with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) over PTCL’s use of the spectrum.