Wireless providers Telenor Pakistan and Jazz have offered to make a voluntary payment towards the renewal of their 2G licences, the terms and price of which remain disputed, the Express Tribune reports. The concessions were due to expire on 25 May this year but the terms for the renewal of the authorisations were not finalised by regulator the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) until the start of that month, leaving the duo with little time to respond. Indeed, the pair have launched a legal challenge against the policy, which saw the watchdog set the renewal price at USD450 million – considerably higher than the USD291 million expected by the two companies based on the fee paid by local state-backed rival Ufone in 2014.
Whilst the case is under review by Islamabad High Court, Telenor has offered to pay USD224.6 million as a goodwill gesture and ‘to safeguard the interests of its valued customers’. A spokesperson for the company went on to add that the payment is intended to ensure that the government is not denied much-needed revenue ‘at a time of crisis’. Jazz, meanwhile, is understood to have made a similar decision to pay USD291 million whilst the courts resolve the matter to maintain uninterrupted services for its customers.