The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has renewed the mobile licence of cellco Jazz, following the dismissal by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) of the operator’s appeal against the pricing and terms of the renewal. In a statement on its social media page, the regulator confirmed that the concession was renewed at a price of USD449.2 million, USD333.64 million of which had already been paid. The updated concession also includes enhanced terms and conditions for coverage and quality of service, the regulator added.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Jazz and fellow mobile provider Telenor Pakistan had challenged the PTA’s decision to impose a last-minute price hike on their concessions in early 2019, shortly before the licences were due for renewal. The watchdog had published its policy for the renewals in the same month that the licences were due to expire and increased the cost to nearly USD450 million. By comparison, the PTA had charged state-backed provider Ufone USD291 million for the renewal of its concession in 2016. The appeal was dismissed by the IHC in August this year, however, on the basis that it is within the scope of the regulator’s power to set licence fees.
Meanwhile, local daily Dawn cites a spokesperson for Telenor as saying that, whilst the cellco has no pending fees with the government regarding its licence renewal, it has ‘a few reservations on the terms and conditions proposed for the renewal’. The official went on to state that the provider is actively engaged in discussions with the PTA to settle the terms ‘amicably’.