Gilgit - Baltistan

Federal Govt. to end monopoly of SCO in telecom sector

Islamabad, June 03: Minister for Information & Technology, Qamar-uz-Zaman Kaira, who is also the Chairman Northern Areas Legislative Assembly has said that “Pakistan wants to give access to China and the central Asian states to our ports, better provision of communication across country would help this process,” . He waas talking to journalists on May 29, during the license awarding ceremony to 24 companies for Long Distance International (LDI), Fixed Local Loop (FLL), Wireless Local Loop (WLL), and Class Value Added Services (CVAS) licenses.

PTA Chairman Shahzada Alam Malik said that since 1976, only SCO was operating in AJK and NAs. Now fixed line licenses are being awarded to private operators, which is a historic development. He noted that through these licenses, huge proceeds are expected.

PTA Chairman also said that 5 licenses for mobile phone services were already given for AJK and NAs and now mobile services are available in these areas. He said that the future of telecom business in Pakistan is bright and consumers would get advanced services in days to come. He further said that as for telecom services, Pakistan is the cheapest country in the region.

Later, Kaira distributed 24 licenses to 13 companies that included Link Direct, Wateen, Telenor, PTCL, World Call, InterWorld, Sky Telecom, Great Bear, WOL, DaleelTeq, BTC, Cybernet, and Mobilink.

The PTA would get around $1,70,000 as an initial amount against the issue of these licenses. The PTA has already paid Rs1.2 billion to AJK and NAs for 5 cellular companies’ licenses, which were awarded to Mobilink, Telenor, Warid Telecom and UFone in June 2006, while CMPak was awarded a license in August 2007. Out of the total amount, AJK Council got Rs927.6 million, while Chief Secretary NAs was paid Rs277.1 million against the licenses awarded to cell companies.

Secretary KANA Salman Siddique, Home Secretary NAs Sardar Muhammad Abbas and Secretary Finance AJK Fahimulla Khattak also addressed the ceremony.

Courtesy: The News International

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