3G, 4G license award ceremony on May 22

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on Tuesday indicated to hold a ceremony here on May 22 (Thursday) to award recently auctioned 3G and 4G licenses to four telecom operators.

“We are in touch with the mobile phone operators and getting their confirmation. We have planned the ceremony and probably it would be held on Thursday,” said Chairman PTA, Dr. Syed Ismail Shah.

He told APP that Our plan was to award licenses to auction winners after meeting all required formalities so that they could start their 3G and 4G services on commercial basis without any hassle and subscribers could enjoy the high speed broadband on their mobiles.

The Authority said Ufone, Mobilink and Telenor would be awarded with 3G licenses while Zong would be given 3G and 4G licenses. This license award ceremony and No Objection Certificate (NoC) from PTA is being awaited as they are mandatory for telecom operators to commercially launch 3G services in the country.

License award ceremony was subject to advance (or full) payment of spectrum that telecom companies had won during the auction.

This ceremony was initially planned for May, 10 but was later rescheduled as mobile phone companies did not deposit the upfront payment for the spectrum.

Initial or upfront payment was lingered because of 10 per cent withholding tax issue which seems almost resolved after several rounds of talks among FBR, PTA and cellular companies, confirmed a PTA official.

It is mentioned here that all operators, except Zong, are offering free 3G services in different cities of the country. These operators are all set to commercially launch the services as soon as licenses and NoC is granted to them from PTA.