Mon. Sep 23rd, 2019

JAAZ moves court to renew license at throwaway price

Aftab Ahmed

Islamabad :The controversy over renewal of telecom companies’ licenses has landed in court as leading mobile company seeks renewal of license at throwaway prices.

JAAZ Pakistan has been pressing government to renew license on old price of US$291 million which Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) terms it a white collar crime. FAB has conveyed to Prime Minister that it will be a white collar crime of US$750 million if licenses are renewed on old price.


In view of imminent renewal of its license, Jazz (the VEON Operating Company in Pakistan) has approached the Islamabad High Court to decide on the terms of license renewal in an equitable, fair and transparent way. This measure is taken to provide uninterrupted telecom, broadband, and mobile financial services to its 58 million customers, and to ensure continuity of investments in digital infrastructure sector. Jazz is working within the country’s telecom policy framework to protect the interests of foreign investors.

Jazz seeks to have the license renewed as per the terms of its license and the telecom policy of 2015. The license was issued at PKR 16.8 billion in 2004 (USD 291 million equivalent) and is now worth PKR 41.4 billion (USD 291 million). While this is almost 250% of the original value, the company has nonetheless, shown its willingness to pay this amount.

The telecom industry in Pakistan has amongst the world’s lowest call rates and Jazz is one of the highest taxpayers in the country. The digital backbone for Pakistan is dependent on the telecom industry’s ability to expand its services, which requires a predictable investment environment. Jazz remains firm in its commitment to lead the digital revolution in Pakistan.

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