Jazz plans to add advanced mobile internet

Published: May 19, 2017


KARACHI: Jazz announced that it is adding advanced mobile internet to its network, keeping in view the growing demand of heavy data in Pakistan.

The telecommunication giant appeared as the sole bidder for the 4G spectrum (10MHz paired slot in 1800 MHz) on sale. According to the laws in place, Jazz would be awarded the spectrum at a minimum set price of $295 million without further proceeding to the next level of competitive bidding.

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“Bidding makes logical sense for the company,” said Jazz Director Communication Anjum Rahman.

“The world is moving towards digitalisation and we want to make sure we are in the right place when this wave comes to Pakistan,” she added.

The company already had 2G, 3G and LTE spectrum in place, while its customer base increased recently after a merger with Warid. At present, the two telecoms are still in the phase of integration.

Another company official said they were set to introduce some heavy data-centric products to their customers.

“We have already become a tech company and soon we will be becoming a video company as well,” said the official. “Besides, there are a number of other projects in the offing, which demand high usage of data along with high internet speed.”

The spokesperson added that the firm would disclose its future plans, including mode of payment for the new spectrum, once they have a confirmation letter from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for the spectrum award.

A statement from the PTA on the matter said that the regulatory body will now evaluate the bid as per Information Memorandum, and if it is found to have met all required conditions, the bid will be declared successful.

The successful bidder will have two options for payment. First is an all-out payment of $295 million made upfront and second is a 50% payment made upfront along with remaining amount in five equal annual instalments with one year LIBOR plus 3%.

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In addition to this, the successful bidder will also pay 10% tax on the auction winning price to the Federal Board of Revenue. This is the third auction for spectrums, held since 2014 and a total of $1.98 billion has been earned for the national exchequer through these auctions.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2017.

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