Inflow: Zong to make licence payment in dollars

Published: April 27, 2014
CMPAK Limited, known as Zong, gave the highest price of $306.9 million for the 3G licence in the 10MHz band. PHOTO: FILE

CMPAK Limited, known as Zong, gave the highest price of $306.9 million for the 3G licence in the 10MHz band. PHOTO: FILE


In a move suggesting China’s helping hand, Zong, a Chinese company, has decided to make the $516 million payment on account of next-generation spectrum licences in dollars. The move would help the country add to its foreign currency reserves.

Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rahman said that Zong will invest $1 billion in the next two to three years in Pakistan. Talking to media persons here at the PTA headquarter, she said that the government was also negotiating with the company for local manufacturing, technology transfer and research innovations to help boost the employment and investment opportunities in Pakistan.

“We also asked the operators to establish their mobile sale point for new technology here in Pakistan to avoid any complications,” Rahman said.

She also informed that negotiation is under way with another company to make the payment in dollars but, added that, the name could not be revealed yet.

She further informed that Warid cannot avail 4G services without the PTA’s permission. This was also confirmed by the PTA chairman.

CMPAK Limited, known as Zong, gave the highest price of $306.9 million for the 3G licence in the 10MHz band, making it eligible for getting a 4G licence at the base price of $210 million. The base price for 3G was $295 million.

Out of the little over $1.11 billion fetched by the auction, Zong paid the highest amount of $516.92 million for two licences. According to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority website, Zong’s market share was closing in on Ufone’s.

“Zong is very excited in becoming the only party to win both the 3G and 4G frequencies and will roll out the services at a faster pace,” said Sikandar Naqi, Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of Zong.

Meanwhile, in a press conference, Telenor Chief Marketing Officer Ifran Wahab Khan said that the auction process was transparent and his cellular company will reach the rural areas too with its vision of ‘internet for all’.

Khan said that the issue of high taxation on telecommunications was also discussed in a meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who promised to address this concern of the operators in the upcoming budget.

Dar observed that the induction of the spectrums will add technological resources to Pakistan’s socio-economic sectors. The CEOs of all the Cellular Mobile Operators observed that there will be more appetite for the spectrums in the coming months.

Rehman also said government collaboration with the mobile companies for the telecommunication development of the country is desirable for all. She emphasised on developing areas like e-health, tele-centers and e-education.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Jibran
    Apr 27, 2014 - 2:14AM

    Fixed match…. Not sure what promises have been made to stifle the competition.


  • Hitler
    Apr 27, 2014 - 3:26AM

    So next time they need dollars, they’ll sell PIA or Steel Mills….First Saudia paid billion and now China. Isn’t there a way where we actually earn some money rather than begging or selling our assets?


  • Habibullah
    Apr 27, 2014 - 6:48AM

    We hope to get the 3g services in remote rural areas as well


  • king Julian
    Apr 27, 2014 - 7:05AM

    All of them are making payments in dollars. That was the point of hurrying the auction.
    Matlab you lot just upload “articles” randomly without getting them checked?


  • Apr 27, 2014 - 12:19PM

    Again 30% Internet is porn which as research shows is harmful for everyone not just children. Rest of the content is also à mix bag … I Hope the govt will start thinking about blocking more than just blasphemous contents


  • Khan
    Apr 27, 2014 - 2:29PM

    What rubbish Hitler and Jibran, why dont you get up from your backside and do something positive for your country instead of spreading venom.


  • AHA
    Apr 27, 2014 - 4:07PM

    @Hitler: Dude, this auction has nothing to do with selling our assets. Can you please tell me which “asset” did they sell during this auction? It has become a norm to criticize the government for everything without even knowing the facts.


  • Muhammad
    Apr 27, 2014 - 4:54PM

    Good news. More the merrier.


  • Name
    Apr 27, 2014 - 7:03PM

    @king Julian:
    No, they were going to pay in rupees. Only one previous ET article talked about this. If you are interested you can try and find it. But the gist of it is as follows:

    The network operators refused to bring in more dollars from outside, so the only they were going to make payment was to buy dollars from the local market. This would have led to rupee depreciation, so they were allowed to make payment in rupees instead.


  • abdul.aalee
    Apr 27, 2014 - 11:28PM

    Neither Zong nor China Mobile Communication Corporation have the manufacturing technology so how can they transfer? they are the telecom service service provider which they are doing. If the minister wants any company to setup manufacturing unit they should request Samsung, Nokia, LG etc.


  • antanu
    Apr 28, 2014 - 1:34AM

    these DUDES are not pakistani and have made a habit of ridiculing anything pakistani. no need to respond.


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