Wireless licences for AJK, N.As issued
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority awarded Wireless Local Loop (WLL) licences to PTCL and Wateen for Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas here on Wednesday.
The issuance of WLL licences would augment efforts to provide enhanced and affordable telecom services to people of the region. The step is likely to capture huge investment in the three telecom regions of Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and the Northern Areas.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman PTA Dr Mohammed Yaseen said earlier there was only one telecom operator in AJK and NAs but when competition was introduced and new operators started their services, all segments of the sector witnessed rapid growth. With a tele-density figure of 3.59 per cent in 2005-06, the region was lagging far behind from the rest of the country in terms of telecommunication services. Two years after deregulation in the area, tele-density of AJK and NAs stood at 37.46 percent. Mobile subscribers’ figure of 0.167 million of 2005-06 has now jumped to 1.84 million.
These licences were awarded on the basis of a bidding conducted by PTA in November last year. In the bidding of spectrum in 3.5 GHz for Mirpur (TR-1), one block was taken by PTCL at the highest bid of Rs10 million while the other was withdrawn because there was no second bidder. For Muzaffarabad (TR-2), PTCL gave the highest bid of Rs4 million followed by Wateen which matched the price. For Northern Areas (TR-3), Wateen offered the highest bid of Rs4 million and the second block went to PTCL for the same price. In total, Rs26 million were collected against the five WLL licences.