ISLAMABAD: Technology neutral licence for the 10MHz of frequency spectrum 850MHz was handed over to the successful bidder, Telenor Pakistan, in a license awarding ceremony held at the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications on Wednesday.

Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rahman formally handed over the 850MHz licence to Telenor Pakistan CEO Michal Foley. The new CEO-designate, Irfan Wahab, was also present at the event. The newly awarded licence will also enable Telenor Pakistan to launch 4G Services in Pakistan, after which the company will become the third 4G operator in the country.

Anusha Rahman, while congratulating Telenor Pakistan, stated that Telenor has played a significant role in the sector during the last few years. “Telenor successfully participated in all three spectrum auctions held in the last 12 years and have invested billions in Pakistan since they first got the licence in 2004.”

She said that Telenor Pakistan also played a significant role with other operators in biometric SIM verification process as well as extended their support in handling the menace of gray traffic.

Anusha Rahman further said that the broadband penetration was less then three percent when she became a minister, but within a shortest span, mobile broadband grew to more than 19% and was targeted to cross 38 percent by 2020. The new licence to Telenor will further enable it to take high-speed connectivity and associated socio-economic benefits and opportunities to the Pakistani citizens.

While expressing his gratitude to the government, Telenor Pakistan CEO Michael Foley said, “Telenor is committed to supporting Pakistan’s efforts to become a digitally developed nation. Driven by our vision of empowering societies, our success to date has been built on a simple realisation: mobile communication, financial services and Internet are not luxury goods for the few; they are for everyone.”

He extended his heartfelt felicitation to the minister for her nomination as “broadband commissioner” in global broadband commission. He hailed the minister for her key initiatives towards expanding the overall digital ecosystem in the country.

IT Secretary Rizwan Bashir also congratulated Telenor Pakistan and appreciated the role of his team at the MoIT, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) for carrying out another successful and transparent spectrum auction.

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