ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday formally handed over the 3G and 4G licenses to the four cellular companies following a transparent bidding process that fetched Pakistan over $1.22 billion.
Addressing a gathering, the prime minister congratulated the nation and said the modern telecom services would provide quality service to the people and lead the country on path of progress and prosperity. Four cellular companies including Mobilink, Telenor, Ufone and Zong had won the licenses in April after going through a bidding process.
Prime Minister Nawaz said it was part of government's initiative to provide quality telecommunication services and also bridge the rural and urban digital divide. He invited all sectors of the society to benefit from this latest technology and play their part in development of the country.
He specifically urged the youth to use the service for research, education and progress. He also expressed the hope that all the cellular companies would stay abreast of the latest changes in the technology and pass it on to the end users. He said the new technology would not only bring an additional Rs 260 billion to the kitty, but also create hundreds and thousands of new jobs.
Nawaz said it was important that the reach of the broadband was extended and made affordable, however stressed the need of having a set of guidelines for provision of quality services while providing level playing field for all stake holders. He said the day also coincided with the World Telecom and Information Society Day whose theme ‘Broadband for Sustainable Development’ closely matched the vision of his government.
He recalled that it was during his government in 1990 that launched the Optic Fibre Cable network and was pleased to note that the PML-N government was launching the next generation mobile service in the country. He specially lauded Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar and State Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman for their hard work.