PTA Awards 4G Spectrum and License to Telenor Pakistan

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued 850MHz spectrum (3G/4G) license to Telenor Pakistan after it remunerated withholding tax of Rs 4.13 billion ($39.5 million).

Telenor had earlier refused to pay withholding tax of $39.5 million, i.e. 10 percent of the total sale price ($395 million) of next generation mobile facilities (3G/4G), while calling it unlawful, groundless and based on a gross misunderstanding of provision of the law. Telenor had filed petition in Islamabad High Court (IHC)in contradiction of the federal government including FBR and PTA.

After hearing Telenor as well as the federal government, Islamabad High Court had earmarked the judgment, however later the telecom corporation reached the Court while entreating that it may be allowable to pay the withholding tax, Chairman PTA Syed Ismail Shah told this communicator here on Friday.

After getting court’s nod, Telenor put $39.5 million to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the latter (FBR) then issued Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) to PTA for issuing 4G license to the corporation, said Chairman PTA adding that the authorization has been issued and Telenor can now provide 4G services in the country.

It may be remembered that Telenor was only buyer in 850MHz spectrum sale that PTA held in June 2016 and hence it was given 10MHz block from 850MHz spectrum at a price of $395 million.

Chairman PTA further established that Telenor has already put half of price, i.e. $197.5 million while the enduring 50 percent will be paid in five equal annual installments along with cumulative mark-up @ LIBOR + 3 percent from real date of authorization to date of expense.

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