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Faulty Spectrum: Zong Moves High Court Against PTA to Block Jazz’s License Renewal

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by April 14, 2022 Affairs

Islamabad High Court has accepted a petition from Zong that pleaded to block the license renewal process for Jazz.

Zong, in its petition, maintained that the license renewal process was hurried by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Frequency Allocation Board — as the license was set to expire in July 2022 — to give an unfair advantage to Jazz because Zong’s spectrum has interference and that Zong was expecting a resolution of its faulty spectrum before PTA could renew Jazz’s spectrum.

“PTA’s decision to renew Jazz’s spectrum on an as-is basis would defeat the fair competition and place Zong in a disadvantageous position”, said the petition.

According to Zong’s plea, the time for renewal of Jazz’s license was July 2022, but the process was hastened to give an unfair competitive advantage to Jazz.

Islamabad High Court, while accepting the petition, issued notice to the MOIT, the PTA and the FAB.

The High Court, whilst taking notice of the renewal of Jazz’s license during the pendency of the proceedings, directed that the renewal of Jazz’s license on the basis of the policy directive shall be subject to the final outcome of the petition.

Background

Zong claims that the 1800Mhz spectrum that was allocated to it by PTA and FAB has interference and that it deserves a clean spectrum like all other operators.

For this purpose, Zong’s petitions are in court in which it has contended that it is unfairly treated by PTA and that it has a disadvantage over other operators that enjoy a clean spectrum.

At the time of Jazz’s license renewal, Zong was expecting PTA to re-distribute spectrum in a manner that clean spectrum (from 900Mhz) is equally allocated to all operators in the market.

Zong claims that considering the situation — and observing that Jazz’s license is set for renewal in July 2022 — it filed the petition in Islamabad High Court, which was first fixed for hearing on 12 April 2022, however, the matter could not be heard due to paucity of time and it was relisted for the next day, i.e., 13 April 2022.

Zong alleges that in an attempt to defeat the court proceedings, Jazz hurriedly went ahead and signed their license with PTA on the evening of 12 April 2022 and also deposited 50% of the license fee well ahead of the license expiry date.

This issue was brought to the attention of the court today and the court has directed that the renewal of the license on the basis of the impugned policy directive shall be subject to the final outcome of the petition.

Source: Pro Pakistan

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