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

Faulty Spectrum: Zong Moves High Court Against PTA to Block Jazz’s License Renewal in 2022

The Islamabad High Court has accepted Zong’s petition to halt Jazz’s license renewal process.

In its petition, Zong claimed that the license renewal process was rushed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Frequency Allocation Board to give Jazz an unfair advantage because Zong’s spectrum has interference and that Zong was expecting a resolution of its faulty spectrum before PTA could renew Jazz’s spectrum.

According to the petition, “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.”

According to Zong’s petition, Jazz’s license was due to be renewed in July 2022, but the process was rushed to give Jazz an unfair competitive advantage.

While accepting the petition, the Islamabad High Court served notice on the MOIT, the PTA, and the FAB.

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

Background

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

Zong’s petitions are in court for this purpose, in which it claims that PTA treats it unfairly and that it is at a disadvantage compared to other operators who have access to clean spectrum.

Zong expected PTA to re-distribute spectrum in such a way that clean spectrum (from 900Mhz) is equally allocated to all operators in the market at the time of Jazz’s license renewal.

Zong claims that in light of the situation — and given that Jazz’s license is up for renewal in July 2022 — it filed the petition in Islamabad High Court, which was initially scheduled for hearing on 12 April 2022, but the matter could not be heard due to a lack of time and was rescheduled for the following day, 13 April 2022.

Zong claims that, in an attempt to thwart the court proceedings, Jazz hurriedly signed their license with PTA on the evening of April 12, 2022, and also deposited half of the license fee well ahead of the license expiration date.

This matter was brought to the Honorable Court’s attention today, and the Court has directed that the renewal of the license based on the impugned policy directive be subject to the outcome of the petition.

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