China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak), which offers services under the ‘Zong’ brand, has been issued with a long-awaited licence for long-distance and international (LDI) services, ProPakistani writes. Whilst the cellco has been operational in the market for more than five years under the aegis of China Mobile, it has been denied an LDI concession by the terms of a deal between the government and Etisalat over the part privatisation of incumbent Pakistan Telecommunications Company Ltd (PTCL), which precluded the sale of new licences before March 2013. The Sindh High Court has further delayed matters by imposing a hold on the allocation of new LDI licences on the basis that the nation’s Telecom Policy had expired in 2008, and that fresh concessions should await the drafting of a new policy. The court had reacted to a petition from Telecard, Redtone Telecommunications and Multinet Pakistan that at USD500,000 the licences were under-priced by the expired policy. The Sindh High Court subsequently reversed its decision, however, allowing the government to hand an LDI licence to Zong, the only wireless operator to have been denied the facility.
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