The High Court in Lahore has thrown out an appeal by mobile operator Paktel, against the industry regulator, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), which is demanding it pay USD38.8 million to migrate from AMPS to GSM services. Earlier this month Paktel refused to pay the fee claiming that the PTA had no right to demand the payment. The operator, along with its rivals Mobilink and Instafone, was initially awarded GSM licences in 2003 free of charge; only state-owned Ufone was required to pay a fee of PKR50 million. In April 2004, however, the PTA awarded two new cellular licences for USD291 million, and subsequently announced that the existing operators would also have to pay this amount in instalments.
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