Tuesday, October 3, 2023

USF contracts Rs 555 million with Telenor for mobile broadband services

Telenor has been given a contract for about Rs555 million by the Universal Service Fund (USF) to provide high-speed mobile broadband services in the districts of Nowshera, Mardan, Swabi, and Charsadda in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Syed Amin Ul Haque, Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications, and Pervez Khattak, Federal Minister for Defence, both attended the contract signing event at the USF Head Office.

The pact was signed by USF CEO Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary and Telenor Pakistan CEO Irfan Wahab Khan.

“We have not made claims and promises, but we have done what was never envisaged before at the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication,” Haque remarked.

“The fact is that in the past fiscal year, we contracted 25 projects totaling more than Rs31 billion for the provision of high-speed internet services and the installation of optical fiber cable in unserved and underserved regions of the nation. While the number of projects has been raised to 30 in the current fiscal year, the performance of all institutions under the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication in achieving the Digital Pakistan goal is becoming an example with each passing day.” He went on to say.

“Mobile operators provide networking and broadband services in cities, but in dispersed or poorly populated areas, making it impossible for them to operate profitably. In such situations, the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications, through USF, not only identifies such regions but also pays a subsidy covering 80% to 90% of the project costs.”

“We think that inhabitants of rural locations have the same right to high-speed mobile internet as city dwellers,” he continued.

Furthermore, he thanked the inhabitants of Charsadda, Swabi, Nowshera, and Mardan, stating that they would soon have the best mobile network and the quickest internet service to connect to the digital world. He also stated that the project will be finished on schedule.

Pervez Khattak stated that the inhabitants of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa areas are no less capable than those of any other major metropolis. High-speed mobile broadband services in Charsadda, Swabi, Mardan, and Nowshera would benefit the youth of these districts in the field of education while also serving the country and the nation.

Earlier, in his welcoming address, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary stated, “Without the consistent assistance of Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin ul Haque, it would not have been feasible for the USF to launch 25 projects during the previous fiscal year.” As a consequence of the encouragement, we plan to start 30 new projects in the current fiscal year.”

“This project in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa would assist 0.16 million people in 70 unserved mauzas, spanning an unserved area of 778 square kilometers in the districts of Nowshera, Mardan, Swabi, and Charsadda. I can promise you that the project will be done in 16 months.”

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