Ufone, Telenor attain USF contracts worth Rs. 8.76 billion

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Contract signing ceremony of USF with Ufone and Telenor was held in Islamabad and was witnessed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Minister of State for IT & Telecom Anusha Rahman.

Faisal Sattar, CEO, USF signed contracts of Shangla and Zhob with Deputy CEO, Telenor, Irfan Wahab Khan and contract of Sibi with Abdul Aziz, President & CEO, Ufone

Ufone and Faisal Sattar CEO
Abdul Aziz, President & CEO, Ufone and Faisal Sattar CEO, USF signing the contract along with the Minister of Finance lshaq Dar and Minister State of Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman

Universal Service Fund (USF) entered into contracts worth Rs 8.76 billion with Ufone and Telenor to provide basic telephone and data services to people in the yet un-served areas of Shangla, Zhob and Sibi lots.

Rs 1.95 billion would be spent in Shangla lot, which comprises Swat, Shangla and Buner districts, Rs.3.61 billion in Zhob lot, which consists of Musakhel, Zhob and Sherani districts, while Rs. 3.2 billion would be spent in Sibi lot, which consists of Barkhan, Sibi, Killa Saifullah and Loralai districts.

Contract signing ceremony of USF with Ufone and Telenor was held in Islamabad and was witnessed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Minister of State for IT & Telecom Anusha Rahman.

Faisal Sattar, CEO, USF signed contracts of Shangla and Zhob with Deputy CEO, Telenor, Irfan Wahab Khan and contract of Sibi with Abdul Aziz, President & CEO, Ufone.

Speaking on the occasion Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said it was vision of the prime minister to ensure connectivity between all areas of the country through road network and now we are striving for IT/telecom connectivity.

He said it is also Prime Minister‘s desire to pursue sound and equitable economic policies that can help Pakistan tread on the path of sustainable economic development. In order to achieve this, support to Ministry of IT is being provided in all its initiatives.

The Finance Minister said that with dedicated efforts we have brought the country back on the international economic horizon.

The Minister on this occasion reiterated the government’s resolve to bridge the gap between demand and supply of energy by December 2017.

Minister Dar appreciated Ministry of IT and USF for their efforts and congratulated them on their achievements. He also said that consistent economic policies had helped transform Pakistan into an attractive destination for foreign investment. He urged telecom companies to invest in the country and increase their participation in projects based on public-private partnership just like the projects executed today. Finance Minister also urged the Ministry of IT on the occasion to take steps for auction of the remaining two 3G-4G licenses.

Minister for IT, Anusha Rahman in her address was of the view that the rural telephony projects carry state of the art telecom services including 3G and broadband to far-flung, underserved areas at a rapid pace and bring them in parity with urban areas of the country. The three contracts signed today, she said are part of overall policy decision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for providing rural telephony services to underserved and un-served areas.

Earlier, while highlighting the project related details, CEO USF, Faisal Sattar informed that through the Rural Telecom Project in Shangla lot, an un-served population of more than 0.8 million people in 154 villages will benefit from the project, in Zhob lot, an un-served population of more than 0.4 million people residing in 330 muzas and in Sibi lot an un-served population of almost 0.5 million in 505 muzas will benefit from the services.

Parliamentarians, CEOs of telecom companies, government departments, secretaries, diplomats and notable IT & Telecom professionals attended the event.