ISLAMABAD ( BMZ REPORT )
Telenor Pakistan has been awarded the Universal Services Fund (USF) contract for provision of Telecom, Digital and Mobile Internet Services to the Kohistan region. This is the sixth year that Telenor has won such a contract from USF that will further Telenor’s mission of bringing the marginalized communities of the country within the digital and financial sphere. The project aims to connect over 800,000 unserved people in the regions, becoming the largest USF contract provided to any telecom operator in Pakistan. The picture shows Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO, Telenor Pakistan (R), and Haaris Chaudhary, CFO & Company Secretary, USF (L), signing the contract.
Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar witnessed the contract award ceremony for the project to provide Mobile Broadband Internet/ 3G services in Kohistan, at the Ministry of IT here today. Minister of State for IT & Telecom, Ms. Anusha Rahman Khan, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, Sardar Mohammad Yousaf and Deputy Speaker, National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi were also present on the occasion.
Universal Service Fund (USF) and cellular services provider Telenor signed the contract agreement worth Rs.3.51 billion.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister Dar applauded Ministry of IT and USF for their efforts to promote information and communication technologies in the country and on graduated them on their achievements. He said that government and given due priority to the ICT sector and is keen to help it reach even greater heights in future. He added that it is Prime Minister‘s objective to pursue sound and equitable economic policies that has put Pakistan on the path of sustainable economic development. He said that the Ministry of IT and the ICT sector would be provided full support to ensure accessibility of ICT services to people in all regions of the country.
Mrs. Anusha Rahman was of the view that the Broadband for Sustainable Development projects will take state of the art 3G Mobile Broadband service to far-flung areas at a rapid pace and in almost parity with urban areas of the country. She said that this contract is part of overall policy decision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for providing maximum facilitation to remote areas of the country. She informed that a population of around 9 lac people living in 1,283 villages within an area of 11,000 sq. ft of Kohistan lot will benefit from this project. She added that this project will improve the lives of people, create job opportunities for them and particularly empower females.
It is noteworthy to mention here that through this Broadband for Sustainable Development Project, areas of Kohistan (Pattan, Dassu, Palas), Battagram (Alai, Battagram), Mansehra (Balakot, Torghar, Mansehra,Oghi), Haripur (Ghazi, Haripur) and Abbottabad (Abbottabad) will be served.
Sharing his thoughts on the development, Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO, Telenor Pakistan, said, the project will be a gigantic stride towards promoting digital and financial inclusion across the country, opening up doors of opportunities for the marginalized communities to step into mainstream development process and another step towards empowering Pakistan.