The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has ordered China Mobile Pakistan Limited, better known as Zong 4G, to pay $29.5 million for unauthorized and illegal use of radio frequencies. The telecom provider has also been told to stop using said frequencies immediately.
Zong CMPak had been granted special permission by the Frequency Allocation Board to use additional radio frequencies, due to interference on the company’s already allocated frequencies in parts of the Pakistan-India border Punjab and Sindh in 2007. The problem occurred due to India’s Code Division Multiplexing Access network in operation close to the border, which Indian authorities did not resolve despite being contacted by the PTA.
The company was granted use of frequencies in the 1800 MHz range for a period of one year, which was later extended to several times to 2019. However, Zong continued to use the frequencies even after the last agreement expired in October 2019, making the use of the frequencies from then till now illegal.
The PTA issued a show cause notice against the company to explain its action, to which Zong denied any wrongdoing. Consequently, the PTA ordered Zong to vacate the frequencies and also pay for their usage from October 2019 till now, including late fees under Section 23 of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act 1996.