The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) has announced two new initiatives to provide high-speed mobile broadband services to unserved and underserved communities in four Sindh districts. Jazz has been allocated the projects, which will be completed in 12 months at a total cost of Rs. 698 million.
Federal Ministers for Planning and Development Asad Umar and Information Technology and Telecommunications Syed Amin-Ul-Haq attended the signing ceremony on Friday.
The projects’ agreement was signed by Universal Service Fund (USF) CEO Haaris Mahmood Chaudhry and Jazz Vice President Mudassar Hussain. Consul Generals from various countries, MQM lawmaker Sheikh Salahuddin, and Jazz Chief Commercial Officer Asif Aziz also attended the ceremony.
Syed Amin-Ul-Haq, speaking at the occasion, stated that the first project would provide high-speed mobile broadband services for Rs. 246 million in 359 un-served and under-served mauzas of Kambar Shahdadkot and Larkana. The second project, valued at Rs. 451 million, would provide high-speed mobile broadband services in 438 mauzas in the districts of Naushahro Feroze and Shaheed Benazirabad.
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The minister stated that nine projects in Sindh, totaling Rs. 8.48 billion, are already in the process of completion under his ministry. These initiatives will connect 3,227 mauzas in 19 districts of the province to the digital network.
In his speech, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar praised the Ministry of IT’s performance and stated that the ministry’s function is becoming increasingly important in this age of technology.
Earlier in his welcome address, USF Chief Executive Officer stated that all projects will be finished on time and with good quality.
Jazz Chief Commercial Officer Asif Aziz stated in his speech, “Providing reliable mobile broadband to all our fellow people is a fundamental focus for Jazz.” Through our collaboration with USF, 719 underserved mauzas in rural Sindh will be able to access high-speed mobile broadband, providing them with limitless socioeconomic potential.”
He cautioned that the country is in a digital emergency, and that the proposed rise in withholding tax (WHT) on telecom customers, as well as a 17 percent sales tax on smartphones and laptops, will further distance the country from its worldwide rivals.