Universal Service Fund (USF) has recently signed a contract worth Rs. 192 Million with Jazz. The telecom has been awarded the contract under USF’s Broadband for Sustainable Development Program.
According to sources, the total cost of the project is Rs, 258 million where government subsidy will be around Rs 192 million.
Under the agreement, Jazz is to work on providing mobile broadband access to people of North Waziristan Agency, Frontier Region Bannu and Frontier Region Lakki Marwat. The contract was signed by Chief Executive Officer Universal Service Fund, Rizwan Mustafa Mir with Ali Naseer, Chief Corporate and Enterprise Officer, Jazz.
TheFederal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui attended the ceremony as the chief guest. Addressing the meeting he said that with constant dedication and devotion, Ministry of IT and Telecom had achieved yet another significant connectivity milestone. He also added that with such projects, Ministry for IT through USF will continue to work towards achieving the mission of broadband penetration across the country to facilitate the people in rural regions.
He further added that in addition to Broadband Infrastructure, he expected USF to launch new e-services and m-services to facilitate digital lifestyle adoption for the people of Pakistan.
The USF-Jazz partnership is expected to open-up new progressive opportunities for local communities such as e-commerce. Moreover, in order to execute this project, 28 towers are to be installed by Jazz in about a year.
Rizwan Mir, CEO USF speaking on the occasion said that with the signing of North Waziristan contract, Universal Service Fund’s aim is to provide voice and data services to remote and underserved areas of Pakistan, where it is most critical for development. He added that this network would be completed in 24 months providing 3G/4G and Voice Services to a population of 0.57 million in 401 unserved Mauzas.
According to him, the improvement of law and order situation in FATA areas, provision of advanced ICT infrastructure is key to the development efforts in the region. He also mentioned that USF plans to launch several new broadband projects in the next few months, including one in South Waziristan.
Addressing the audience, Ali Naseer, Chief Corporate & Enterprise Officer at Jazz said, “Through this collaboration, Jazz and USF have successfully bridged the digital divide in the country’s remotest region. This is why the project has special significance for us and in due time residents of 401 administrative mauzas will have access to the mobile broadband connectivity. We are looking forward to assisting these people in unlocking their potential in an increasingly interconnected world.”