ISLAMABAD: The Universal Service Fund (USF) has awarded a contract worth approximately Rs1.37 billion to Telenor for providing high-speed mobile broadband services in Chitral, Upper Dir and Lower Dir districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Federal IT and Telecommunication Minister Syed Aminul Haque and Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari witnessed the contract signing ceremony held at the USF Office on Wednesday.
The contracts were signed by USF CEO Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary and Telenor CEO Irfan Wahab Khan. Federal IT & Telecommunication Secretary and USF Board Chairman Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui and PTA Chairman Maj Gen (r) Amir Azeem Bajwa were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the ceremony, Syed Aminul Haque said with the help of information and communication technologies, districts of Chitral, Upper Dir and Lower Dir could achieve better integration into economic and tourism flows.
He said high-speed mobile broadband services will enhance tourism and attract tourists, thus creating jobs. The Ministry of IT and Telecommunication will continue close cooperation to support the tourism industry of Pakistan and provide the basis for achieving sustainable rural development, he added.
Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, while congratulating USF and Telenor on the signing of the contract, said the use of ICT in tourism is a welcoming step for the residents of Chitral, Upper Dir and Lower Dir districts. High speed internet connectivity will expedite activity in the region and make the travel process efficient and pleasant, he added.
Sharing his views on the development, Telenor Pakistan CEO Irfan Wahab Khan said, “We are committed to ensuring the basic right of connectivity to the people of Pakistan. At Telenor Pakistan, we are driven to continue empowering the country by bridging the digital divide, creating access to opportunities and uplifting the lives of millions.”
Meanwhile, USF CEO Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary said that the project will benefit an unserved population of 0.7 million in 648 unserved mauzas, thereby covering an unserved area of 18,212 square kilometres of Chitral, Upper Dir and Lower Dir districts. “We are committed to empowering the unserved and unserved communities of Pakistan and we look forward to strengthening our partnership with Telenor,” he added.