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Tag Archives: USF

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Bangladesh to tax the mobile industry (again)

It started with the infamous “SIM tax” in 2005. Although mobile covers nearly 100% of population and geography, a highly ambiguous Social Obligation Fund (SOF) was created in 2010. Consequently the telecom regulator has been illegally amassing huge wealth since 2011. Now the tax authorities have decided to impose 1% surcharge on mobile usage to […]

Pak Supreme Court questions $705m USF siphoning

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has demanded a legal and constitutional explanation from the Attorney General (AG) for withdrawing around PKR70 billion (US$705 million) from the universal service fund (USF). The USF comes from all mobile operators’ 1.5% of gross revenue. This entire fund is intended to be used to finance the expansion of telecoms services to underserved […]

BTRC has arbitrarily bagged $31m (so far)

While renewing the 2G mobile licenses in November 2011, the authorities had mandated that each mobile operator pays 1% of gross revenue to Social Obligation Fund (SOF). It is just a version of Universal Service Fund. By far four out of six operators have paid Tk. 2.4 billion (US$31 million) to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, […]

A plea to stop further delay of 3G in Pakistan

Pervez Ifthikar is a passionate commentator on telecom issues in Pakistan. A knowledgeable commentator and as the founding CEO of the universal service fund (one of the best in the world in his time), one who has to be taken seriously. Irrespective of the on-going, completely unnecessary, “controversy” surrounding auction of 3G in Pakistan, allotting […]

How the Pakistan USF Company conducts its business

Interesting post on the procurement practices of the Pakistan USF Company by its CEO: ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES I face is to convince some of those who matter that it is possible to deal in Billions WITHOUT ANY CORRUPTION. I don’t blame them. Corruption has become so pervasive that if and when it is […]

India overtakes Pakistan in mobile SIMs/100

Since 2004, India has been behind Pakistan on a key indicator: mobile SIMs/100. Few in India wanted to talk about this. But we did. Now finally, India has pulled ahead, as it should. I discuss the reasons in a recent piece done for Pioneer. The loss of momentum for Pakistan started in 2008, and by […]

Bangladesh doesn’t need a universal service tax

An article written by Rohan Samarajiva on Bangladesh’s proposed universal service taxes has been published in The Daily Star, Bangladesh; an excerpt follows. Bangladesh currently has the lowest mobile prices in the world and perhaps the world’s highest mobile growth rate. Pretty good, by any measure. A universal service tax can ruin the business model […]

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