PTA moves to eliminate grey traffic -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PTA moves to eliminate grey traffic

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has signed an agreement with Inbox Business Technologies to acquire and deploy technical solution for addressing the menace of grey traffic brought into the country through illegal means.

The contract signing ceremony was held on Friday at the PTA headquarters. Chairman PTA Major Gen (Retd) Shahzada Alam Malik presided over the ceremony. CEO Inbox Ghais Khan, Vice-president Narus James Mullins and PTA DG Wire-line Muhammad Zubair Tahir signed the contract.

It was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Information Technology, PTCL, LDI operators and PTA.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman PTA said that grey traffic is a menace in countries like Pakistan and PTA has devised a comprehensive strategy to check this menace.

He said that this technical solution project is part of PTA’s efforts to curb illegal telecom traffic in the country.

Ghais Khan said that PTA has taken a number of steps for the betterment of the telecom industry in Pakistan and this is yet another addition in its endeavour.

James Mullins said this solution would analyze telecom traffic coming into Pakistan thus helping in detecting grey traffic. It may be mentioned that this acquisition is a part of PTA’s efforts against grey telephony. In this connection PTA had taken several regulatory measures but loss the government exchequer continued to incur a loss of about US$50 million (Rs3 billion approx) per annum. To arrest this revenue leakage through remedial steps the Government of Pakistan constituted a high-level vigilance committee, mandated by PTA to acquire technical solutions to detect/block all illegal traffic bypassing legitimate gateway exchanges.

Grey telephony is a term for illegal telecom traffic in which calls from foreign countries are brought in the country as local calls while using illegal means. This is an offence under the Telecom Reorganisation Act 1996. The technical solution has been developed by NARUS Inc., a US based company which is a leader in carrier-class security for the world’s largest Internet Protocol (IP) networks.

It is a proven solution which is currently being used by various telecom operators across the globe. The list includes AT&T, Telecom Egypt, Saudi Telecom and Brazil Telecom, to name just a few. The main objectives of the technical solution includes automated detection of grey traffic for its consequent elimination, revenue assurance for Long Distance International (LDI) operators and measurement of Quality of Service (QoS) parameters of IP traffic in the country.

After successful deployment, the solution would be able to filter IP traffic of the country for detection of illegal VoIP on data circuits for consequent legal action against violators.

It would also report the volume of traffic terminated by LDI operators hence helping in reconciling of their traffic. More importantly, it would measure QoS parameters of IP traffic thus enabling regulators to keep a check over QoS being offered to customers.

This is a turnkey project and is being funded by all major stakeholders i.e. PTA, Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT), PTCL and the LDI community. PTA and MoIT would be contributing 10 per cent each while PTCL and other LDIs would be sharing remaining 70 per cent based upon their share in international incoming traffic in the year 2006.

It is strongly believed that after deploying this project, the incurred revenue loss would be eliminated thereby ensuring healthy revenues.
Source: The News