PTCL announces benefits package -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PTCL announces benefits package

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) on July 16 announced a relief package for domestic and commercial consumers including free-of-cost local calls during late night hours, reduced international and domestic tariffs and telephone installation fee and cuts in Internet bandwidth rates and other related services.

Federal Minister for Information Technology (IT) Awais Leghari announced the PTCL package at a press conference. He was accompanied by PTCL President Junaid Khan and IT Secretary Khalid Saeed. The new package will come into force on August 14. The minister announced that another package for consumers might be announced by the PTCL in the next nine months, subject to the expansion of the PTCL infrastructure.

The PTCL president claimed that the reduced tariffs would not impact the profitability of PTCL negatively. He added that the relief package would encourage consumers to increase their use of PTCL services.

The relief package was finalised by the PTCL board in its meeting on July 13. According to the package the installation fee for new telephones in urban areas has been reduced from Rs 1,350 to Rs 750. The installation fee of Rs 500 in rural areas will remain unchanged.

Local calls within the PTCL network would be free from 12:00 midnight to 6:00 in the morning. Mobile phones, payphones and special services were exempt from this facility. Tariffs of the nation-wide calls (80 to 160 kilometres) were reduced from Rs 5.65 to Rs 4.25. The rates for nation-wide calls (160 kilometres and above) were reduced from Rs 7.39 to Rs 5.25.

PTCL also reduced the rates of international calls, fixing a flat rate of Rs 20 per minute. Earlier, the rate for SAARC countries, Afghanistan and Turkey was Rs 21.75 per minute and Rs 26.08 per minute for the rest of the world. In the category of Premium Internet Bandwidth the company waived 100 percent fee of Digital Cross Connect (DXX) that was Rs 55,000. The installation charges were reduced from $3,000 to $500 for upto 1,024-k and $1000 for others.

The monthly premium Internet bandwidth tariffs for Internet Service Providers, IT Enabled Services, Call Centres and Software Exporters were also reduced from 27 percent to 40 percent.

PTCL reduced International Half Circuit Monthly Charges via SMW3 from 34 percent to 40 percent depending on the size of the bandwidth.

It announced a 15 percent reduction in local call charges for the 0800 service. The NWD (Nation-Wide Dialling) flat rate/min was reduced from Rs 4 to Rs 3. The minimum charge of Rs 40,000 on the NWD 0800 service was also eliminated.

The International Internet charges for Institutions and universities connected with Pakistan Educational Research Network (PERN) have been reduced to $ 2,500 per month.

All the rates announced at the press conference were exclusive of the General Sales Tax (GST).

According to observers, the reductions have been made to provide competition to the private Local Loop (LL) and Long Distance International (LDI) operators which are about to launch their services. The minister said that the IT ministry was working on broadband policy that would be announced in the near future.
Source: Daily Times
Date:7/17/2004