Interference from India affecting cell phone service
By Zulqernain Tahir
LAHORE: Interference from India is adversely affecting the service of some cellular companies in Pakistan, Dawn has learnt.
Service in parts of Lahore, Sialkot, Kasur, Sahiwal, Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur near the Indian border is being affected by the bandwidth interference from Indian territories.
According to a source in the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the main cause of the interference is the service of TATA Mobile and Reliance Communications of India that has the same frequency bandwidths as the ones allocated to some Pakistani cellular companies by the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB).
The PTA and FAB have carried out a joint survey on the complaints of cell phone companies in this regard. According to the survey, interference has caused a ‘calculable depreciation’ in quality of mobile telecommunication services in the areas of Punjab near the Pakistan-India border.
Internal surveys in the telecommunication industry have also revealed that there is also a ‘significant increase’ in the interference on the bandwidth used by various security forces in the country.
“There is resentment among some cellular operators as they have been unable to improve the quality of service despite large investments to gain consumer goodwill,” the source said, adding that as the allocated bandwidths continued to be cluttered with interference, certain companies operating in Pakistan had lost customer confidence.
It is pertinent to mention that India has not been confronted in this regard on any international forum by Pakistani authorities.
A PTA spokesman told Dawn that the issue of interference in frequency bandwidth from India and even from north region had been taken up with the authorities concerned and would soon be sorted out.