=> ISLAMABAD (January 19 2008): Pakistan Telecommunic
ISLAMABAD (January 19 2008): Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has singed a contract to get in place a technical facility to root out grey traffic in telecom sector, causing losses of billions to the economy, said its Chairman Shahzada Alam here on Friday.
An official said that grey traffic was causing over rupees three billion financial loss annually, the issue Chairman PTA hoped, would be resolved in weeks. Speaking at a news conference, he said equipment of the system would be shipped to Pakistan in about two weeks.
“The primary source of grey traffic is through utilising the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) due to their low installation and operational costs and the system put in place by the PTA will filter all illegal VoIP traffic, terminated in the country through submarine cables,” he said.
The facility would then be able to block all these illegal VoIP flows, he said, adding: “We expect the facility to be operational by the end of February.” Shahzada Alam Malik said the PTA would introduce third generation mobile phone service to improve the telecommunication system and facilitate the people. The 3-G mobile service would enable the consumers to use internet with high speed, make video calls and other value-added data services, he said.
He said the auction of the spectrum would be carried out this year and the service would be made available in the country by the end of next year. The PTA had created a conducive and investors-friendly environment in the telecom sector by awarding licenses in a fair and transparent manner, attracting in investment of two billion dollars annually, Malik added.
He said the sector had emerged over the past few years, as the largest recipient of foreign investment expanding the country’s economy. He said the PTA granted license to five mobile companies in AJK and Northern Areas and they had started their services in these areas.
He said the PTA deposited Rs 1.2 billion with AJ&K Council and Northern Areas Secretariat on account of initial license fee collected from mobile phone operators.
He said the PTA had also launched the second phase of deregulation of fixed line services in the area in September last year. The PTA Chairman said the recently launched Wimax service in Pakistan would help the subscribers to make video calls and telephony through special handsets, while callers would be able to see live video and picture of each other in addition to voice conversation.
He said the PTA had blocked 170, 000 illegal SIMs in one year and developed a comprehensive SOP for the sale of new mobile connections and verification of antecedents of the users. “This is being implemented in collaboration with the National Data-based Regulatory Authority (Nadra), he added.
“Seventeen franchise companies were closed down as they were involved in selling SIMs to people without meeting required criterion,” he added. He said Pakistan was one of the first countries in south-east Asia to implement the Mobile Number Portability within a period of two years. He said approximately 55,000 subscribers had been ported out successfully from one cellular mobile operator to the one of the choice of the subscribers.
He said the PTA instructed all mobile companies to launch an awareness campaign and warn those that were involved in sending unsolicited messages/fraudulent calls to the consumers. In this connection, he said the PTA had established a complaint cell with a toll free number 0800-55055, operational 24 hours.
Source: Business Recorder