=> LAHORE, Jan 16: The Pakistan Telecommunication Aut
LAHORE, Jan 16: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has jammed around 170,000 cellphone sets since the launch of the International Mobile Equipment Identity System (IMEI) in September 2006.
PTA Chairman Maj-Gen Shahzada Alam Malik (retired) told a group of journalists here on Wednesday that the system had been working effectively and benefitting the people. He, however, admitted that a facility was available in the market to decode this system.
The IMEI is a technology that blocks the use of mobile set once it has been reported stolen or snatched. The idea is to register the identification/serial number of each sold mobile set and block use of any SIM on that particular set on the request of the customer.
To a question, Shahzada Alam said the PTA would impose fine on the cellular companies for failing to maintain complete customer record.
However, it would not penalise them for quality of service. “Since the services of the companies have improved, there is no need to impose fines on them,” he added.
Only one major company had been fined for its poor service in the past. He said over 80 per cent record of the cellular companies had been verified by the National Database and Registration Authority.
The PTA chairman said the authority had also taken notice of short messages that invited the recipients to join schemes offering lofty prizes. He said it would work out a policy to deal with it after taking the heads of all cellular companies into confidence.
Answering another question, he said the cellular companies had not been directed to consult the PTA before launching different packages.
He said proposals were being sought from the stakeholders to revise the existing telecom policy to make it more suitable for future development of the sector in the backdrop of emerging technologies.
He said the national exchequer’s revenue had crossed Rs100 billion on account of activation charges, general sales tax, licence fees, etc. Revision of the policy would further increase the potential of investment and deployment of more advanced communication systems by providing better services.
The cellular subscribers had been increased to 76 million in the country that also had improved the socio-economic life of the country, he said, expressing optimism that the number of subscribers would go pass 100 million in the next couple of years.