SMS and call bundles will not be banned: PTA
KARACHI: Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has never stopped SMS and call Bundle packages of cellular mobile operators (CMOs) as ‘wrongly reported by a section of the press’, the telecom regulatory body clarified on Friday.
The federal body responsible for enforcing telecom regulations issued a clarification regarding news reports on PTA’s latest letter (dated August 29) to CMOs to stop ‘chat packages’. The notification, which was misquoted by a section of the press, is not a new matter but a follow up of a PTA letter on November 14, 2012 on the same issue, PTA’s Director Public Relations Khurram Mehran said.
The letter under discussion was issued after PTA found in a survey that CMOs were still offering chat packages, which were banned by the authority as per November 14, 2012 letter. The text of the August 29 letter was published out of context, said Mehran.
The portion of the letter highlighted by the press read as follows:
“Keeping in view the foregoing, all CMOs are hereby once again directed to immediately stop all kind of chat packages (voice and SMS) irrespective of time of the day and submit compliance by September 2, 2013, positively …
The words ‘voice and SMS’ were mentioned within parentheses right after the term ‘chat packages’, Mehran explained. This clearly refers to voice and SMS within chat packages, he added. Nowhere in the letter did PTA use the term voice and SMS bundles as quoted by the media, he said.
However PTA still stuck to its reasoning of ‘negative social effects’ of these late night packages and chat services.
PTA said it has taken up the matter with the CMOs after receiving various complaints from the Supreme Court, Standing Committee of the Parliament, various Senators and MNAs and consumers.
In this regard series of meeting were held with Cellular Mobile Industry subsequent to which PTA letter was issued to all CMOs to stop late night packages/chat services, it said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2013.