Karachi (August 7) : Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Dr. Mohammed Yaseen has said that PTA would soon launch number of new services to protect consumer rights including introduction of 668 service through which a mobile consumer would be able to know all SIM connections issued against his name by just sending single SMS.
He was speaking at Consumer Forum organized by PTA in Karachi with a theme of Together for Consumer Rights. The Forum was attended by senior representatives of telecom operators, consumer rights organizations, academia, media and other stakeholders. Member Technical PTA Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar and other seniors officers also attended the Forum. Chairman PTA said that PTA was working on formulation of Spam Regulations under which consumers would be facilitated against unwanted and obnoxious SMS and calls. He said that PTA has already introduced Consumer Regulations 2009 wherein issues such as misleading advertisements, call charges and problems related to tariffs of mobile companies have been addressed.
Chairman PTA said that PTA is cognizant of telecom consumers grievances and taking number of steps to resolve their issues. In this regard PTA has revamped complaint handling mechanism of mobile companies, PTCL and other telecom operators. A subscriber can launch a complaint with its relevant operator and in case complaint is not resolved consumer can approach PTA Consumer Cell.
Dr. Mohammed Yaseen said that PTA would switch on to a new service in September which would enable a mobile user to know all SIM connections details issued against his name by just sending his CNIC to 668. This would help in detecting real identification of a SIM user. This new service is part of PTA efforts to block all illegal SIMs and clean the data of mobile users, he added.
Chairman said that under new regulations operators have been asked to seek consumer consent before activation of any new package. While responding to various queries of participants the Chairman said that PTCL management has been working to improve its system and they have ensured PTA to make appropriate steps to provide its consumers best services.
Chairman PTA said that PTA has taken number of steps for the proliferation of broadband services in the country and this will result in enhanced usage of ICTs. He also spoke about the overall growth of telecom sector in the country.
The overall teledensity in the country has reached 61.80%. There are currently 94.30 million mobile subscribers with mobile penetration reaching 58.20%. Cellular segment leads the share in total teledensity by 94.10% followed by FLL 2.60% and WLL 3.30%. There are total 10,148 cities/towns/villages covered and 28,124 cell sites installed by all cellular operators covering almost 92% of the land area of Pakistan.
Total fixed line subscribers (FLL) in Pakistan stand at 3.7 million yielding a teledensity of 2% (as of March 2009). The Wireless Local Loop (WLL) solution in relation to fixed line requires less investment with high returns. Today WLL services are available in Pakistan and value added services like EvDO are also available. The WLL services are getting popular especially in rural areas and total subscribers of WLL stood at 2.6 million with 1.6% teledensity. There are currently more than 11,669 cities/ towns/villages covered by WLL services. The Long Distance & International (LDI) segment of the Pakistan telecom sector has gone through developmental and growth phases in a very small period. Tariffs of LDI witnessed stability. Broadband is experiencing healthy growth since last year and companies are providing broadband services with DSL, Cable, FTTH, WiMax and EvDO technologies across Pakistan whereas DSL is the most popular technology. There are currently 411,067 broadband subscribers.
On this occasion Mr. Aamir Ibrahim CSO M/s Telenor, Mr. Sikandar Naqi SEVP (Corporate Affairs), M/s PTCL , Mr. Pervaiz Iftikhar CEO USF and Mr. Naseem Ahmed Vohra, Consultant M/s Wateen Telecom gave detailed presentations on cellular mobile, fixedline and uplift of telecom services in rural Sindh. Mr. Mujahid Bralvi senior journalist and Mohtarma Fatima Surrya Bajya, an pronounced intellectual also spoke in detail on behalf of telecom consumers. Chairman PTA presented shields to the participants on this occasion.
Khurram A. Mehran