Lahore: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) organized telecom consumer forum with a theme Together for Consumer Rights here today. Secretary IT & Telecom, Mr. Naguib Ullah Malik was the chief guest while Chairman PTA, Dr. Mohammed Yaseen presided over the Forum. Member (Technical) PTA, Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar, renowned poet Mr. Amjad Islam Amjad, representatives of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Cellular Mobile and Fixed Line sectors, telecom consumer groups, academia and the media community also participated in the event. President Pakistan Consumers Association, Kokab Iqbal and representatives of Cellular, Fixed Line and Broadband Services gave presentations during the Forum.
In this event, the Secretary IT formally inaugurated a new service named SIM Information System - 668 introduced by PTA to enable the mobile subscribers to know the total number of SIMs issued against their respective CNIC number with each mobile operator.
Mr. Naghuib Ullah Malik said that Government is facilitating telecom industry so that it continues to grow. He said that the Government wanted development in the telecom sector which was growing at fast pace during last few years. While talking about SIM Information System - 668 he appreciated this initiative taken by PTA and said that it is crucial to safeguard our communication systems so that they dont fall into the wrong hands and for that purpose this new system introduced by PTA will play an effective role.
While addressing the consumer forum Chairman PTA said that the Authority is cognizant of telecom consumers needs and taking number of steps to facilitate them in resolving their issues. In this regard PTA has revamped complaint handling mechanism of mobile companies, PTCL and other telecom operators. Launch of this new service is yet another evidence of PTAs sincerity towards its vision of protection of telecom consumers and their rights. He said that every mobile user can know number of SIMs issued against his CNIC with the mobile company name by sending his CNIC number without dashes and spaces to 668 through SMS. Rs.2/- will be charged on each SMS which is inclusive of all taxes. In case of unauthorized numbers against his CNIC number, a consumer can get the data corrected from the concerned mobile operators Customer Services Center. The unauthorized SIM owners will be advised to register the SIM in their names within seven days of notification from concerned Customer Services Center otherwise their calling facility will be stopped after thirteen days and the SIM will be completely blocked after seventeen days of that notice. This service will help in further streamlining the data of mobile phone users.
Chairman PTA said that in order to address the issue of unauthorized SIMs PTA first revamped the system of sale and registration of SIMs and now it has introduced this service which would allow mobile subscribers to get those SIMs blocked which presently are not under their usage. This system provides an Internet and SMS based interface to end-users in order to retrieve the registered mobile SIMs information. He said that it is a robust, secure and efficient sysytem to store a record size of approx 100 Million subscribers data. The system ensures proper data integrity mechanism while answering back to multiple queries at a specific time.
The Chairman said that PTA has always been engaged in facilitating telecom consumers with best telecom services along with the due protection of their rights. The efforts of PTA, in this regard, have been translated in its consumer-oriented initiatives like Mobile Number Portability (MNP), system to block stolen mobiles through IMEI number, establishment of Consumer Protection Department for the redressal of consumer grievances, 7 to 8 digit Numbering Plan for fixed line, new consumer friendly SIM Activation System, lowest telecom tariffs amidst competitive environment etc.
Dr. Mohammed Yaseen said that the statistics of telecom growth in Pakistan are evident of the satisfaction level of telecom consumers with the quality of telecom services provided to them. He said that the overall teledensity in the country has reached 61.80%. There are currently 95.54 million mobile subscribers and the cellular segment leads the share in total teledensity followed by Fixed Land Line (FLL) with 3.5 million subscribers and Wireless Local Loop (WLL) with 2.6 million total subscribers.
Khurram A. Mehran