40,000 Call Centers Go Down in Pakistan, 1 Million Jobless

My God, what this news is saying…around 40,000 call centers were shut down in Pakistan on directions of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. I was able to get couple of evidences of this news on “Daily Post” and “Online News Agency”

I had to double check the number of closed call centers, and also the date; but alas everything seems fine with my eyesight.

According to Online, PTA passed the directions of closing the voice ports of all call national and international centers operating in Pakistan. Agency, citing some resources said that PTA asked CWFAI, a fiber optic communication provider in Pakistan to block the voice ports of all working call centers; consequently thousands of Pakistanis will go jobless who work in these call centers.

Call centre representatives, who were effected by the decision, told that News Agency that their call centers were shut down without any prior notification, while the PTA officials negating the blame, have claimed that they had already informed them about the action through a proper notification.

The PTA officials further said that the call centers owners have not registered themselves and were conducting their business with out license; assuring that all could continue their call centers after obtaining their licenses and registration numbers.

I can recall similar thing happened almost 10 days ago, when PTA had asked TWA to close all voice ports, leaving call centers without any internet means; we know that PTCL had blocked voice ports long ago.
Covered in Daily Times by Romail Kenneth, on June 10th, 2008, claims that PTA had asked ACCO to provide the list of call centers, registered with PSEB. The scenario gets very interesting, see call centers are registered with PSEB, and PTA has been asking ACCO… in another news item published in ‘The News’, (sorry I don’t have its link) claimed that a meeting held at PTA headquarters that involved PSEB, PTA, Call centers, ISPs and PTCL representatives had resolved the issue. Then it was decided that PSEB and PTA will collectively devise a way out to register call centers; hence allowing voice traffic to only legal call centers.

But with-in a week, call centers are again shut down? PTA should have given more time to call centers, the way they are favoring cellular companies in blocking illegal SIMS. I guess there is something seriously wrong with PTA, either its PTA, PTCL, ACCO or PSEB someone is really making troubles for call centers’ industry, hence risking thousands of Jobs, Pakistan’s image and weakening economy

According to an estimate about 40,000 call centers have been shut under the current action of PTA rendering about 1 million peoples jobless through this stance.

Updates Expected in few hours….

NexExpress has just reported that this news was baseless, quoting a press release issued by PTA.  According to PR, the news items published regarding the closure of 40,000 call centers do not reflect the actual situation.

According to a press release issued here Wednesday the PTA said in fact, it has never issued any directive to close call centres. The PTA has only asked backbone operators to allow voice to legitimate stakeholders i.e. LDI operators and Call Centres registered with Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), which is in line with government rules & regulations.

“As far as the figure of 40,000 call centres is concerned, it may be clarified that the total number of call centres registered with PSEB is just 516 so blocking of 40,000 call centres is out of question.”

Interesting scenario this is. Now what i drive from these news items and PTA’s press release is, that they directed to block the voice port of all those call centers which are neither registered, nor they were given time to get themselves registered. Another thing, that number of call centers in Pakistan is still not confirmed by any of authority

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Thanks for such valuable information.Please update this as soon as you got more information.

    This is really a huge loss to Call Center industry.As this industry is catering Millions of people in Pakistan like employment opportunities.(with handsome salary packages)

    Pakistan will definitely lose business of Millions of Dollars and this business will directly go to India. (this will definitely a great news for our regulatory authorities:PSEB, PTA, and others )

  • simply at this Developing stage of this industry, We are cutting our Roots with our own hands.

    Time where Pakistan is loosing its exports for physical goods and Service industry due to power shortage and lot others.

    We have just given birth to another hindrance for the Service industry aswell.

  • I personally back PTA for this, but could perform better…reasons

    1 – They could give a deadline to call-centers to get themselves registered or their voice traffic will be blocked
    2 – PSEB could play a better role, in negotiating with PTA to fight for call centers
    3 – PTA has habit of worsening the situation and then capping it. They could have blocked every voice ports from day 1, and could have made it compulsory for every call center to get registered…this way no illegal voice traffic was possible

  • Govt do care about its survival rather then any other top level issue.It would like to earn ASAP before anything happen and that’s why dont care about any industry survival.

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  • What the hell. We have the potential to be the best in this market and our government is suppose to help us grow its ok if they cant help us but they dont have a right to shut them down either without any prior notice or a chance for them to get registerd. I mean its understandable that they are shutting down the ones that are not registered. But they should have given some deadline to the centers. Anyways the thing that really matters now is what sort of impression we ll have on the international market the projects that were affected by this would have been moved to either Philippines or India and we are loosing credibility and business.

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  • call centers in the Philippines are taking in Billions now and they say by 2011 it will increase by another 15% thats staggering compared to any other industry, is it not?

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  • Its a nice informative material but I would like add a little bit. PTA is doing this work from a long time to implement an lawful call center environment. Most of the call centers are working without any license. This news is belong to those call centers. Well there are more and more call centers are opening in our country and this industry is growing.

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