PTA Intends to Monitor Telephony Traffic

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has drafted a regulation called, “Monitoring and Reconciliation of Telephony Traffic Regulations, 2009”, and has asked industry to give input on said draft before September 16th, 2009.

As per intended regulation, all telecom service providers will install system at their own cost to make it possible for authority to monitor telephony traffic.

Regulation says that such a monitoring system should have at least following features

  • Capability to monitor, control, measure and record traffic in real-time;
  • Capability for complete signaling record, including but not limited for billing;
  • Capability to accurately measure the quality of service;
  • A complete list of the Pakistani customers; and
  • Complete details of capacity leased by the licensee(s) to their customers.

Once regulated, this monitoring system will enable PTA to check and analyze voice and data traffic flowing in and out of a network, from inside and outside the country.

Draft says that purpose of this regulation is to monitor and enforce the accurate presentation of the total traffic terminated through networks to measure and record for billing verification, detect & control grey traffic, and determine the quality of licensed services.

Consumers have shown their reservations over monitoring of their voice and data calls. Their protest is very natural as no one would want anyone to hear his/her phone call – despite the fact that its not exclusively mentioned in draft that authority will intercept calls.

It merits mentioning here that PTA had proposed ICH (International Clearing House) last year for similar purpose; however, this regulation is more than what ICH originally was.

Government is apparently more interested in calculating the amount of minutes to well tax the companies instead of intercepting calls, as concerned agencies already have exclusive rights to track and monitor voice traffic of the country.

Recently PTA had asked ISPs to monitor all data traffic and to block VoIP traffi, which didn’t get good response from the industry.

Download Regulation Draft from here

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