Breaking: Off Net Calls and SMS Rates May Go High

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is considering to impose termination charges on text messages and friezing MTR (Mobile Termination Rates) at Rs. 1.00 per minute, told us sources close to regulatory authority.

We were informed that, in a meeting held yesterday at PTA headquarter; it was closely evaluated to impose termination charges on text messages. Along with it was also decided to start preliminary work on friezing Mobile Termination rate at Rs. 1.00 per minute. Reportedly, CEOs of all cellular companies were present in the meeting that was chaired by PTA Head.

PTA has asked all cellular companies to submit their Voice/SMS data to authority for evaluation. Authority is likely to study the data, and based on stats, international benchmarks and other concerning factors, SMS termination charges will be derived.

It maybe recalled that If a call is made from a Network A to Network B, then termination charges goes into the pocket of Network B.

As of now, MTR charges amongst cellular companies are based on per second basis (though, end user is charged on per min or per 30 seconds’ basis – according to his/her package). Meaning that, if a customer makes 10 seconds’ long off-net call from network A to network B, then network A gives network B MTR charges for 10 seconds, not for the whole minute.

Currently, as per regulation, voice termination charges are Rs. 0.90 per min, which were reduced from Rs. 1.25 per min on 1st June 2008, while there were no termination charges on SMS till now.

Industry tops have told us that SMS termination charges will be very minor, however, off-net SMS prices may go higher as compared to current tariffs.

However, 30 second packages may end if MTR is fixed at Rs. 1 per minute, and minimum off-net call pulse will be one minute.

If approved, this regulation won’t impact on-net calls or SMS rates.

Regulation is expected to get finalized by March end, 2010.

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

  • In the end who is on the losing side :) ?

    Mobile companies wont be affected as the increase is just 10 paisa but the customer will be f*****.

  • This will benefit Telenor and Mobilink the most, as they have maximum numbers in market and hence most termination happening on these 2 networks, compared to other three

  • as mentioned above this will benefit mobilink and telenor the most. i am sure this idea would be of either mobilink or telenor

  • mmm very bad but I am not worry because I am a data user I did’t use text and calls mostly I prefer to the others to stay connect home natwork to safe

  • seems after the price war, now mobile companies are back to getting every penny out of the pockets of the subscribers.

    let’s see how it goes and what additional charges are imposed.

  • Aamir, can you tell what made PTA to go for this decision?
    Any justifications they provided?
    Please update your article with this.

  • I hate this Government, I hate PTA’s Current Chairman/Advisor
    Kash I could speak in front of them and give them better suggestions.

  • Termination charges for calls to India are almost zero, that is why Indians abraod make very cheap/free calls to India, while Pakistanis abroad pay alot to VoIP operators who use grey telephony routes, so ultimately Govt of Pakistan gets a shit & the money of Pakistan that could be saved & could go to Pakistan goes to VoIP operators for calling. During last one year I didn’t make a single call using my cell phone , but all my calls to Pakistan were using VoIP operators which are cheap.

    But I am sure no one in PTA has enough mind to think over it. The money saved on calls will ultimately come to Pakistan if termination charges to Pakistan are cheap, 2nd PTA has helped in widening the communication gap between families and overseas Pakistanis. Therefore we see Indians calling their families everyday while Pakistanis who call less or ONLY use VoIP credits to make calls, which means nothing goes in GOP Pocket as termiantion charges.

  • In an ever-increasing fragile environment for Mobile Operators here in Pakistan, where “Cost of Doing Business” is too high; security situation not stable and all the odds against the Operators, at least the bundle SMS offers shall be discontinued. I also support the idea of moving out of this “price war” phenomenon.

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