PTA Sets $1,000 Fee for Satellite Bandwidth Providers

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has set US $ 1,000 annual license fee for Satellite Bandwidth Providers (SBP) for their commercial services within the designated regions.

The authority has taken initiative to revisit the satellite licensing framework in order to increase the efficacy of the SBP with streamlining their business operations, terms and conditions with different telecom operators.

The proposed regulatory framework for satellite services and licensing 2011 defines that SBP is a PTA licensed seller of a satellite bandwidth with one or more transponder capacity or one or more satellite having footprint over Pakistan.

It further said that SPB will not be a user of bandwidth within Pakistan. It could be the original owner of the satellite, or a sole entity having entire bandwidth selling rights with footprints over Pakistan.

Class license holders including DNOPs and NVCNS etc, have to obtain capacity through the LL and LDI operators because they are disallowed to operate their own PSTN or core networks.

PTA stated that SBP will obtain satellite bandwidth through Long Distance International (LDI) and Landline (LL) operators within the scope of their license. The SBP will be license shall obtain security clearance from the government of Pakistan via PTA.

All eligible licensees of PTA desiring bandwidth shall first approach LDI and LL to obtain bandwidth through terrestrial, satellite or VSAT links. PTA will intervene if LDI and LL operators do not provide bandwidth to applicant after certain period for settlement of issue, the proposed regulation of PTA said.

The licensed SBP with bandwidth selling rights will also provide satellite links to applicants with a time period of 3 years or less.

PTA suggested regulations stated that satellite bandwidth provisioning through SBP will be provided through a local hub for all links (time and space switching not allowed) m maintained and operated by LDI or LL operators.

The logs shall be maintained by the licensee who is operating the hub and shall be maintained it for a period of one year.

Hub is a password protected O&M terminal which shall be used to monitor essential traffic information, billion information, QoS parameters, terminal GPS, bandwidth utilization and capacity flow, the PTA regulation stated.

You can check this regulation for Regulatory Framework For Satellite Services & Licensing – 2011 (PDF File – 717KB)

  • Totally unclear regime and illogical:
    1. What about DNOP operators who are already operating hubs and have invested millions of dollars in such hubs? They cannot obtain Local Loop or LDI licenses because of the deal with Etisalat to block these licenses to be issued till 2013

    These DNOP CVAS operators will have to sell their businesses to LDI operators

    2. What about the existing LL/LDI operators who owe billions in APC contributions to PTA. Will they be allowed to continue to operate HUBs unabated?

    3. LL licenses are region specific so if one has a hub in Lahore but service in Gwadar, does one need a LL license for Gwadar or Lahore?

    Completely unclear and bul*sh*t regime if you ask me. The real reason is quite clear — to make 1000 USD per year.

    What level will the PTA drop to to fill its coffers?

  • Simbra’s comments are 100% genuine. PTA’s licensing regime has been totally unclear and confusing and there appears to be no effort to put the “house in order”.
    * If some wrong licensing has been done in the past, PTA should mend it rather than making regulations which will give rise to more confusion
    Satellite connectvity permitted to DNOPS or GSM or any other opertor except LDI was wrong. Since a license has been issued to these organisations, thier busniesses and rights need to be protected for the licensed period.
    * Proposal for establishing of satellte network by LL operators is clear infringment in LDI’s domain but “who cares”

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