Telcos, Come Out of Decency and Strike Back Against Government Policies

imagesTelecom is usually considered a decent sector, with noble human resource and harmless people in general. They are usually taken as seamless gentlemen who easily comply with every government directive and policy that is thrown at them.

Be it the shut down orders of cellular services or the ever-changing rules of selling of new SIMs, telecom sector has always followed government directives without complaining anything. They in fact appreciated government’s efforts for curbing terrorism and faced monetary losses under the head of national security.

I am not saying they are angels and saints, there is chance that their silence is due to interests not known to common men, but the point is that they never been so vocal like other sectors and institutions.

Cellular operators usually opt for soft words and between the lines messages to convey their communication. They rather keep quite and look for competition companies to take the lead when ever there’s an industry wide issue. And often they end up without saying anything.

However, this has to change now.

If you are not aware, then government has recently issued a directive regarding the sale of new SIMs and has asked operators to shut down their entire sales’ network and imposed a ban on MNP. Operators are asked to send new SIMs from December 1st, 2012 to home addresses (as per CNIC) of customers.

This game changing directive will not hurt only cellular operators but at least 600,000 families who were directly dependent on sales channels of cellular operators will get impacted. If implemented, this directive will cause limitless consequences on our social system, to ultimately kill the ecosystem that cellular operators have developed over the years.

The time has come for cellular operators to stop relying on in-direct channels to protest. Media, marketing muscle, lobbying or diplomatic channels won’t play anything now. This time a direct and clear communication from telecom companies is required to take on the government.

Telecom companies will have to use all their resources to put political government on their knees. Instead of silently complying with mindless policies, they should look into the eyes of policy makers to tell them the realities of modern businesses. And it won’t be the first time that government will back-down from its stand, this has happened before and can happen again.

If not stopped, next they will ask you to sell your businesses to government in the name of national security.

Cellular companies: come out of your well kept decency and act. The Now or never moment has come. Its not only you now, it’s a matter of millions of families who rely on you for their livelihoods.

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