PTA Withdraws its Directives for Formation of ICH

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Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has issued a letter to all LDI operators telling them to consider its earlier directive, dated September 25th, 2012, for formation of ICH as null and void.

PTA’s letter, produced below, directs Long Distance and International operators to treat authority’s earlier letter – that ordered LDI operators to withdraw their Intentional Interconnection Circuits – as withdrawn.

Here is the letter that was sent by PTA to all LDI operators today:


Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s decision for withdrawing its ICH (International Clearing House) formation letter is result of a Lahore High Court’s interim ruling that asked PTA to suspended ICH.

It maybe recalled that PTA had asked LDI operators to suspend their international inter-connection circuits (from October 1st, 2012) to let PTCL terminate all incoming international calls as part of establishment of ICH.

PTA’s September 25th, 2012 letter — for formation of ICH — can be found here.

It merits mentioning here that next hearing at Lahore High Court for ICH case is tomorrow, i.e. December 5th, 2012.

ProPakistani will update its readers when we get anything further on the topic.

Update: (December 5th, 2012 – 11:45 AM)

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

  • Hope the court will order not even Lower but Free skype calling country also and ordinary rates will be even Lower Than India but untill now No low rates .still high rates and also the Courts Decison will also be issue Tomorrow and No more delay .
    Thanks you ProPakistani

  • I know the full story. ICH is actually a huge scam to benefit foreign owned LDI companies and their investors which would result in outflow of billions of dollars from Pakistan destroy Pakistan’s precious foreign reserves and reducing the amount of remittance overseas Pakistani send to Pakistan .
    Long distance international licenses (LDI) were given to companies by PTA in 2004 to bring competition for PTCL, instead they all grouped together bribed out Politicians and Government Officials in PTA, MoIT or perhaps offered them share in their LDI companies and managed to form one single monopoly company called International Clearing House (ICH) and worked out a quota deal with PTCL under guidance from PTA/MoIT . Now just like before 2004, only PTCL handles all international calls , while Rest of the LDIs are doing nothing , they will just collect cheque as per their quota , amounting to billions each month from MoIT / PTA and send those billions in precious foreign exchange to their parent companies overseas. These extra billions is precious foreign reserve money from overseas Pakistanis which now instead of staying in Pakistan goes to these foreign companies
    If PTA / MoIT wanted to increase government revenue by increasing call rate , they would simply increase Tax (USF) payable by the LDIs . There was no need for grouping of LDIs into single company/consortium . The fact is forming of ICH will only bring benefits to the LDI operators as most of the money from price increase will go to these foreign own LDI Companies .
    Somebody must investigate how these LDIs managed to form an illegal consortium and why PTA , MoIT are supporting them despite objection from CCP. Why PTA/MoIT is being so generous by giving billions to these LDI operators? These LDI licenses were awarded as part of telecom deregulation to have competitive
    environment . The licenses have no such provision to group together to form one monopoly consortium nor fixing rate. Therefore licenses of LDI operators should be canceled for trying to do illegal activities , spreading corruption and damaging Pakistan .

  • Here is a list of 12 out of 14 LDIs and their foreign owners. I dont have info on others

    1. Link Direct International Pakistan- Owned by Egyptian investors
    2. Worldcall LDI – Owned by Oman Investors
    Redtone Telecom Pakistan – previously owned by Redtone Malaysia, now
    owned by , Quantum Global comprising of many Indian , Lebanese
    4. Wi-tribe – owned by Qatar Investors
    5. Wise Communication Systems , Owned by International Telecommunication Service (SRL), Italy
    6. Dancom Pakistan- previously owned by Dancom Group Malaysia now owned by Egyptian investors
    7. Telenor Pak LDI Communications – Telenor Group Norway
    8. Wateen Telecom Pakistan – owned by AbuDhabi Group , UAE
    9. Multinet Pakistan – owned by Axiata Group , Malaysia
    10. Circlenet Communication LDI owned by Circle Net UAE and foreign
    11. Telecard owned by Sanjiv Ahuja , Augere Holdings , Indian and
    other foreign investors
    12. ADG LDI owned by Dollar East Exchange Company and unknown number of

  • After removing the ICH. Rate should be 0.0625. But we cant say anything as it becomes Sabzi Mandi later on. So lets hope what comes.

    • No, because ASR and AAR were settled through another letter, which is supposed to be reverted as well.

      Tomorrow is hearing date, so let’s see.

        • Simply means if ICH removed then ball will be in court of LDIs. Let they decide how much profit margin they want to keep after APC (Access Promotion Contribution).

            • Current rate is 0.088. So after removing ICH only ASR will remain as. So it will be up to LDIs on what rate they would like to sale. Because they had rates at 0.0625 or 0.05 in past without having any legal issue.

      • Aamir, whats your final call. all discussion in this forum suggest that this letter is going to have a negative impact on their profitability (if compare with ICH regime) or do you think otherwise.

      • that’s not true. i attended several LDI meetings. this ICH idea was brought about by LDIs. infact they had been discussing ICH for past 5 years . How PTA finally approved ICH is beyond logic. with ICH only PTCL will be doing all the termination while rest just collect millions of dollars each month as their quota . what a joke

        • As per my information, there were some LDIs who don’t want to sign the ICH that’s why it took long time to be implemented. Because it was started earlier of year. I just got it from a LDI CEO.

          • I think this ICH fraud should be pursued by supreme court so nothing like this happens again. If today ICH can be approved . tomorrow who knows all mobile operators decide to get together and form one mobile company and charge us Rs20 / min

    • I ve replied one of other comment, I will re-paste it here:

      For revising rates, PTA will have to withdraw its “Approved Rates for International Incomming Calls” letter.

      Withdrawl of that specific letter will only bring rates back to pre-ICH level.

      Here is the letter that needs reversal:

      • Question is what rates were on pre-ICH level? you mean 0.0125? which is actually APC. So how LDIs will compromise again to go down at 0.0126 or 0.013? As they can set rate at 0.0625 or lower as like in past they did.

          • I got you. But it confuse me little bit. Like LDI is selling at 0.088 currently with ICH. But referred Post have some huge rates which never seen in market by me like 0.17 after ICH and 0.125 before ICH. But before ICH, LDIs were selling at 0.0125. So how you can justify here.

            • .08 is not possible after ICH. Current total cost is at least 12.5 cents / minute, that is set by PTA.

              Before ICH, LDI used to sell at .125 or even lower by not paying to USF, and that is only why they defaulted by billions of rupees. There are still cases in courts for recovery of this money, which LDI didn’t charge (but were bound to charge) for reducing cost and hence getting more share.

              • actually, other foreign calling card companies are buying on 8.8 directly from PTCL bypassing the AT&T. As you said on 1.25 LDI defaulted by million rupees but still they were selling at 1.25 before ICH. So point is, still they (LDIs) will bring down rate to 1.25? or they are restricted by PTA to sale on pre-ICH rate? as per your referred post?

        • well the rates should be similar to neighboring countries like china, india, Bangladesh, Srilanka, etc. but it doesn’t matter what rate PTA sets. what matters is all LDIs must run their own LDI operations. this way there will be competition . their license require minimum of 14 operational Point of Presence (PoPs) in Pakistan .if they refuse to run their operations, than licenses should be cancelled.

      • Amir! But this letter is for year 2011 not 2012 and rates are increased from 1st October 2012. Then how come this letter may have any effect on calling rates?

  • PTA has issued this letter to play a trick with the High court for tomorrow’s hearing. Infact, call rates are still not being dropped as LDIs are still working in an unofficial cartel as ICH Agreement and MOIT Policy Directive were suspended by the Court.

  • Well nothing is gonna change the rates going to remain same since PTCL and many other peoples making very big money they will not let the rates go down

  • ok 1 cent is a big loss our people need to understand this gives the business to all big usa companies and Indian firms who own voip services. 1 cent actually puts our country at loss. 10 cent is too high for customers as it takes a lot to earn in these countries. i hope a mid way is sorted out. InshAllah.

    • what do you mean 1 cent is a loss? do you know who owns these LDI companies??? . not a single company is owned by pakistanis. all the revenue goes out of pakistan. do you know rate of call to india , china , usa . its less than 1 cents per min. rate to bangladesh is 2.5 c per min

      • at 1 cent vonage/other voip companies sell unlimited to Pak and there is no calling out from Pak. Millions rely on phone businesses how do you see it helping I m not in favour of 10 cent but i dont think 1 cent is any good 3 to 5.

        • okay let me put it another way. government can set tax at whatever level. lets say 6c per min. now the 14 LDIs are free to sell above 6c . this way 6c is guaranteed to go to government. this is how the mobile operator work

          but in ICH case, PTA told 14 LDIs to sit home , PTCL will do all traffic , LDIs will get cheque each month as per quota.
          do you know that atleast 200 million dollars / month was suppose to generated and distributed among the LDIs.

          • Government tax is called APC. Which is 1.25c. Before ICH every LDI were doing its own sales and they were selling at APC rate. Which come in case of not paying anything to government. Where before all LDIs License was suspended by SC because they are defaulter of millions rupees to PTA. Thats why ICH come and PTA took all sales from LDI and set a standard rate. I was in favor of ICH but rate should not be set too much high. However ICH was illegal. PTA should show some restrict policy for LDIs. So they should pay APC.

            As you know, LDI should have 14 POPs operational to keep license active. Which cost pay by LDI every month to Mobile Operators and then their own expenses i.e staff, offices etc. So they have to set a rate where they can earn some profit as well as pay APC to government.

            So 4-6/min rate will relief both parties (LDI and Caller)

            • well who told LDIs to sell at 1.25c or below cost. the only reason they were selling below cost was because PTA was very lenient towards LDIs in collecting USF/APC payable . had they suspended license as soon as a LDI defaulted on payment, none of the LDIs would default.

              Also what do you mean LDIs were doing their own sales. off course they have to do their own sales. all telecom operators have to do their own sales.

      • 4B Gentle is own by Pakistan 4 Brother Group. Asma is right. Pak Guy it is opposite of your comment. All money come to Pakistan via Wire/TT to LDIs Pakistan Bank Accounts. Rate should not like 1c or 8c. It should be 5-6c which can give relief to both parties.

        • as far i know 4b gentle had formed a front end company called silk solutions in uae to receive all their payment.

          anyway point is that its NOT government job to give free handout. Govenment job is to decide APC/USF amount . now its upto LDIs to sell above that amount . its called deregulation and competition. thats why LDI licenses were given in the first place

          • Silk Solutions is not LDI of Pakistan. Where ever they receive payment out of country. It will have to come to Pakistan LDI bank account. Competition does not mean to eat APC/USF. PTA should make a strict policy against collecting APC from LDIs

            • exactly that’s my point. PTA is just too generous with them. LDIs have continuously defaulted on their payment for years and formed offshore companies to keep the money outside……pta doesn’t care. and instead of cancelling their licenses … PTA told them … “just sit home , we will pay you millions of dollars for doing nothing “

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