Despite the confirmations from Election Commission of Pakistan for not suspending the mobile phone services on Election Day, it is feared that cellular and other wireless services are likely to go offline on May 11th, 2013, the Election Day.
Cellular companies aren’t issued any such warnings so far, but they anticipate that on-going law and order situation in the country and prevailing security threats might lead to service closure on election day.
Recent terrorist activities, especially in Karachi and KPK, are going to play a pivotal role during the policy making regarding the suspension of cellular services on election day.
What cellular companies fear the most is the blanket ban on service in entire Pakistan. Cellular companies, in a communication with ProPakistani, maintained that they are somewhat okay with service suspensions in sensitive areas only, however, suspension in entire Pakistan will cause disastrous impact on the industry.
Sources said that authorities might order service suspension in entire Pakistan from 7AM (11th May) to 7AM (12th May).
It merits mentioning here that Election day is usually one of the most revenue generating period for cellular companies. Experts said that cellular companies are poised to make billion 1.3 to 1.5 rupees on a single day.
It maybe recalled that mobile phones are already barred inside polling booths, hinting that authorities can go to any level – even the suspension of cellular services in whole country.
If suspended, in-availability of mobile services are likely to cause serious damage to masses. We have previously discussed the impacts and difficulties the consumer go through during service suspensions. Political parties are also likely to suffer in mobilizing their supporters.
Not to mention, cellular subscribers are never compensated for the loss they bear during service suspensions.
Analysts said that severity of security situation in the country is understandable, but they said that service suspension should be the last option and not the first.