Govt Considers Relaxing Network Rollout Obligations for Telcos

The government is considering relaxing network rollout obligations for Cellular mobile operators (CMOs) while pleading letters of credit as a major hurdle to complying with license conditions.

Official sources ProPakistani that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has agreed with the proposal of CMOs to delay network obligations.

Sources confirmed that the rollout obligations will be delayed for one year initially. Further relaxation would be dependent on the resolution of LCs issues.

PTA, however, has rejected the cellular mobile operators’ demand for a moratorium on quality of services (QoS), saying it will degrade the network, quality of services, and user experience.

The CMOs had demanded a moratorium on quality-of-service, roll-out obligations, a moratorium on Universal Service Fund (USF), and an R&D fund reduction from two percent to one percent for a one-year duration and floor price uplift mechanism of voice and data to optimize base price.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication asked the PTA to provide a response on the issues and furnish legal procedures as per the rules.

Sources revealed that the Authority responded that one of its primary functions as per Section 4(d) of the Pakistan Telecommunication Re-organization Act, 1996, is to promote the availability of a wide range of high-quality, efficient, cost-effective, and competitive telecommunication services throughout Pakistan. Consequently, NGMS licenses and Cellular Mobile Network Quality of Service (QoS) Regulations 2021, contain the minimum target of QoS Standards pertaining to Voice and Mobile Broadband for compliance at all times by mobile operators.

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