KARACHI: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to stop the import of GSM amplifiers and boosters by all licensees or non-licensees entities as its import and use is only confined to licensed Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs)
Industry sources informed that use of sub-standard GSM boosters, amplifiers and repeaters is strictly prohibited and there are a number of complaints with PTA that these instruments have been installed by mobile users themselves, which is resulted in interference in CMOs frequency bands and disturbing the mobile phone services. As per rules, only CMOs are allowed to import GSM boosters and install at mobile users' premises.
According to the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act 1996 Section 31, Sub-section (2), “the unauthorized use of the radio frequency spectrum shall be punishable with imprisonment, which may extend to (three) years, or with fine which may extend to Rs10 million, or with both.”
Recently, PTA, through field experience, complaints from the operators, and subsequent field monitoring by Frequency Allocation Board (FAB), has observed an increasing trend of using sub-standard GSM amplifiers and boosters by the general public, which causes interference in CMOs’ frequency bands and deteriorates the quality of mobile services. Despite the issuance of several public notices by PTA to warn all the importers, distributors, sellers, and users of GSM boosters to refrain from this activity, these illegal devices are easily available in the open market and online stores wherein the general public purchases such equipment and shipment of the same is delivered after custom clearance.
Sources said that the majority of GSM amplifiers installed by mobile users are Chinese and do not have manufacturer and model number written on them. It is pertinent to mention that these illegal GSM amplifiers are the main cause of growing network interference complaints by the customers.
Accordingly, PTA has asked FBR to restrict the import of these devices by all entities. PTA has requested FBR to issue instruction to all field office for allowing import of GSM boosters, amplifiers and repeaters by CMOs only and restricting import by all other entities license or non-license including shipment through online sales.
It may be mentioned here that previously, a number of times PTA has warned all the importers, distributors, sellers and users of GSM boosters to refrain from import, distribution and use of GSM boosters otherwise legal action will be taken against the violators in light of Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization).
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021