ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) will revise Mobile Termination Rate (MTR) to Re 0.40 per minute from 1st July 2022 from the current Re 0.50 per minute, making off-net calls further cheaper in the country.

The MTR is the “price that a Cellular Mobile Operator (CMO) charges to another mobile operator for terminating its off-net calls on its network”.

Official documents revealed that the PTA in the review of 2019, Mobile Termination Rate (MTR) fixed at Re 0.70 per minute from January 2020 onwards. Still on the higher side, while benchmarking, the 2021 review of the MTR determined the rate to be at Re 0.50 for January 2022-June 2022, which will be further reduced to Re 0.40 for period of July 2022 to June 2023 and will be finally set at Re 0.30 from July 2023 onwards.

3rd instalment of licence renewal fee: PTA receives Rs19.39bn from Telenor, Jazz

Generally, the end-users are not aware of wholesale termination charges, which are settled among the operators. Higher termination charges expect to favour larger players as compared to smaller operators; hence, role of the regulator is important to provide a level playing field by rationalising the termination rates in the telecom sector.

The PTA issued a determination on the above rates of MTR on November 24, 2021, and determined these MTR for Pakistan, AJK and G-B for all types of calls (i.e. local, long-distance and international incoming calls) terminated on mobile networks from other mobile networks or fixed networks.

Reduction in the MTR was made after thorough consultation with the telecom industry. The PTA is of the view that lowering of the MTR would allow more competitive and innovative offerings such as free minute off-net bundles for the consumers.

It is expected to make market healthier and beneficial in terms of lower tariffs for making off-net calls. It would also benefit smaller operators in terms of reduced net payments to be made to the bigger operators.

In July 2021, the PTA issued a consultation paper, wherein, it was observed that current MTR of Re 0.70 per minute in Pakistan is still higher than the benchmarking results of the MTR determination of 2018 and the MTRs prevailing in regional countries.

Further, the PTA had also received requests from telecom operators to review the existing mobile termination rates. Majority of the responses received, supported the PTA’s recommendation to lower MTR.

However, there were opposing responses too. After industry hearing and thorough analysis, the PTA determined the MTR for all types of calls (i.e. local, long distance and international incoming calls) terminated on mobile networks from other mobile networks or fixed networks in Pakistan, AJK and G-B, to be Re 0.50 per minute from January to June 2022, Re 0.40 per minute from July 2022 to June 2023 and Re 0.30 per minute from July 2023 onwards.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


Comments are closed.