ISLAMABAD: The government is considering relaxing network rollout obligations for cellular mobile operators (CMOs) that describe letter of credit issue as a major hurdle to compliance with licence conditions.

Official sources told Business Recorder that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had agreed with the proposal of the CMOs to delay network obligations.

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

The PTA, however, has rejected the CMOs’ demand of 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 one-year duration and floor price uplift mechanism of voice and data to optimise 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-organisation Act, 1996, is to promote the availability of a wide range of high-quality, efficient, cost-effective and competitive telecommunication services throughout Pakistan.

Consequently, the NGMS licences 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.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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