Monday, July 27, 2009

Pakistani cellphones cheapest in the world: PTA Chief

Pin It ISLAMABAD (July 27 2009): Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Dr Mohammed Yaseen Sunday claimed that Pakistani cellular phone companies were providing cheapest call rates across the globe. "In a recent conference in India, the Indians claimed that

they were providing cheapest calls world over.

However, I confronted and made calculations to prove that Pakistan was the country providing the most inexpensive phone facility to its consumers," said Chairman PTA Dr Mohammed Yaseen in an exclusive interview with APP. When his comments were sought over the spill over of Pakistani cellular phone signals to the neighbouring countries, Chairman said PTA had conducted comprehensive surveys to ensure that there was no spill over from either side.

"The cell phone towers are installed in the bordering areas under a prescribes Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). We are ensuring that the SOP is strictly followed. Moreover, we have held negotiations with the neighbouring countries including Afghanistan and India to address the issue," he added.

Answering a question about the government's ordinance on objectionable SMS, the chairman PTA said the government had issued the ordinance to establish a mechanism to check on those elements involved in the obnoxious SMS.

When asked about those involved in fraudulent activities and fleecing the poor consumers through SMS for cash draws, the PTA chairman said the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) would move against such elements under Spam Regulations. He said the PTA had installed a Redressal of Consumer Grievances Mechanism, which would ensure proper resolution to the problems being faced by the telecom sector consumers.

Dr Yaseen informed that the consumers would have a complaint with the respective telecom operator and if the issue was not resolved, the consumer should file the complaint with the PTA Consumer Protection Directorate (CPD).

"The consumers can make a free-of-cost call to PTA at 080055055 if their complaint is not resolved within given timeframe by the concerned telecom operator," he said and added the PTA would take up the matter with the concerned authorities and would get it resolved amicably. "We are providing level-playing field to all the operators and if any operator violates the laws, we would move for an action," he assured.

He claimed that PTA was efficiently redressing the complaints of the consumers and the redressal rate stood at 96 per cent during the month of April. When asked about the PTA-FBR row over the dues reportedly liable to the PTA, Dr Yaseen said there was no controversy and PTA was paying its instalments on a regular basis. "We have paid Rs 4 billion to the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR)," he added.

Asked about the poor performance of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), Dr Yaseen said he had held a meeting with the PTCL management and they had assured of resolving all issues of the consumers by July-end. He said the PTA would launch a survey to check the quality of services being offered by PTCL in the first or second week of August. "Yes, a quality survey would be conducted in the first or second week of August, and if PTCL is found to be violating the laws inscribed in License, an action would be taken," he remarked. He said the PTA was also urging PTCL to allow other connections on PTCL's Fibre to Home service.

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