Saturday, August 29, 2009

Reduction in telecom taxes plan by PTA

Pin It ISLAMABAD : PTA is taking every measure to ensure previous growth patterns in the industry. Reduction in telecom taxes is one area where PTA is working intensely to ensure that the Telecom users are not over burdened. Today share of telecom sector alone in GDP has increased from 1.8 percent to 2 percent and it is expected that total share of telecom industry in GDP will further rise in the coming years and could reach 3 percent.

The Authority is also working towards introducing new technologies in Pakistan and in this regard PTA plans to introduce much awaited 3G services very soon. It is expected that once the service would be available with all mobile operators it would increase the data usage and more value added services. The state of telecom industry today is portraying a healthy situation. There are total 5 mobile operators, 14 long distance & international, 37 local loop operators and 11 WLL operators working in the country. The overall teledensity in the country has reached 62 percent (May 09).

While curbing the antisocial activities the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in co-operation with all mobile operators introduced SIM verification system, in addition to blocking the unregistered SIMs in use. Similarly the Authority is working in collaboration with LDI operators to curb the grey traffic in the country which is continuously hurting the national exchequer. The Authority has created a Consumer Protection Directorate (CPD) at PTA to in order to redress consumer grievances through a proper channel. These are few important steps that the Authority took during last year to improve the health of sector.

While looking at the grim state of telecom services in AJK especially after the devastating earthquake of October 2005, the cellular mobile operators operating in Pakistan were allowed to provide services in AJK. Later, AJ&K council adopted the Pakistan Telecom Act, 1996 and extended PTA's jurisdiction to AJK and NAs. In response, PTA awarded Cellular Mobile, LDI and Fixed line licenses to operators to provide telecom facilities in AJK and NA in addition to Pakistan.

There are currently 94 million mobile subscribers with mobile penetration reaching 58 percent (May 09). Almost 90 percent of the land area of Pakistan is covered with telecom access. Tariffs of LDI witnessed stability in terms of tariffs reduction. The WLL services are getting popular especially in rural areas and total subscribers of WLL are now 2.6 million. Similarly the fixed line subscribers stand at 3.7 million.


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