ISLAMABAD: The telecommunications sector regulator plans to contain the dominant position of mobile operators by limiting the increase in free will tariffs and using their profits for other telecommunications services.

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has requested comments on the draft “Tariff Regulations for Telecommunications Services, 2022” which will require all telecom operators to provide free access to “emergency services” to their consumers. Operators will also be required to offer resources for a limited period of time in the event of a national disaster or calamity, as directed by the PTA.

The draft – which has been placed on the PTA’s website for comment – states that consumers can file complaints against the telecommunications service if they consider the rates to be burdensome.

Regulator wants all telecom operators to offer free access to emergency services

The draft emphasizes that the main purpose of the regulation was to protect the interests of consumers.

According to the draft regulation, there will be no cross-subsidization of other telecommunications services by telephone service providers and this regulation will apply to all operators.

The regulations allow PTA to reject price increases for telecommunications services by mobile service operators.

“The tariff will be considered onerous if the profit for the holder is abnormally higher than the reasonable rate of return taking into account the cost of the operations”, indicates the draft regulation, adding: “The tariff is beyond the level of accessibility of the average consumer.

Telecom operators classified as SMP (Significant Market Power) will be required to submit details of the basic telecom services tariff revision to PTA for approval 15 days prior to the scheduled launch of the proposed tariff.

The PTA may approve, modify or reject the proposed rate increase if it is deemed binding on consumers.

According to the international definition, an operator is considered as SSM if it holds more than 25% of the telecommunications market in the geographical area where it operates.

Whereas the draft regulations allow non-PSM carriers to set and revise their tariff for “basic telecommunications services” at any time and in any manner, but must also notify the PTA and consumers of their proposed rate at least seven days before the proposed date. the applicability of the new tariff.

At the same time, the PTA has the power to make changes or reject the tariff increase proposed by non-PSM operators within seven days, if it is proven that the tariff increase would be binding.

Posted in Dawn, February 2, 2022