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PTA Gives 6 Months to 3 Mobile Companies for Improving Quality of Services


Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has given six months’ time to three cellular companies for improving and maintaining the quality of service standards as per Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), however, contrary to past practice, no penalty was imposed on these operators.

After the expiry of the said time, the on-ground survey will be carried out to measure the KPIs and in case of non-compliant further action will be taken accordingly.

The Authority had issued show cause notices (SCN) to three operators namely China Mobile Pakistan Limited, Pakistan Mobile Communication Limited, and Telenor Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited for failure to meet or exceed Quality of services (QoS) standards as laid down in their licenses and KPIs.

In order to measure the QoS performance of the licensee, a survey was carried out from 6th December to 9th December 2021 at Coastal Highway, Gwadar City, and Surbandar Port Area. Survey results revealed degraded QoS KPIs. Accordingly, the survey results were shared with the licensees with instructions for taking remedial measures including optimization as well as expansion of the network in the surveyed areas.

Resultantly, the licensees intimated that the network has been optimized to improve the services. However, contrary to the claim of the licensees, a re-verification survey conducted in the said areas from 7th to 10th March 2022 discloses the noncompliance of certain QoS KPIs.

Since the above said QoS results were not within the parameters of the license conditions and QoS Regulations, therefore, show-cause notices were issued wherein the licensees were required to remedy the contravention by bringing and maintaining the required standards of quality of service at par with the license and the QoS Regulations within fifteen (15) days and also to explain in writing within thirty days (30)of the issuance of the notices.

In response to the SCN, the licensees filed a compliance report. The licensees intimated that it is substantially in compliance with the QoS parameters as provided in the license. Subsequent to the aforesaid report, the licensees submitted replies to the SCN.

The Authority under the Act is mandated to regulate the establishment, maintenance, and operation of telecommunication systems and the provision of telecommunication services in Pakistan. In addition, the Authority under section 5(2)(b) of the Act is also empowered to enforce and monitor the licenses.

Pursuant to the license granted by the Authority, the licensee is required to meet the requirement of quality of service standards as provided in the license and regulations. For the purpose of enforcing and monitoring the license, the Authority is empowered to carry out a QoS survey so as to ascertain the compliance of KPIs for QoS standards as provided in the license and applicable regulations.

In accordance with clause 23.7 of part 6 of the Rules, regulation 10 of the regulation, and sub-regulation (1) of regulation 6 of the QoS Regulations, the Authority with or without notice conduct its own surveys and test or makes surprise checks through its designated officers or conducts performance audit of the quality of service of the licensee from time to time as to ensure that the user(s) of telecommunication services get such quality of services as laid down in the license, regulations and/or KPIs.

Order

Keeping in view the above, the Authority is of the view that as per the applicable regime the licensee is under an obligation to meet the requirement(s) of Quality of Services parameters as laid down in the license conditions and other enabling statutory provisions.

In light of the record, it has been observed that the licensee (China Mobile Pakistan Limited) has undertaken emergency measures for arranging additional/ extra bandwidth to remain compliant for the provision of licensed services in accordance with KPIs for quality of service and also ensured provision of seamless services in future, therefore, the Authority taking into the account the efforts on the part of the licensee hereby grants six (06) month(s) time, commencing from the date of receipt of this order to the licensee for improving and maintaining the quality of service standards as per KPIs.

With respect to Telenor Pakistan, PTA maintained that in light of the record it has been observed that the licensee has undertaken emergency measures for arranging additional/ extra bandwidth to remain compliant for the provision of licensed services in accordance with KPIs for quality of service and also ensured provision of seamless services in future, therefore, the Authority taking into the account the efforts on the part of the licensee hereby grants six (06) month(s) time, commencing from the date of receipt of this order to the licensee for improving and maintaining the quality of service standards as per KPIs.

With respect to Pakistan Mobile Communication Limited the Authority order noted that considering the efforts on the part of the licensee with regard to making arrangements for alternative bandwidth through Optic Fiber Cable (OFC) Connectivity and other steps, the Authority taking a lenient view hereby grants six (6) months, commencing from the date of receipt of this order, for improving and maintaining the quality of service standards as per applicable KPIs. After the expiry of the said time, an on-ground survey will be carried out to measure service quality and in case of noncompliance further action will be taken accordingly.





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