We are living in the era of globalization and fast communication. Trends and means of telecommunication are changing rapidly bringing improvement in the overall economy of the country. It is a prime objective of PTA to facilitate this process and make telecommunication services available to every citizen of Pakistan. The ultimate result is the fast growing development in the country. PTA is an instrument to issue licenses to national and international telecommunication companies to ensures the maximum communication facility to common man.
In accordance with international trends, a regulatory body for Pakistan telecom systems and services was established with the nomenclature of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) under the Pakistan Telecommunication Reorganization Act 1996. Main functions of the Authority are to facilitate entry of new service providers into the market, liberalize environment for telecommunication equipment and services and provide a level playing field to all telecom operators, especially to the new small operators with the ultimate objective of unbundling of services.
The main objective of the PTA is to bring Pakistan telecom sector at par with other developing countries in the field of telecom. The vision of PTA is to promote investment, encourage competition and protect consumer? s interest. It started implementing the deregulation policy both for fixed and cellular mobile and successfully completed first phase of deregulation during this year. For that purpose of deregulation, Deregulation Policy was announced on July 13, 2003 to put an end to PTCL? s monopoly on basic telephony, which was followed by the announcement of Mobile Cellular Phone Policy in January 2004.
The first phase of deregulation process of telecom sector stands successfully completed with the issuance of two new licensing, 12 long Distance and International (LDI), 76 Fixed Local Loop (FLL) and 92 Wireless Local Loop (WLL) licenses. Deregulation has revolutionized the whole telecom industry. Significant landmarks are achieved and the local telecom scenario is completely changed. Today all telecom services in Pakistan are open to competition where incumbent monopolies will now be competing with telecom giants of the world working in Pakistan.
Telecom services available the project to consumers are predicted to increase many folds due to price reduction under competition created by PTA regulations. Infact huge influx of investment has been seen in year 2004 in telecom sector, as all segments of the sector have been opened for competition and many licenses have been issued to new operators following deregulation of telecom sector. This process could effectively contribute to alleviating of poverty in the country.
The authority (PTA) under the visionary leadership of Maj General (R) Shahzada Alam Malik, is striving hard to bring state of the art telecom facilities to the common man of Pakistan and remarkable achievements are evident that PTA has discharged its role successfully in deregulating the telecom sector. More important, WLL is a modern telecom technology in which consumers can benefit from this new modern technology in the radius of twenty-five KM without wire and it is now operating not only in big cities but also in far-flung areas of the country. It is hoped that this new but modern echnology will operate effectively in the remote areas of Pakistan. Thus it will bridge the gap of communication. Doubtless to say that role in far-flung areas friendly atmosphere and full cooperation will lead us, in one way or the other, socio-economic realization. By the introduction of WLL system the precious time of business would be saved but also strengthen the means of communication from farm to the market. The system will bring radical changes in the small urban & rural areas of Pakistan. Thus these areas will become the part of global village only because of communication facility.
Moreover, this will boost agriculture and economic activities of far- flung areas. The imperatives of WLL service in the country will bring about business opportunities for telecom operators and the rural and remote localities of Pakistan who had so far been deprived of modern telecom facilities, would be connected with the national telecom network, and enjoy the benefits of telecom services. A communication revolution is in the offing. The whole process will lead to bring better innovative communication services, and creating job opportunities in Pakistan and that is vision of PTA.
PTA, which is playing a leading role in telecom sector, has taken notice of poor quality of service of cellular phone companies and has asked them to improve their service with immediate effect. To asses & look over the quality of services (QoS) of these operators, a country wide survey was conducted and action was taken against those who have failed to provide services according to their license conditions. PTA has issued show Cause notice against M/s Mobilink & M/s Ufone on poor quality of service. PTA is making every possible effort to protect the rights of the consumer and umber of steps have been taken to ensure the benefit of customer. In a latest development major Cellular phone operators of the country and the telecom watchdog ? the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority have finally reached an agreement to implement the ? anti mobile phone theft system (AMPTS). Current fixed teledensity is 3. 3, which was just 2. 32 in year 2000. Cellular phone penetration in the country is now 6. 5 percent now as compared to 0. 22 percent in 2000. The major number of cell phone users had reached the target of 10 million, mobile subscribers.
PTA expected the number of cell phone users would touch the mark of 15 million by the end of this year. Internet users have crossed 2 million, 1900 cities are connected to interconnect. PCO? s working total 204666 in the country. Induction of new operators in cell ? phone, WLL & Line & Wire phone Industry will create a healthy competition in the telecom market and as a result telecom service users are expected to get quality service at competitive rates. PTA is at guard to ensure that a level playing field is provided to all the stakeholders for reap the benefit of deregulation. Aslam Mahesar