An evolving good news for cellular services consumers is that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has now been reportedly recommending the cellular mobile operators to cut down upon off-net call charges. Recently, off-net call charges have been reported to be too high and consumers are not responding well to it. With PTA’s latest move towards solving the issue, the problem might just become an issue of the past.
According to facts and figures, the current off-net charges are actually 111% to 198% higher than they should be. That is just way too much for any service vertical, let alone cellular services. This is even more alarming when considered with the fact that the last time landline to mobile and mobile-to-mobile interconnection charges (MTR) were altered was in 2008.
The decrease in rates of off-net calls will help reduce grey traffic as many consumers opt for illegal ways to make calls to get away from paying these huge amounts of taxes.
MTR rate to be amended
The normal MTR should be from Rs0.30 to Rs0.40. However, the current MTR stays at Rs0.90 per minute which is quite high and not reasonable at all.
Recent reports show that PTA is deciding to cut off the MTR to a rate of Rs0.80 per minute. The decrease in rate will start from 1st December, 2017 and will go on till the 30th of November, 2018. Thereafter, the rate will further decrease to Rs0.70 per minute starting from December 2018.
Currently, Pakistan’s MTR is higher than all of other countries in the region. Pakistan’s MTR is 0.85 cents higher than that of India which has an MTR rate of 0.20, Bangladesh with a rate of 0.22, and Sri Lanka with a rate of 0.32.
PTA plans to perform a comprehensive research in the wake of reducing the off-net charges under the Telecom Policy Act 2015.