Off-Net Call Charges in Pakistan are Reduced- PTA Confirms

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has decided to reduce the mobile termination rate. Mobile termination rate, also known as MTR is a price which cellular operator charges another operator for receiving a call for all other types of calls- local, long distance and international incoming calls. Previously it was Rs 0.90 per minute which is not reduced to Rs 0.80 per minute. The new Off-Net Call Charges in Pakistan will be implemented from the start of next year.

Reduced Off-Net Call Charges in Pakistan will be implemented Next Year

The off-net call charges of all operators will be reduced and MTR will be brought down to Rs0.70 per minute from Jan 1, 2020. PTA has fixed this rate with the collaboration of all operators in Pakistan. Previously, the interconnect usage price was fixed in the year 2010.

A PTA consultation paper “Review of Mobile Termination Rates” has termed the existing MTR rate in Pakistan 111-198 per cent higher than other comparable countries last year. It suggested a reduced rate of Rs0.80 per minute for the period between Dec 1, 2017, and Nov 30, 2018, and Rs0.70 per minute from December onwards until a cost-based study was completed.

But the suggested rates were never implemented.

How will the MTR Reduction benefits Consumers:

The decrease in MTR will benefit consumers through a reduction in off-net call prices, increase competition in the market as older, bigger operators will be forced to improve their service quality to retain customer base instead of using the advantage of their existing market share to rake in higher revenues.

According to some industry sources, new MTR is still higher: “The regulator, it appears, couldn’t withstand the pressure from the larger operators as a big portion of their revenues came from MTR. (Still) something is better than nothing,” an executive of a mobile operator said on condition of anonymity“.

As per the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Pakistan is the fourth country in the world where the average monthly cost of running a mobile phone is quite reasonable as compared to rest of the world, regardless of being the eighth highest taxation telecom sector in the world. An average monthly cost in Pakistan is Rs 222.41 ($2.21) only.

Fizza Atique

Fizza Atique is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and culture. She likes photography, VR, electronic music, coffee, and baking.
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