PTA Against Dollar-Pegging of Telecom Spectrum Amidst Industry Dialogue

In a recent development, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) expressed its stance against pegging the telecom spectrum with the US dollar, citing challenges for investors during a volatile currency situation. A Public-Private Dialogue was organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). During the industry dialogue, PTA’s Director General Arif Sargana underscored the difficulties posed by current regulatory practices in the telecom sector.

He highlighted the importance of maintaining competitive dynamics within the telecom industry, citing the sector’s strength in different challenges. He accentuated the PTA’s support for policies that promote market competition and consumer protection. Moreover, he also addressed the impact of inflation on consumer affordability.

PTA Against Pegging Telecom Spectrum With US Dollar

According to PTA’s director, PTA does not support the idea of pegging the spectrum with the US dollar at the moment as it is difficult for any investor and business to invest in a country with a volatile currency situation. He stated that the authority’s role is challenging. It is very difficult to maintain competition and manage consumers simultaneously as high inflation has hit the consumers.

Infrastructure sharing among telecom operators was discussed as a potential solution to lower operational costs and improve service delivery, particularly in rural areas. Brig Muhammad Yasin (retd), a senior advisor at SDPI, highlighted the critical role of telecom in Pakistan’s economic framework. Furthermore, he encouraged collaborative efforts among stakeholders to overcome sectoral challenges.

Ahmed Qadir, Director General of Competition Policy at the Competition Commission of Pakistan, underscored regulatory complexities influencing telecom service providers. Additionally, he noted the need for a holistic approach to spectrum management and service quality improvement amidst heightening competition from both local and international players.

Muhammad Aslam Hayat is a senior policy fellow at LIRNEasia. He indicted existing market structures and regulatory frameworks for hindering the telecom sector’s growth potential. He suggested policy reforms including spectrum pricing rationalization and tax reduction to promote investment and enhance service quality.

Fatima, a representative from Jazz, reiterated the telecom sector’s key role in national digitalization efforts. Moreover, she stressed the need for industry-wide collaboration and regulatory support to handle economic challenges and improve service quality.

Parvez Iftikhar, an international ICT consultant, expressed concerns over intense competition affecting industry revenues and infrastructure development. He underlined issues such as insufficient fiber penetration and low broadband speeds, provoking strategic interventions to foster sectoral growth and competitiveness.

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Laiba Mohsin

Laiba is an Electrical Engineer seeking a placement to gain hands-on experience in relevant areas of telecommunications. She likes to write about tech and gadgets. She loves shopping, traveling and exploring things.

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