Three cellular firms were given six months by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to maintain and raise service quality standards in accordance with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), but, in contrast to previous practise, no penalties were levied on these operators.
After the allotted time has passed, an on-the-ground survey will be conducted to assess the KPIs, and if necessary, additional action will be taken if they are not met.
Three operators, China Mobile Pakistan Limited, Pakistan Mobile Communication Limited, and Telenor Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited, each received a show cause notice (SCN) from the Authority for failing to achieve or exceed the Quality of Services (QoS) criteria outlined in their licences and KPIs.
A survey was conducted in the Coastal Highway, Gwadar City, and Surbandar Port Area between December 6 and December 9, 2021, to evaluate the licensee’s QoS performance. Degraded QoS KPIs were found in the survey results. As a consequence, the licensees were informed of the survey results and given instructions for corrective action, including network extension and optimization in the assessed areas.
The licensees implied that the network had been streamlined as a result to enhance the services. Contrary to what the licensees state, a re-verification study conducted in the aforementioned locations between March 7–10, 2022, reveals that several QoS KPIs are not being met.
Since the aforementioned QoS results fell outside of the licence conditions and QoS Regulations, show-cause notices were issued, requiring the licensees to correct the infraction by bringing and maintaining the necessary standards of quality of service at par with the licence and the QoS Regulations within fifteen (15) days and to provide a written explanation within thirty (30)days of the notices’ issuance.
The licensees filed a compliance report in response to the SCN. The licensees hinted that it complies with the QoS requirements as outlined in the licence in large part. Following the aforementioned report, the licensees provided responses to the SCN.
The development, upkeep, and operation of telecommunication networks as well as the delivery of telecommunication services in Pakistan are subject to regulation by the Authority under the Act. The Authority is also given the authority to enforce and oversee the licences under section 5(2)(b) of the Act.
The licensee is required to satisfy the quality of service requirements specified in the licence and regulations in order to maintain the authority’s licence. The Authority is authorised to conduct a QoS survey to determine compliance with KPIs for QoS standards as specified in the licence and applicable legislation in order to enforce and monitor the licence.
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.
Considering the aforementioned, the Authority is of the opinion that under the relevant regime, the licensee is required to adhere to the quality of service requirements specified in the licencing terms and other supporting statutory provisions.
According to the record, it has been noted that the licensee (China Mobile Pakistan Limited) has taken immediate action to arrange additional/extra bandwidth to remain compliant for the provision of licenced services in accordance with KPIs for quality of service and also ensured the provision of seamless services in the future. As a result, the Authority, taking into account the licensee’s efforts, hereby grants six (06) month(s) of time, beginning from the date of this letter.
Regarding Telenor Pakistan, the PTA stated that based on the record, it has been observed that the licensee has taken emergency measures to arrange additional/extra bandwidth to remain compliant for the provision of licenced services in accordance with KPIs for quality of service and also ensured the provision of seamless services in the future. As a result, the Authority, taking into account the licensee’s efforts, hereby grants six (06) month(s) of additional licence.
Regarding Pakistan Mobile Communication Limited, the Authority’s order stated that, taking a lenient stance, the Authority hereby grants six (6) months, beginning from the date of receipt of this order, for improving and maintaining the quality of service standards as per applicable KPIs. This is in recognition of the efforts made by the licensee with regard to making arrangements for alternative bandwidth through Optic Fiber Cable (OFC) Connectivity and other steps. After the allotted period has passed, a field investigation will be done to assess the quality of the services, and if there are any violations, further action will be taken.