KARACHI: After intervention of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), Telenor has realised they are still not mandated to offer 4G/LTE services in Pakistan.
However, it seemed Telenor did not take the directions of the regulator seriously, as despite passing a week serving the orders, the roadside hoardings with deceiving material were still on their places.
Recently Telenor were come into a limelight for displaying misleading advertisement billboards in which the Company claiming Telenor is 4G/LTE cellular operator as different hoardings showing the said claim still can be seen in Blue Area Islamabad and in the premises of Lahore Airport.
With Islamabad this billboard is also placed in the jurisdiction of Lahore Airport. However it has been reported in media that Telenor has sited the misleading billboard only in Islamabad.
Sources said it was obvious how much time required for altering the two hoardings, but apparently Telenor was still defying the directions of PTA and the CCP.
PTA took notice of the billboards after concerning that the billboards were misleading people and ordered Telenor Pakistan for the explanation and revision in the content of these hoardings.
According to the sources, CCP also sent a letter to the Company to know the authenticity behind the deceptive marketing campaign of the Company. Therefore, Telenor to avoid further legal action by the two authorities has decided to remove the misleading content and they have informed both CCP and PTA, sources added.
As, Telenor has admitted they have made a mistake and the deceptive content would be erased from the billboards that were placed in Islamabad and Lahore, sources added. However, the Company has not altered these billboards yet.
When contacted, a PTA spokesperson was aware the Company still has not altered the billboards. He said the Company has assured us the alteration would be made soon. Currently, alteration might be in progress.
PTA official told no cellular operator in Pakistan was allowed to offer such services before the spectrum auction and Telenor only could display its Pakistan related affairs not its parent country services.
In this regard, Telenor’ top official said, “We were asked to explain the advertisement and just remove the ‘We are 4G/LTE’ part’ from the billboards. The rest remains as it is.
Official said the advertisement depicts Telenor group’s achievements across Asia: They are providing 4G in some of other Asian markets. However, “We have taken the concerns of the regulator into account as a gesture of goodwill and will be slightly altering the artwork on the outdoor hoarding in the coming few days,” said the official.
When the official asked for the accurate date of alteration the advertisement, the official was unable to give exact date that when the content would be removed.
CCP earlier has taken various actions against many companies for even branding their products with false claims and content. This time CCP has been found reluctant to take strict action against the Telecom giant.
Sources said deceptive advertisement campaigns in the country have been continuously rising by corporate sector, especially mobile companies are most frequently used the misleading brand promotional campaigns citing untruthful facts.
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