PTA to get advanced testing equipment
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) may purchase state-of-the-art equipment to aid with upcoming surveys on the quality of cellular service provided by telecom companies.
The Authority is evaluating this option after it had to undo the results of its last survey when it was revealed that the equipment used to conduct the surveys did not meet international standards.
According to the PTA chairman, the agency will conduct its next survey in September, adding that he hoped the newer equipment would strengthen the authority’s reputation as a regulatory authority.
The PTA withheld show-cause notices and heavy fines imposed on certain cellular companies for their poor performance in the previous surveys after it was revealed that those surveys had been conducted with outdated equipment.
“The next Quality of Service survey depends on the availability of the equipment,” a PTA source revealed. He added that the PTA was aware of the fact that telecom operators were investing in advanced technology when making its own purchasing decisions.
Cellular companies are expected to invest $1 billion over the next fiscal year and over $4 billion over the next five years to upgrade their networks. This is in addition to the $291 million each operator has already paid in licensing fees.
“We do recognize the problems facing telecom operators, since shifting to new frequencies involves the investment of capital and time,” an official of the PTA stated. However, he said that protecting consumer interests by ensuring top quality cellular services remain the authority’s top priority.
Some cellular companies in Pakistan were also appreciative of the PTA’s self-critical approach. “Such a fair step will not only benefit cellular subscribers but will also help boost the PTA’s credibility,” said a cellular company official. online