Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has decided to reduce the off-net call charges. The mobile termination rates have been reduced by PTA. Basically, mobile termination rate is the rate that telecom operators charge when a user receives a call from any other service, international & long distance. Earlier the MTR was PKR 0.90 per minute, now PTA has decided to reduce it to PKR 0.80 per minute. The new charges of off-net calls will be implemented in Pakistan from the start of 2019.
The new price rate has been fixed by PTA after taking all the mobile operators in confidence. It was back in 2010 when the interconnect usage price was fixed. “Review of Mobile Termination Rates” is a PTA consultation paper that has named the MTR rates in Pakistan 111-198% more than other countries comparable. This study that was conducted last year suggested that off-net charges be reduced to Rs0.80 per minute from 1st December 2017 to Nov 30, 2018, and then further decreased to Rs0.70 per minute December onwards. But unfortunately, this never got implemented.
The step that has been taken now to reduce the MTR will be beneficial for the users and it increases competition.
According to a mobile operator executive, “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.”