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Telcos were asked to obtain CCP’s approval before setting package base prices.

According to official sources, ProPakistani was informed that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has connected the floor price uplift mechanism for cellular mobile operators (CMOs) with a no-objection certificate (NoC) from the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to adhere to deregulated market principles.

The CMOs had wanted a freeze on the Universal Service Fund (USF), roll-out commitments, quality-of-service requirements, a reduction of the R&D fund from two percent to one percent for a year, and a voice and data floor price uplift mechanism to optimise base price.

The PTA was requested by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication to respond to the concerns and provide the necessary legal documentation. According to official sources, the PTA informed the MoITT that the Authority may take into account operators’ requests for data floor prices if the CCP issues a NoC.

According to sources, some operators are offering data to their subscribers at a reduced rate, which does not suit larger operators. As a result, the latter requested a fixed base pricing after operators were given the freedom to determine their own tariffs.

To avoid some operators’ monopolies, the PTA has tied the revision and sitting floor price to the CCP NoC.

Official PTA sources also stated that as telecom is an industry that is not subject to government regulation, it is free to set floor pricing without the consent of other operators. According to the sources, the CCP is the appropriate forum in these circumstances to ensure competition and market principles to prevent monopoly.

The PTA has, however, consented to a case-by-case suspension on rollout duties rather than the CMOs’ demand for a moratorium on service quality.

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