Expansion must to ensure modern telecom services in remote parts, Senate Body

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 25 (APP): Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet
Secretariat on Tuesday suggested that coverage area of cellular mobile network under Universal Service Found (USF) must be enhanced to ensure modern telecom services in remote parts of the country.

The provision of telecom services, especially in unserved and underserved is need of the hour and those living in remote
localities be provide all such services, Senator Talha Mehmood
said while chairing the meeting.

Senators Najma Hameed, Kalsoom Perveen and Haji Saifullah Khan
Bangash attended the meeting.

The Committee expresses its concerns over procedure to block SIMs,
night packages offered by Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs), roaming charges on Internet, functioning and suspension of telecommunication networks.

The Chairman of the Committee expressed displeasure on suspension of mobile network for a long time and added in spite of suspension, untoward incidents occurs which is disappointing.

The Committee also emphasized improvement in quality of mobile
Internet service for subscribers.

Chairman, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Dr.Syed Ismail
Shah briefed the Body and said on directives of Ministry of Interior mobile services are suspended in view of national security.
He said as compared to previous two years, mobile Internet services

have been improved especially after introduction of 3G and 4G services.
The efforts continue to bring further improvement in broadband services, he added.

He informed the meeting that Afghan and Indian mobile SIMs cannot be
operated in Pakistan but near bordering areas, some mobile phone networks of Afghanistan are working.

“This particular issue is in our notice and we are trying to control,”
he added.

Dr Shah said the number of biometric SIMs in the country is 130.4
million till August 31 this year, adding that the process of re verification was started in 2015 and completed successfully with blockage of 90.83 million.

He said PTA had proposed to CMOs not to sell their SIMs free of cost
so that public could not use it for sake of free credit and then throw it away.

The Committee, therefore, decided to call representatives from
Ministry of Interior to brief about suspension of mobile network in next meeting.

Moreover, it was also decided to summon officials of Federal Board of
Revenue (FBR) to have a briefing on tax collection system from telecom companies.