A fine of 0.2 million rupees: PTA orders two major CMOs to comply with quality of service standards
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has warned two major telecom operators to comply with Quality of Service (QoS) requirements in accordance with the applicable regulatory framework, while a fine of 0.2 million rupees has been imposed. was also inflicted on an operator.
A panel consisting of PTA Chairman Amir Azeem Bajwa and Compliance and Enforcement Officer Dr. Khawaja Siddiqui Khokhar issued the order against the two operators.
The authority issued show cause notices “non-compliance with or exceedance of quality of service standards as defined in the license and key performance indicators (KPIs)” to the two operators.
In order to measure the licensee’s QoS performance, a joint survey was conducted from October 26, 2020 to October 27, 2020 at Warsak and Charsadda Roads, Peshawar. During the investigation, it was revealed that the 4G/LTE signal strength at Charsadda Road and the 4G/LTE signal strength and call connection time at Warsak Road were below license standards.
Accordingly, the results of the investigation were shared with the licensee’s blank letter dated October 29, 2020 with the instruction to upgrade services to licensed standards and include the area in the future deployment plan. 4G/LTE and the licensee was required to submit a compliance report by November 20, 2020.
However, in the light of the response received from the operator, an independent investigation, from October 4 to October 27, 2021, was carried out by PTA on the said areas, in which it was found that contrary to what the operator claims , part of QoS KPIs are consistently below the standards stipulated in the license.
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Since the above QoS results did not comply with the parameters of the license conditions and QoS regulations, therefore, a show cause notice (SCN) under article 23 of the law of January 17 2022 was issued in which the licensee was required to remedy the contravention by bringing and maintaining the quality of service standards required in accordance with clause 1.3 of appendix III of the license and the QoS regulations within fifteen ( 15) days and also to be explained in writing within thirty days of issuance of the SCN issue.
Case heard and file consulted. After a careful examination of the file, here are the conclusions of the Authority.
The Authority, under the Act, is responsible for regulating the establishment, maintenance and operation of the telecommunication system and the provision of telecommunication services in Pakistan. In addition, the Authority, under Section 5(2)(b) of the Act, is also empowered to enforce and monitor licenses. In accordance with the license granted by the Authority, the licensee is required to comply with the requirement of quality of service standards as provided for in the license and the regulations.
With regard to the affirmation of the holder of the realization of the unilateral investigation, it is specified that in this case, a joint investigation was carried out and, in accordance with the investigation report, the shortcomings were shared with the incumbent. The licensee was required to upgrade the services to the license standard and include the domains in the future 4G/LTE deployment plan.
The licensee responded that they have improved and observed quality of service standards in accordance with the required KPIs. In order to verify the operator’s request, the Authority carried out an independent investigation. Following an independent investigation report, service quality standards were found to be below required KPIs. For the purposes of record and clarity, it is also pertinent to point out that, pursuant to License Condition 6.5. l, the Licensee is required at all times to meet or exceed the Quality of Service standards described in Appendix III of the License and QoS Rules.
It is also pointed out that after providing a fair opportunity for hearing, the Authority again conducted an independent re-verification of the quality of service at Warsak and Charsadda Roads, Peshawar on 26th April 2022. During the investigation , the Licensee’s voice and data services were observed to be satisfactory at Warsak Road except for SMS success rate, while voice and data services were identified as poor quality at Charsadda Road.
Considering the above-mentioned facts and the available file, the Authority concluded that despite the extension of all possible deadlines to improve the quality of service of the licensed services in accordance with the applicable legal regulatory framework, the KPIs of voice and data services have been identified. low level at Charsadda Road, Peshawar therefore due to failure to meet the required standards, a fine in the amount of Rs 200,000 is hereby imposed on the license holder with an order to pay the same within within one week from the date of receipt of this order. In the event of non-compliance with the foregoing, legal action will be taken against the licensee in accordance with applicable law.
That upon receipt of the SCN, the holder again conducted driving tests of the given area on January 18, 2022 and found no discrepancies or deficiencies in this regard on the survey route. Instead, the CSSR, MOS, and 4G RSRP were found at the same level as the license terms. The results of the investigation clearly indicate that there is no shortfall or violation of key performance indicators, as alleged in the aforementioned notice.
Bearing in mind the facts associated with the available record, it is concluded that although the licensee has improved the QoS KPIs at Charsadda and Warsak Roads, the KPI i.e. the success rate of call pattern, still needed improvement at Charsadda Road, Peshawar.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022