The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has imposed a penalty of Rs30 million on a mobile network operator over failure to meet the service quality standards as laid down in its licence.
The operator – Pakistan Mobile Communication Limited (PMCL), commonly known as Jazz – has, however, expressed its reservations about the authority’s new tool to determine the service quality. In the fourth quarter of 2020, PTA conducted a survey in major cities of Pakistan, including Hyderabad, Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta using the smart benchmark quality of standard tool, according to a report issued by the regulator.
In a letter on December 28, 2020, the authority forwarded the results to the licensee with directions to submit a detailed report containing reasons for non-compliance with a few parameters.
PTA also called for initiating corrective measures to enhance the service quality within 30 days of the issuance of the said letter.
But the operator failed to comply with the authority’s directions of “removing the shortfalls”, the PTA report said.
The licensee replied to the letter after a lapse of two months and 14 days, the report said, adding that the company even then failed to take any corrective measures.
The PTA report also mentioned that the operator had shown its reservations against the new tool – NEMO-DT Tool – employed by the regulator to evaluate the services.
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“We believe there is a clear divergence in the technical process employed in measuring quality of services by PTA and the agreed mechanisms, which has led to such disputed findings,” a PMCL spokesman told The Express Tribune.
The company was further reviewing the decision and would address it in due course, “as our top priority is to ensure optimum customer experience”, he said.
“Having been recognised as the fastest mobile network four times in a row by the global leader in internet testing, the company serves its valued customers with a technically superior network and reliable services,” he said.
Since its inception, the company had invested more than $10 billion, including $560 million in the last two years, he underlined.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Alpha Beta Core CEO Khurram Schehzad emphasised that quality services must be provided for the customers.
He was of the view that such issues “are not new in the country”. “Customers do not usually get quality healthcare, quality food, quality education, etc.”
He underlined that PTA, being the regulator, should be more facilitative towards companies, so that they could provide quality services.
“Instead of taking facilitative measures, regulators in Pakistan prefer to punish companies,” he noted.
The panel that issued the order against the operator comprised PTA Chairman Amir Azeem Bajwa, Member Compliance and Enforcement Dr Khawaja Siddiqui Khokhar and Member Finance Muhammad Naveed.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2022.
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