The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Saturday announced that all voice calls in flood-hit areas across Pakistan will now be free for consumers.
The PTA statement added that Cellular Mobile Operators (CMO) have decided to offer free-of-cost voice calls to facilitate flood victims.
“CMOs will provide free voice calls (On-net/same network) to all their subscribers in flood-affected areas with Zero/Nil balance. There will be no call setup charges applicable on call connection and customers having no balance will be able to make on-net calls.” read the press release.
The telecommunication authority further thanked CMOs for helping flood victims in these trying times.
PTA also stated that it is continuously monitoring the connectivity situation in flood-ravaged areas and it continues to monitor the communication channels in the affected areas.
Press Release: In this hour of need and calamity, PTA & Cellular Mobile Operators stand shoulder to shoulder with the #flood affected people. CMOs will provide free voice calls (On-net / same network) to all their subscribers in flood affected areas with Zero / Nil balance.— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) August 27, 2022
PTA acknowledges the efforts of CMOs in providing timely and instant relief to #telecom consumers in these challenging times. There will be no call setup charges applicable on call connection and customers having no balance will be able to make on-net calls.#FloodinPakistan— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) August 27, 2022
PTA continues to monitor the communication channels in the affected areas, ensuring #connectivity and providing updates, where necessary.— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) August 27, 2022
Historic monsoon rains and flooding in Pakistan have affected more than 30 million people over the last few weeks. The heavy monsoon rains and subsequent floods killed more than 900 people and injured nearly 1,300 others, creating a “humanitarian crisis” in the country.
Maintaining communication in flood-hit areas has been a tough task for the authorities. Physical channels of connectivity have been washed off by flood waters and ensuring telecommunication connectivity has also been a challenge.
“Due to torrential rains and flash floods in Balochistan optical fiber cable, voice and data services have been impacted in Quetta and rest of the main cities of the province,” PTA said on Twitter.
Due to flash #floods, damage to optical fibre cable & power outage, #connectivity services have been impacted in Chitral, Upper Dir, Donbala, Swat, Medan, Lal Qila Samarbaghdir, Tank & DI Khan.— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) August 27, 2022
PTA is monitoring the situation closely. Work is underway to fully restore services.
This year, the monsoon rains broke the record for 30 years. Against the average annual rainfall during the last three decades – 128 millimetres– this year the country received 340 mm of rain. The NDMA said this monsoon brought 166% more rains than the 30-year average.