WLL operators move to shutdown operations

The Daily Times reports that Etisalat aren’t the only ones disgruntled with Pakistan’s telecom sector. DVCOM along with other wireless local loop operators have moved a petition before the Lahore High Court demanding PTA return their license fees due to breach of contract.

“As per the defined regulation in the policy, at least 25-kilometre area should be provided to the WLL operators, but due to pressure from cellular operators, the PTA is not allowing this range,” said the source. He said DVCOM and other companies had challenged this strategy of the PTA and pleaded if the authority did not review its policy, the amount deposited by operators as license fee should be paid back.

Earlier this year the International 450 Association warned PTA about the repercussions of changing the terms of contract.

“The IA 450 believes that the current determination by the PTA severely limits the introduction of advanced wireless technology and is not in the long-term interest of country, by impacting the economic growth in rural areas where the objective of increasing teledensity will be restricted,” said the letter.

It said no inter-cell handovers and roaming on other networks would be allowed. The handover, which is restricted under the policy, is an event in radio network in which the control of a call in progress is transferred from one cell to another cell of one frequency to another frequency.

But the operators and international organizations fear the PTA policy may force small operators to wrap up their operations and this will hit the image of the country’s growing telecom sector.

“WLL operators restricted to offering only fixed wireless access with no mobility are at a significant competitive disadvantage due to limited availability of affordable terminals and inability to offer attractive communications solutions competitive with those offerings from current fixed and mobile operators,” said the IA 450.

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