Shorter distances by calls are now ending by charging heavy bills. International clearing house (ICH) rule is going to be operative in the country from 1st Oct, Now in order to talk to dear ones overseas Pakistanis have to pay about $120-150 million per month. According to PTA these rates are increased just to control grey traffic. I believe that can’t be stopped by doing this.
Though competition commission of Pakistan objected this move as it would create monopoly of single operator and will also increase grey traffic. But PTA is of quite different thinking as they aimed that by doing so, telecom operators will get their quota according to their share in ICH and it will not increase grey traffic, it will reduce the grey traffic.
Rates have been increased to 10-12 per minute from 10-10.5, average 1.5 billion minutes call traffic is per month from overseas. It will simply add burden for those who are already living abroad from their families and parents.
One more dark aspect of this decision is from economic activity perspective, because by doing this overall economic activity will definitely suffer. This will reduce the overseas investment in Pakistan; it will simply discourage overseas business activity.
The apprehension regarding this fixation of rates is that if establishment of International Clearing House (ICH) and the rates fixed for ending of incoming overseas calls to Pakistan, it will become really expensive in Pakistan as compared to other neighboring countries.
This attempt is against the consumer protection, I think most important this is to protect the customers interests everywhere in the world, consumers are the only determinants of products and companies, happy consumer’s means longer product life and company as well. This will badly affect PTA. So in order to control the grey traffic some other plans should be devised that should support consumers as well.