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PTA initiates to stop grey trafficking

Karachi: The Pakistan Tele-communication Authority (PTA) has geared up to a powerful and effective regulator in the past couple of months to meet the standard requirements of the consumers accordingly.

From carefully handling the process of spectrum auction for high-speed mobile internet services to taking practical measures for solving complex issues grey traffic, illegal mobile SIMs the telecom regulator has been active on all fronts.

The telecom sector’s regulatory body is using every channel of communication to ensure that its message gets across. It is running an aggressive campaign on radio, television, print and social media to educate the masses about the menace of illegal SIMs and grey trafficking, which is causing over Rs3.5 billion a year in losses to the national exchequer.

The PTA and cellular mobile operators (CMOs) have also started an SMS-based joint service that requests general public to report all illegal calls – international calls appearing as local numbers – to the regulator so it can investigate their source and take proper action. To intensify the campaign, the PTA has also launched a 24-hour complaint centre to receive complaints.

The awareness campaigns are to reduce grey traffic that the PTA deployed early October. The newly acquired system has the capability to automatically block the IPs of telecom gateways, which are not in the PTA’s white list.

Mobile phones without international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) numbers are widely used in criminal activities as well as in grey telephony.

“As a result of these awareness campaigns, the responses to the PTA’s complaint centre have increased,” said Khurram Mehran, PTA’s spokesperson.

Complaints are helping the telecom regulator to investigate and take action, including joint raids with the Federal Investigation Agency, against the offenders, he said.

 

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