The cellular mobile operators (CMOs) have again warned PTA of potential connectivity load shedding due to the increased frequency of power cuts and skyrocketing fuel prices. According to the CMOs, the circumstances are out of the control of major telecom service providers of Pakistan hence they are forced to begin connectivity load shedding if the ongoing electricity load-shedding was not controlled.
CMOs expressed their concerns to PTA
In a letter written to PTA, by the CMOs, they explained the obstacles faced by the major telecom services providers due to fuel prices, power cuts, and other related issues. As pointed out by a senior exec of CMO; “Telecom towers had generators and some had backup batteries, similarly, the backend equipment too was powered by batteries and generators, but the high cost of diesel was putting the financial burden on the industry.”
The CEO of Jazz, Aamir Ibrahim, said; “To ensure consistent improvement in service quality and expand broadband services, a policy and regulatory environment that enable the mobile operators to remain financially healthy is critical.” He further added; According to the letter, the situation worsened further after the State Bank of Pakistan imposed a 100% cash margin restriction on the import of network/ backup equipment, including batteries. The officials warned that if the same conditions continued, then there could be blackouts at certain towers and there would be no telephony or data service in that area.
PTA reacts strongly to the connectivity load-shedding news
PTA issues a letter to the CMOs on 24th June, asking them to “highlight the difficulties in meeting the rollout obligations targets, as financial reasons are not justified, whereby telecom operators considered it a force majeure, outside the control of the telecom industry.” The letter also pointed out the recently signed conditions, which states that “any relaxation in the roll-out targets may be granted by the authority only in case of genuine difficulties to be supported and substantiated with reasons by the licensee.”