ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority yesterday said that the Authority during last seven years conducted 431 raids on illegal gateway exchanges and blocked 2.88 million SIMS. “A total of 1164 gateways were confiscated and 283 people were also apprehended during 431 raids from 2009 to 2016,” said a handout released by PTA, adding a total of 2.88 million illegal SIMs have also been blocked.

The Authority further said that after the revision of International Clearing House (ICH) Policy, the PTA deregulated the call rates (open competition) and directed all LDIs to bring traffic on competitive rates. Due to this competition, it said, rates of international incoming calls have reduced significantly. Present market rate is around 1.2 US cents/ min. It said that due to regulator’s efforts, the legal traffic has been increased in the country. It said that owing to PTA’s constant measures, incoming legal traffic has increased to around 1550.7 million minutes in December 2015 compared to around 400 million average minutes/month during ICH era. 

The Authority also announced establishing a zonal office in Gilgit.

Gilgit office is established for vigilance of the telecommunication services and to facilitate expansion in the underserved areas of the region, release said.

PTA has recently conducted auction of spectrum for Wireless Local Loop (WLL) Services for AJ&K and Gilgit-Baltistan while the process of auction of Next Generation Mobile Spectrum (NGMS) is expected to be completed soon.

The establishment of PTA Zonal Office, Gilgit is an important step to attract investment, create new employment opportunities and to provide affordable telecom services to the subscribers of these areas.

PTA Zonal Office is located at House No 5, Riaz Road Jutial Cant, Gilgit. PTA has already six Zonal Offices located at Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Muzaffarabad.