The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has updated the maximum tariffs that fixed line incumbent Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) can charge for its wireline voice services. The regulator has set down a cap of PKR500 (USD5.69) and PKR750 (USD8.55) respectively for new connection charges in rural and urban areas respectively, with monthly line rental set at a maximum of PKR199. The PTA has also capped calling rates, with calls to on-net and off-net fixed line numbers to be set at PKR1 per minute and PKR2 per three minutes respectively. Long-distance calls meanwhile will be charged at no more than PKR1 per minute (on-net) or PKR2 per minute (off-net). Rounding out the watchdogs new charge limits, fixed to mobile calls are to be set at no more than PKR2.50 for both local and long-distance calls.
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in August 2004 the PTA made its first set of determinations regarding operators with significant market power (SMP, Determination No. 15-46/01), which it classified as those companies with more than a 25% share of any market. PTCL was designated as having SMP in the local, domestic and international long-distance (DLD and ILD), and leased line markets nationwide, as well as in national interconnection. Subsequently, the PTA issued a consultation paper on the identification of relevant markets and SMP operators in July 2009, and having received feedback from interested parties, a year on it revealed its updated recommendations. Since July 2010 PTCL has been declared as having SMP in the FLL, LDI, retail broadband, domestic leased line, IP bandwidth, call transit services and wholesale broadband access markets in Pakistan. The PTA places obligations on PTCL to prohibit it from abusing its dominant position, including tariff regulations, mandatory provision of cost-based interconnect rates, the publication of a reference interconnect offer (RIO) and the provision of wholesale services, including carrier selection.