The call rates for overseas Pakistanis have increased from 10-10.5 cents to 10-12 cents per minute under the new regime, implemented by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has objected to the move, saying it can create monopoly of any one operator and increase grey traffic in Pakistan.
According to the telecommunication industry sources, the rates of the Long Distance International (LDI) operators have increased the cost of overseas calls and new revised rates would be implemented from Oct 1, 2012, as instructed by the PTA.
A PTA official said the basic objective behind establishing the ICH was to control grey traffic.It would not increase grey traffic, and different telecom operators would get their quota as per their existing share in the ICH whose infrastructure has been provided by the telecom industry, he added.
According to available data, monthly international calls traffic to Pakistan is 1.5 billion minutes and the increase in rates by 10-12 cents per minute is an additional burden on the overseas Pakistanis, who will have to pay around $120-150 million monthly.
Overseas Pakistanis have expressed their concerns over increase in rates. They complained that now they would have to pay more to talk to their near and dear ones and the remittance to Pakistan will also decrease.