KARACHI: Mobile phone calls are likely to cost less in Pakistan as the regulator has issued consultation papers, proposing up to 20 paisa per minute cut to the Mobile Termination Rates (MTR).
The lower rates are likely to come into force from December 1, 2017.
The MTR is defined as the price charged by an operator for forwarding calls from other network customers to their own customers. Similarly, the MTR is the price that a cellular mobile operator (CMO) charges to another operator for terminating off-net calls on its network.
The proposed cut in the MTR will not only reduce the tariffs of fixed to mobile phone calls but will also provide direct incentives to mobile operators to further reduce their call rates.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has initiated the review process, seeking public and stakeholders' comments on the issues raised in the consultation paper.
The PTA said that it had been receiving requests from telecom operators to review the existing the MTR , while it was also observed that current MTR of Rs 0.90 in Pakistan was around 110 percent higher than the mean MTR benchmark and was around 198 percent higher than the median benchmark.
The benchmarking analysis undertaken in the consultation paper shows that the MTR calculated for Pakistan is between Rs 0.30 to Rs 0.43 per minute as per PPP adjustment.
Therefore, the regulator has proposed determination of the MTR in Pakistan at Rs 0.80 per minute from December 1 to November 30, 2018, and Rs 0.70 per minute from December 1, 2018, onwards, as an interim measure.
In this connection, the PTA will undertake cost-based study to review and determine termination rates as per the Telecommunication Policy 2015.