As anticipated for almost a week, the cellular mobile operators finally received Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)’s official notification, which does not only lift ban from Mobile Number Portability (MNP), but also allows the operators to sell cellular SIMs through customer support centres and franchises.
According to PTA’s letter, dated December 6, the telecom regulator has withdrawn its earlier directives, which banned MNP and required CMOs not to sell new SIMs through conventional sales channels with effect from December 1.
The fresh directive came as a result of the prime minister’s meeting with top officials of CMOs on November 29 where the PM reversed the directives of the interior ministry, that were enforced on telecom operators by PTA.
According to PTA’s directive, the condition of second identity is also withdrawn and the timeline for blocking of unregistered SIMs is extended from November 30 to February 28, 2013. However, selling of SIMs through retailers is still banned.
CMOs were expecting PTA to issue the notice the very next day following the PM’s announcement, according to sources, but the notification was delayed by almost a week for it was awaiting approval of the interior ministry.
From December 1 – the deadline as per old directives of PTA – the sales channels were confused whether to sell the new SIMs as per PM’s instruction or wait for an official notification from the telecom regulator.