ISLAMABAD ( MEDIA )
The upcoming telecommunication policy has envisaged that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) will prepare a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to clarify their respective roles in the sector, the News learnt on Tuesday.
The policy is likely to be unveiled after Eid-Ul-Fitr. A copy of it is available with the News, which states that the current competitive and open telecommunications market structure is to be maintained.
It also states the respective institutional roles of the PTA and the Competition Commission of Pakistan in market regulation will be clarified.
To this end, the PTA and the Competition Commission of Pakistan will prepare a joint Memorandum of Understanding on their respective roles in the regulation of the telecommunications sector and guidelines for cooperation in accordance with their respective rights and obligations as defined by the Telecommunications Act and the Competition Act.
The sector will increasingly be managed through the application of a Competition Framework. The PTA, working with the Competition Commission of Pakistan, will develop a Competition Framework for the telecommunications sector.
This Competition Framework will provide processes for market review: identifying markets, determining the respective market power of service providers within each market, determining whether anti-competitive behavior is apparent and if so what remedies should be applied.
The framework will be based on best international practice for markets with similar levels of competition to those evident in Pakistan.
Remedies in specific instances may include obligations to provide wholesale services in a fair, equal and non-discriminatory manner, at cost oriented prices. They shall be applied first in upstream wholesale markets to minimize regulation of downstream retail markets.
To make a service available in a fair and non-discriminatory manner, the provider of the service must offer and then deliver it to another service provider at the same price and under the same conditions as it offers the service to its own business.
This should be true of all relevant components of the service delivery process from planning, through ordering, implementation, activation, configuration, operation, maintenance and termination of the service.
The PTA, working with the Competition Commission, will define a set of initial markets on the basis of current international practice and conditions in Pakistan.
These will then be used to evaluate specific issues facing the sector including the examination of allegations about unfair competition made by respective licensees in both the fixed and mobile sectors and deriving a fair set of remedies should such allegations be substantiated.
Once a specific market within the telecommunications sector is managed using competition principles, controls in that market on wholesale and retail pricing will be removed, except in so far as required as a remedy for anti-competitive behavior by a licensee with significant market power or in order to protect the customer from unfair practices.
Pricing remedies, including interconnection charges, will follow international best practice for cost plus orientation and shall be reviewed on a regular basis but no less than once every two to three years. The PTA will propose, implement and maintain such a cost oriented regime for interconnection.