No Interest – Grey Traffic Monitoring System is losing its efficacy

ISLAMABAD ( ABRAR MUSTAFA )

After introduction of 3G/4G services in Pakistan, Telecom industry has witnessed 100% increase in utilization of International Bandwidth Connectivity which surely is very healthy sign for industry as well as overall economy of the country. This multiple factor increasing trend will continue in coming days and therefore telecom operators has already executed very aggressive plans for network expansions to seize this huge opportunity. However, when it comes to PTA and MOIT role and obligations related to this vast and rapid expansion, it seems, either they are clueless or lack interest in performing their duties.

The must discussed Grey Traffic Monitoring System was eventually installed last year with huge investment of USD 30 Million by LDIs. In last couple of months, this monitoring system has started to prove its efficacy as PTA and FIA jointly conducted approximately dozens successful raids and had captured more than 200 illegal gateways involved in grey traffic termination. This has significantly curtailed loss to nation exchequer due to menace of grey traffic business. After recent expansion in international connectivity, monitoring system in now capable to only monitor 50% of International connectivity. Rest of the connectivity is untapped and thus providing perfect opportunity to grey traffickers to operator and remain unchecked.

Although, expansion of this system is no cost to GOP as it will be sponsored by LDIs, so far PTA and MOIT have no concrete plan for its expansion which means that once again Grey Traffic Monitoring System will become redundant. This is not the first time that such important system became redundant. System installed in year 2007-8 with investment of USD 10 Million from industry also became redundant due to lack on interest of the authorities. Since no inquiry was conducted last time, once again we are witnessing same criminal negligence by authorities responsible for expansion and up-gradation of this national asset.

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