Longest ever suspension of mobile phone services
Cellular operators to lose billions of rupees
Karachi (DailyTimes / Sunday, November 25, 2012) – In Pakistan Cellular Mobile phone sector suffered billion of rupees losses on back of longest duration suspension on the services in 49 major cities of the country, constituting nearly 70 percent of telecom subscribers covering area.
The cellular services remained suspended in Karachi and Quetta for 11 straight hours following extension to more than 47 cities from 6 am to 9 pm on Saturday that will continue till 8 pm on Sunday.
Similarly the services of wireless local loops have also been suspended for the even days due to security reasons throughout the country.
The customers left with no choice except to use landline services or mobile phone services in the late night hours, which the telecom watchdog directed recently to ban on the immoral grounds.
Overall the services were banned for 29 hours in 49 cities in addition to 11 hours in the provincial capitals of Sindh and Baluchistan.
Though the services were suspended on weekends and public holiday, the utility of the services is being witnessed not as regular as compared with normal days, however public at large particularly suffered and companies as well government have to face huge financial losses.
This is the fifth straight time when the government imposed time-period ban on the services of mobile phone companies. Previously the services were suspended in August, September, October and November 2012 on the occasion of Eidul Fitr, Love Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Day, Eidul Azha and Muhrram 1st.
Five mobile phone companies evaluated losses to the tune of Rs 500 million each when services were suspended from 10 to 14 hours in overall 15 cities of the country on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitre and Love Prophet Muhammad Day (PBUH).
Now the services have been suspended for 47 cities in 29 hours and 40 hours in two cities-Quetta and Karachi. The services are reportedly resorted in Islamabad till 10pm.
The losses of the companies with the temporary ban on the services could be surpassed definitely from previous occasions due to obvious longest discontinuation of the services in much larger parts of the country.
The mobile phone companies face huge losses on spending extra cost to deploy extra staff for the restoration of services on their network.
There are thousands of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) towers in the selected areas where services were ordered to remain suspended.
Few companies are equipped with centralised system connecting master towers of different regions with BTS to operational headquarter. The switching off and on situations need to be completed with accuracy, rapidly and technically, which takes normally 600 hours of labour additionally of officials of high calibre related to technical, managerial and vigilance skills.
Besides few companies having operating system of Network Switching Centres (NSC) regularly keep vigilance to put services off and on through technical and high-tech programming, which is in fact a hectic work for operators in the given timeline.
The losses of cellular phone companies are being accumulated as they can claim the compensation from the government as per law.
So far Rs 1,210 million losses have been reported to all cellular phone companies. The overall financial losses will be increased significantly after longest outage of cellular and wireless services.
Mobile phone companies have earlier claimed the losses of Rs 1 billion from Ministry of IT and Telecommunication. One of the mobile phone companies also went into litigation in Sindh High Court against the services closure and seeking legal protection from the judiciary.