The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Friday reduced the Mobile Termination Rate (MTR) from Re0.70 per minute to Re.50 per minute from January 1, 2022, an official statement said.
It added that the rates shall be further reduced to Re0.40 per minute from July 1 next year.
The official statement said that the reduction in the MTR has been made after thorough consultation with the telecom industry.
"The PTA is of the view that lowering of MTR would allow more competitive and innovative offerings such as free minute off-net bundles for the consumers."
The telecommunication authority said that it expected the move will make the market "healthier and beneficial" in terms of lower tariffs for making off-net calls, adding that it would also benefit smaller operators in terms of reduced net payments to be made to the bigger operators.
In July, the statement said, the PTA issued a consultation paper wherein it was observed that the current MTR of Re0.70 per minute in Pakistan is still higher than the benchmarking results of the MTR determination of 2018 and the MTRs prevailing in regional countries.
Further, it added, the PTA had also received requests from telecom operators to review the existing mobile termination rates. "Majority of the responses received, supported the PTA’s recommendation to lower the MTR. However, there were opposing responses too."
After industry hearing and thorough analysis, according to the statement, the PTA has determined the MTR for all types of calls (i.e. local, long-distance and international incoming calls) terminated on mobile networks from other mobile networks or fixed networks in Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) to be Re0.50 per minute from January to June 2022, Re0.40 per minute from July 2022 to June 2023 and Re0.30 per minute from July 2023 onwards, the statement concluded.