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Mehtab Haider
Friday, October 19, 2012
From Print Edition
 
 

 

ISLAMABAD: All emails, telephone calls and other communications with the rest of the world will begin to be monitored within 90 days at a cost of million of dollars, according to a deadline given by the government to operators including PTCL.

 

The government has assigned PTCL and other operators to install monitoring equipment by the end of this year for checking voice and email communications from abroad and the services of the country’s spy agency will be used basically to check and curb blasphemous and obscene websites on the Internet.

 

“The regulator, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), has assigned 14 LDIs, including PTCL, to install this monitoring equipment,” senior executive vice president of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) Sikandar Naqi toldThe News on Thursday.

 

He said the PTA had installed a monitoring system to check 15 gigabytes (GB) traffic coming from international routes at a cost of $10 million in 2008. Now this international traffic from abroad has increased to 275 GB so the cost of monitoring could be higher.

 

He dispelled the impression that after placing International Clearing House (ICH), the rate of incoming calls from abroad especially from Europe, US and Canada had gone up to unprecedented levels, claiming that in the pre-ICH the approved termination rate stood at 6.25 cents which went up to 8.80 cents from October 1, 2012.

 

The termination rates of other countries showed that the rate being charged by Pakistan was not unusual as it stood at 8 to 10 cents in European Union, 16 cents in Afghanistan, 21.5 cents in Oman, 10 cents in Indonesia, 15 cents in Norway, 15 cents in Qatar, 9.5 cents in Sri Lanka, 10.5 cents in Saudi Arabia, 13 cents in UAE and 8 cents in UK Mobile.

 

“So far the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has collected $40 million in the first 15 days of October after placing ICH mechanism and the government expects $1 billion in the whole financial year.”