Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) organized a Forum for Telecom Consumer with a theme “Together for Consumer Rights”, said a press release issued here on Thursday.

State Minister for Industries and Production, Dr Ayatullah Durrani was the chief guest on this occasion while Chairman PTA, Dr Mohammed Yaseen presided over the Forum.

Consumer Representative, Suraiya Allahdin, representatives from IT & telecom industry, telecom consumer groups, renowned social workers and academia also attended the event. Dr Ayatullah Durrani said that this forum provides us an excellent opportunity to review the telecom scenario in Balochistan for achieving desired targets in terms of service expansion. He said that the telecom sector has witnessed a spectacular growth in the recent past.

He said that Balochistan is gaining a lot of ground through implementation of last mile solution and increased network coverage. Major share in this increase of network coverage has been that of the mobile sector while Wireless Local Loop (WLL) services have also fared well recently in the province, he added. The Minister said that it would also have a positive spill over effect on the overall economy of the province creating increased economic activity in Balochistan.

Dr. Ayatullah further said that number of consumer-oriented steps have been taken by the operators under the guidance of PTA which not only facilitate the telecom consumers but also ensure their protection from poor quality of services. He said that the verification of user antecedents and blocking of unverified SIMs, successful introduction of new SIM Activation System and smooth implementation of “SIM information System-668″ are some of the significant steps taken by PTA on SIM issue which would go a long way towards safe and legal use of mobile services.

Chairman PTA, Dr. Mohammed Yaseen said that the statistics of recent telecom growth in Balochistan are evident of the satisfaction level of telecom consumers of this area with the quality of telecom services provided to them. He said that in year 2002 cellular teledensity in Balochistan was just 0.17 percent which has grew manifold after the completion of numerous development projects making this figure much healthier in March-2010 which is 34.3 percent.

CEO Universal Service Fund (USF), Parvez Iftikhar said that the fund has started projects worth Rs 5.87 billion in Balochistan, which would help in provisioning of telecom services to far flung areas of Balochistan. This would bring economic betterment in the area, he added. The consumer representative, Suraiya Allahdin appreciated the role of PTA in focusing on consumer issues. Presentations were also made by PTCL, mobile and WLL operators on this occasion

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