Two leading Mobile operators are favoring to impose 10 paisa charges on all text messages sent to other networks, while another two operators opposed the idea – fifth operator remained somewhat neutral, in a high level industry meeting held at PTA headquarters yesterday, told us sources at PTA.
These other-network charges (interconnection charges) can be the death of SMS packages, as currently mobile operators are allowing as many as 500 text messages a day for Rs. 4 to 5, which will become impossible with 10 paisa per SMS charge.
Telenor and Mobilink were of the view that due to their larger customer base, they receive highest number of text messages from other networks.
However, industry sources revealed that actual hindrance is network capacity of these two operators. A good explanation of this fact is that Ufone is opposing the charges, which has somewhat same size of subscriber base as of Telenor.
SMS facility is widely used and liked by mobile phone subscribers in Pakistan. Some researches consider the low priced SMS as key factor behind the fast growing communication trends in the country. Due to its low price and nature of channel, SMS can’t be replaced by any other mode of communication.
SMS lovers were first threatened by Government taxes, which were later on withdrawn by Prime Minister, but now the current regime by cellular operators may put all SMS packages on halt.
It merits mentioning here that Telenor has already slashed their SMS packages by limiting the off-net and on-net quota. For instance, if a SMS package allows 1000 SMS in one week, customer can’t send more than 500 off-net or otherwise on-net messages.
As per anticipations, if regulated, other network SMS charges will be widely opposed.