ISLAMABAD 

Technology innovations have made life of people easier and provided different sort of alternative ways to interact across global but at same time this advancement influenced international call business and reduced traffic on Long Distance International (LDI) networks. The fact is that total international traffic carried to and from Pakistan was recorded to be 14.4 billion minutes during 2013 as compared to 20.2 billion minutes in previous year, showing a 29 percent decline. This decline could be attributed to various factors such as advancement of technology, establishment of International Clearing House (ICH), increasing trend of gray traffic etc. As per PTA latest figures, during year 2012-13, the total international traffic carried to and from Pakistan remained on the lower side.   The analysis of constituents of total international traffic revealed that the incoming international traffic on LDI networks reduced by 26 percent with total 11.9 billion minutes in 2012-13 whereas outgoing international traffic reduced by 39 percent from last year with a total output of 2.4 billion minutes.   Telecom experts said technology innovation has provided different sort of alternative ways to interact with global community which include VoIP, Skype, What’s App, Tango and Viber etc. are commonly used for voice as these mediums are comparatively cheaper and easily accessible.   Moreover, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter etc are being used widely and heavily for communication in addition to many email mediums. The regulator said the cost of call to and from Pakistan is under continuous review and it is expected that concrete steps are being taken to rationalize the call charges and increase traffic on LDI networks. When we talk about, LDI segment, it is an essential component of Pakistan’s telecom structure as it has the responsibility of providing affordable and reliable medium of communication for worldwide telecom access. The government awarded 14 licenses for LDI services to local companies and these operators are performing aggressively in the local market by offering affordable tariffs for large number of countries.   They said till to date, USF initiated projects to tune of Rs.  25 billion to support ICT services in length and breadth of the country and with these pending liabilities much could have been achieved.    The ICH operation generated a foreign exchange of over 650 million Dollar in a year which was three times more as compare to previous period. Also it generated USF liability and subsequent payment of over Rs. 12 billion i.e 140 per cent increase when compared to previous scenario while over Rs. 1.25 billion were retired against previous liabilities of LDIs, making it a win-win situation for all stakeholders in the country.