Perspectives from the *other side* on Software, Management and Life

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Increase in calling rates to Pakistan

I just read with horror about PTA increasing calling rates from outside to Pakistan. It is beyond my imagination. Reasons are as follows -
  1. Increasing international calling rates will not benefit the economy, to the contrary it will burden it. Here's why, we are a country of 160 million ...thats a huge number ie we need to play with economy of scale. Increasing the rates will reduce the call terminations into Pakistan significantly. Overall there will be a loss of revenue to PTCL as individuals hold back from calling Pakistan, reduce their call times and switch over to VoIP. By going the walmart route, they can easily increase both their top and bottom line ie reduce rates!
  2. "The sources privy to the PTA, however, argued the increase in ASR rate was unlikely to damage the revenue, as the authority had already deployed technical solutions to check grey traffic brought into the country through illegal means." Are they smoking the magic dragon? What makes PTA think they're even half as competent as they need to be. There is NO way they can stop VoIP, they'd probably break every other internet app before locking in on VoIP. Afterall, this is the authority responsible for the international outage of Youtube.
  3. Damage to Pakistan's economy. By increasing the international calling rates to Pakistan, foreign firms will likely enforce calling restrictions within their offices to keep costs under control. This will generally lead to barriers in the free flow of information, which is generally key for keeping good relations with your customers. And it may actually be a blocker for new customers who'd add another column in their partner evaluation just on "communication costs".
  4. And why is VoIP illegal in Pakistan anyway? I, along with every other individual and firm dealing with US based customer use VoIP. Since PTCL is no longer a government run monopoly, it makes no sense to feed white elephants. Majority of the Pakistanis could care less if it goes out of business tomorrow.

Since no rant is worthy of being read without a conclusion proposing a solution, here's mine. Fire ever bum in PTA ... this price hike will benefit no one, not even the morons in PTCL recommending the price hike. Incase anyone's *wondering*, PTA is run by a retired army man!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps PTA/PTCL is run by ISI or the likes of Ansar Burney? you never know :P

10:17 PM

Blogger Ali Syed said...

@ej -ISI was generally been part of the policy making team for pre-privatized PTCL, that I know of. But since privatization of PTCL (whose true amount was never revealed) I've put the conspiracy theories at rest :)

10:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they think people will call the same number of minutes to Pakistan as they used to but its not like that
I personally used to call for almost 4-5 hours a week and here i am i just called 45min in the last 20days GOSH i have to check my budget.
As far as i know all services throughout have increased the rate upto five time.

3:48 AM

Blogger Ali Syed said...

@yeh_cheezzz, agreed!
Its pretty basic economics (they teach this in eco 101, if someone in PTA bothered to take one) ie:
For elastic demand, as the price (supply)rises, the demand decreases.

And in today's world, businesses are no longer the cash cows they once were. Everyones looking to save, including big businesses. By increasing the cost of calling, it will only act as a barrier for businesses to work with Pakistan and not increase the revenue of PTCL.

12:50 AM

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2:20 PM

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