By Kalbe Ali
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been ranked as a 4th Generation Regulator (G4) by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), becoming the only country in South Asia to have achieved the status.
Out of the 38 economies in Asia-Pacific, only eight per cent states have managed to achieve G4 status.
In the ITU report titled “Global ICT Regulatory Outlook 2020 (GIRO)”, Pakistan scored 88 out of 100. This means that Pakistan’s ICT regulations are led by economic and social policy goals. Pakistan is also among the top five regulators in the entire Asia-Pacific region with a global rank of 48.
The GIRO is built on data provided by 193 countries, which forms the basis of ‘ICT Regulatory Tracker’. The tracker, developed by ITU, is an evidence-based tool that helps decision-makers and regulators monitor the rapid evolution of ICT regulation.
The report further said that Pakistan had scored full marks (20/20) for regulatory authority, 19/22 for regulatory mandate, 22/30 for regulatory regime and 27/28 for competition framework. Pakistan’s journey towards collaborative regulation has also been highlighted as a special feature in the report.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has said that it would continue to achieve new international benchmarks by showing its commitment to protect consumer interests and enhance public-private collaborations for the digital transformation and socio-economic benefit of Pakistan.
In another development, the PTA has extended the deadline for blocking of IMEI to an additional 30 days for all GSMA valid devices and IMEIs seen on mobile networks but currently not registered with the PTA.
The decision to extend the deadline for blocking of unregistered mobile sets under Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) has been taken to give relief and facilitate the public and ensure social distancing during this time.
The blocking of such mobile devices will continue from May 19 and will be communicated via SMS.
All mobile devices being connected to local networks using local SIM are subject to registration within 60 days from the first use of devices on local mobile networks. However, due to extraordinary circumstances, blocking of non-registered device IMEIs, which were to be blocked between March 18 and May 18, will now start from May 19.