To create awareness among the general public about preventive measures against coronavirus, PTA has directed mobile phone operators to replace standard ring back tone (heard by caller when a call is being made) with awareness messages about COVID-19 preventive measures.
The objective of this advisory is to ensure the provision of un-interrupted telecom services by keeping the telecom sector prepared in view of the COVID-19 in Pakistan. Due to the precautionary measures including social distancing and work from home, the dependence of the general public/public and private sector organizations has increased manifold on uninterrupted telecommunication services.
All telecom operators are directed for preparedness/contingency plans for the provision of un-interrupted telecom services in the country including AJK & GB. The following are guidelines for developing mechanisms for emergency preparedness/response:
- Necessary resources should remain available at all levels for the smooth functioning of voice/data services and networks. All support staff should adopt necessary preventive measures against the coronavirus;
- Any major communications breakdown shall immediately be reported to PTA HQs and its concerned zonal offices in the jurisdiction of which the breakdown occurs;
- All Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) and Local Loop operators should ensure that customers have access to their services (top-ups, scratch cards, provision of SIMS, etc). Necessary preventive measures to curtail the spread of the virus as per health advisories at customer touchpoints be ensured;
- Coordinate with local authorities for the functioning of franchises, top-up outlets and communication networks in the affected area;
- Redress consumer complaints efficiently within a minimum possible time frame, with fully equipped teams, in wake of the coronavirus threat;
- Awareness messages from all CMOs from time to time in national and regional languages.
Federal and provincial government authorities are requested to facilitate the functioning of all communication services providers by ensuring:
- Telecommunication network support staff of all telecommunication companies be facilitated in providing logistics and maintenance services of their networks;
- Customer support centers, franchises, retailers are allowed to remain open in case of a lockdown for provision of uninterrupted communication services and support to the general public. This will not only facilitate local administrative and health services including law enforcement agencies but also the general public to maintain social distancing while continue to perform their essential functions;
For any further information and assistance in this context, the following may be contacted:
- PTA Headquarters Islamabad Director Enforcement Coord Muhammad Shafique 0345-5138796 (051 – 2878112 and Fax No. 051-2878139)
For general information:
- PTA Help Line (0800-55055)
- PTA Zonal Office Karachi (021- 35680101 and Fax No. 021- 35680640)
- PTA Zonal Office Lahore (042- 36602192 -93 and Fax No. 042-3665400)
- PTA Zonal Office Rawalpindi (051-5154088 and Fax No. 051-5766403)
- PTA Zonal Office Peshawar (091-5829177and Fax No. 091-9217254)
- PTA Zonal Office Quetta (081-2829476and Fax No. 081-2829477)
- PTA Zonal Office Muzaffarabad (05822-921198 and Fax No. 05822-921199)
- PTA Zonal Office Gilgit Baltistan (05811-922415 and Fax No. 0581 -922416)