Non Voice Communication Network Service Regulations, 2004


9th July, 2004


S. R. O. 797(I)2004–In exercise of the powers conferred under Clause(O) of Sub-section (2) of Section 5 of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996 (Act XVII of 1996), the Authority is pleased to make the following Regulations:





  1. 1.               Short title and commencement. — (1) These Regulations may be cited as the Non Voice Communication Network Service Regulations, 2004.

  1. 2.         They shall come into force at once.

  1. 3.         Definitions. —In these Regulations unless the context subject otherwise requires. —

(a)           “Act” means the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-Organization) Act, 1996;

(b)           “Authority” means the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority established under Section 3 of the Act;

(c)            “Basic telephone service” means the provision of any telecommunication service, which consists of. —

(i)             two-way live voice telephone service, in digital form or otherwise, over any public fixed switched network or between base stations or switches or modes of any public mobile switched network;

(ii)            real-time transmission or reception of facsimile images over a public fixed switched network;

(iii)          international telephony service; and

(iv)          the lease of circuits for the provision of the services specified in sub-clauses(i), (ii) and (iii) above.

(d)          “Company” means Local Loop and Long Distance International Telecommunication system operator and service provider;

(e)           “Competitive services” means the telecommunication services that may be provided by two or more licensees;

(f)            “Data communication network” means a communication network over which a number of data devices can be inter-connected for exchange of information at varying speeds, formats and protocols but conforming to PTA approved standards based on digital data, exchanged between two computers in an agreed format over a data communication network; from rendering, giving or supplying services or benefits or from execution of contracts, for the licensed services or business;

(g)           “LDI” means Long Distance and International includes end to end communication between points that are located in Pakistan with points that are located outside of Pakistan;

(h)           “Local Loop” means a communication channel, provided with or without a pair of wire(s), from a switching center to a customer’s telephone/Terminal Equipment;

(i)             “Non voice communication network service” means electronic information, data communication network and store and forward fax services;

(j)             “Person” means any individual, partnership, association, Joint Stock Company, joint venture, trust or corporation;

(k)           “Public switched telecommunication network” means a telecommunication system, which allows intelligence to be switched between members of the public;

(l)             “Public data network” means a network established and operated for the purpose of providing electronic data transmission services to the public depending on regulations and with PTA approval may carry traffic of other services;

(m)         “Public Data Transmission Service” means a data transmission services established and operated by means of a separately licensed public data network, excluding Basic Telephone Service;

(n)           “Regulation” means the regulation made under the Act;

(o)           “Rules” means the rules issued by the Government of Pakistan under the Act;

(p)           “Telecommunication equipment” means switches, equipment, wires, cables,

(q)          apparatus, poles, structures, ducts, man-holes and other tangible property, software and data, other than terminal equipment, comprising any telecommunication system or used in connection with any telecommunication service;

(r)            “Terminal equipment” means any apparatus directly or indirectly connected to any network termination point and used for sending,processing or receiving intelligence;

(s)            “Telecommunication service” means a service consisting of the emission, conveyance, switching or reception of any intelligence within, or into, or from Pakistan by any electrical, electro-magnetic, electronic, optical or optico-electronic system, whether or not the intelligence is subject to re-arrangement, computation or any other process in the course of service; and

(t)            “Telecommunication system” means any electrical, Electro­magnetic, electronic, optical or optic-electronic system for the emission, conveyance, switching or reception of any intelligence within, or into, or from Pakistan, whether or not the intelligence is subjected to re-arrangement, computation or any other process in the course of operation of the system, and includes a cable transmission system, a cable television transmission system and terminal equipment.

  1. 3.              Grant of License. — (1) The licensee under these regulations shall provide Electronic Information, Data Communication network and store & forward Fax Services through any media in Pakistan subject to terms and conditions contained in the Act, the Rules, the Regulations and the Licenses there under.

(2)       The license may be issued within seven days, after the applicant has fulfilled all the formalities.

  1. 4.        Initial and Annual Fee. — (1) The licensee shall pay the following amounts to the Authority, —

(a)       Application fee Rs. 500/-(Five hundred only);

(b)       Evaluation fee Rs. 10,000/-(Ten thousand only);

(c)       Initial License fee Rs. 10,00,000/- (One million only);

(d)                   Annual License Fee 0.66% of Gross Sales Revenue of preceding fiscal year from licensed operations or services.

(2)           The licensee shall make payment of the annual license fee to the Authority in arrears but not later than 120 days of the close of financial year of the licensee.

(3)           The licensee shall be liable to pay a penalty of @10% on the outstanding amounts if the dues are not paid within due date.

(4)           All payments to the Authority shall be made through crossed bank draft or pay order or credited to the Bank Account of the Authority as specified by the Authority.

(5)           The Annual License Fee shall be paid not later than ninety (90) days after the closing date of the fiscal year of the licensee, according to its audited annual account. The licensee shall be responsible for the submission of annual financial statements indicating all business conducted in Pakistan during the preceding fiscal year and the statement shall be submitted to the Authority by the last day of the first quarter of the following fiscal year.


Amendment, Renewal and Termination



5.         Term of the License. —The license under these regulation shall expire on the fifteenth (15) anniversary of the effective date, unless renewed or extended by the Authority prior to that date.


6.         Extension of the License. —The terms of the license may be extended upon application by the licensee to the Authority provided the licensee’s performance during the license period remained satisfactorily.


7.         Termination of the License. —The license shall remain in force in accordance with its terms until one of the following events occur, which shall constitute an event of termination: –

(a)           Failure of the licensee to provide service to end-users within twelve (12) months of issuance of the license by Authority;

(b)       Continuous interruption of service for a consecutive or combined period of ninety (90) days over any six (6) month period, provided, however, that the interruption is not a result of force majeure;


(c)           Bankruptcy filing of any insolvency proceeding by the licensee or adjudication of the same in favour of creditors if such proceeding is filed against licensee, any proceeding or assignment of assets for the benefit of creditors, or any state of licensee which may be considered “insolvency” under the laws of Pakistan; and

(d)          Failure to clear dues/fees as applicable on due date.


8.         Validity/Enforceability. —Shall one or more of the provisions of these Regulations prove to be invalid and/or unenforceable, this shall not affect the validity and/or enforceability of the other provisions of the Regulations.

  1. 9.              Modification. —Subject to section 22 of the Act modification of the terms and conditions of the license may only be made by written agreement between the licensee and Authority, however, each party shall give due consideration to any proposal for modification(s) made by the other party.



General Conditions of the License



  1. 10.     Operation of the License. — (1) The licensee shall complete formalities (implementation plan, phasing plan, proposed tariff plan, details of equipment and services, quality assurance and other details etc) within ninety days of the issue of the license under these regulations.

(2)           At any time after commencement of operation if any information mentioned above changes, the licensee will be under obligation to provide updated information 90 days prior to such a change.

(3)           The licensee shall ensure that the services established by him do not cause any damage or interference to any system and network of the company or any other telecommunication system and telecommunication service operator licensed by the Authority. The licensee shall also ensure that the circuits established by him operate strictly according to the recommendations laid down by the ITU. In case of failure on the part of the licensee to comply with these conditions, the Authority may invoke Section 23 of the Act which apart from other powers, give right to the Authority to suspend or terminate the license.

(4)           A license will be issued to the licensee on formal application and completion of prescribed procedure for the use of radio frequencies for fixed and land mobile radio equipment. VSAT system may be utilized for domestic purpose within the framework established by the Authority for use of satellite communication systems and services provided the switching is within the boundaries of Pakistan

(5)           The licensee shall provide whatever information required about his licensed operation by the Authority as and when asked for, and appear before the Authority whenever called for to help investigate any matter concerning operation of his service.

(6)           The licensee shall not enter into any agreement or arrangements, which shall in any way, prevent or restrict competition in relation to the operation of any telecommunication service licensed by the Authority.

(7)           The licensee including its foreign partners shall not be allowed to carry any data traffic internationally bypassing the facilities provided by the company. For all international communications, only the facilities designated by the Company will be used.

(8)           The licensee shall not dis-continue / terminate / wind-up his service or share of his service without prior approval of the Authority. A one year notice will be required to be served by either party to wind-up/ terminate this service and after settlement of all claims / obligations / accounts with other licensed data network operators, the Company, his customers and the Authority.

(9)           The licensee may engage foreign experts to assist in establishment, operation and maintenance of licensed system and services in accordance with the relevant laws. The bio-data of foreign experts shall be submitted for approval of the Authority. The number of such foreign experts shall reduce gradually. After three years of operation of service, the foreign experts shall work only on top management positions. Delay/non provision of information will be considered an infringement of the license.

11.       Assignment of Rights. —The licensee shall not assign, transfer, subcontract, dispose of, or in any manner alienate the license or any part thereof, or any benefit or interest therein or there under without the prior written consent of the Authority.


  1. 11.     Legal Monitoring / Interception. — (1) The licensee shall provide, at its own cost, suitable equipment at the premises designated by the Authority, enabling security agencies or Government to monitor the traffic, billing, and quality of service or any other aspect as the Authority may deem appropriate.

(2)           The Authority shall have full right to monitor all the traffic that goes through the system. The licensee shall ensure that other company or establishments with whom interconnection is sought by him, gives complete monitoring rights to the Authority.Also the licensee has to get the assurance from them that they will cooperate and provide any information required by the Authority including but not limited to the aforesaid issue of monitoring.

(3)           The Licensee shall furnish to the Authority, detailed information regarding network topology, plan, network and terminal standards, links utilized, annual reports or any such information as may be required by the Authority in connection with the monitoring and regulation of the service and any change will be subject to the approval of Authority.

13.       National Security. —(1) For reasons of national security and for the circumstances described in section 54 of the Act, the Federal Government mayinitiate action as per the said section of the Act.

(2)           The licensee shall comply with the requirements of national security and with other directions given by the Authority or its authorized nominees from time to time, for the purpose, and the same shall be binding on the licensee.

(3)           Furthermore, notwithstanding anything contained in these Regulations if subsequent to the issuance of the license at any time it comes to the notice of the Authority that the licensee is under-mining the national security or its operations are a national security risk, the license shall be deemed withdrawn automatically.

(4)           If the license stands withdrawn under sub-regulation (3) above, the licensee shall be informed by the Authority, in writing, as soon as possible, but not later than fourteen days of the withdrawal.

(5)           On withdrawal of the License under sub-regulation (3) above, all the rights and liabilities granted under the license will cease and the said licensee status will revert back to an applicant who’s application has been refused by the Authority.

(6)           “Services & nodes” will not be setup in security sensitive areas. Such nodes, if covering places of security importance, shall be got approved from the relevant security authorities.

(7)           In case of war, emergency or internal strike, the Authority is empowered to suspend or close the service.

14.       Inspection. — (1) The licensee shall be obliged to allow inspection by an authorized representative of the Authority of any premises or telecommunication equipment and furnish to the Authority such information as may be required by it.

(2)           The licensee shall make books and records of accounts available for inspection by the Authority. The licensee shall file all such information with the Authority in such form as provided in these clauses and as may be prescribed by the Authority from time to time and required by the laws of Pakistan.

(3)           The licensee shall, on completion of installation, notify in writing to the Authority for inspection of his facilities for bringing service into operation. The Authority shall, after certification of completion and fitness of installation, authorize the commencement of the service. No commercial service will be allowed to commence without obtaining a letter of commencement from the Authority.

(4)           The Authority or its authorized representative shall have free access to the places where data communication, Electronic Information and Store Forward Fax equipment is installed, for the purpose of inspection.

15.       Accounting and Auditing. —The licensee shall maintain financial records and books of accounts in accordance with the laws of Pakistan. The licensee shall submit audited financial statements and summary of accounts to the Authority within three months of the closing date of financial year of the licensee. The financial statements and notes therein shall show, apart from other, following information about the licensed service/business:—

(a)           Gross revenue (total amount accrued and billed/ invoiced to the customers);

(b)           Description and amount of each cost element/item;

(c)           Gross profit, operating profit, profit before and after tax, carried forward profit/ (loss);

(d)          Description and amount of each type of tax, duty, levy paid and payable to the Government of Pakistan; and

(e)           Description of an amount of fee paid and payable to the Authority.

16.       Responsibilities of the Licensee. —The licensee shall be responsible for ensuring that:—

(a)            no transmission of voice takes place on the data network through his licensed Electronic Information Services;

(b)            the licensee will not be allowed to set up a data communication network infrastructure in Pakistan;

(c)             that the licensee will use only the authorized means of communication provided by the company or private data network operators for all inter-city, intra-city or international data transmission reception in accordance with the respective licenses granted to company or private data network operators;

(d)            yearly and half-yearly plans of update and expansion of Non Voice Communication Network Services is submitted to the Authority;

(e)             service staff of high level of know-how is available for efficient customer service;

(f)             a complete list of customers at the beginning and at the end of each year is submitted to the Authority. [This list will be required to be updated once every three months];

(g)            due care is exercised in granting access to users. [No minor shall be allowed access without certification from his parent/guardian, or educational institution in case of a student];

(h)            accurate and detailed bills are provided to the clients;

(i)              the subscribers are provided adequate documentation, training and software for use with the service and that this software copy is legal and registered, conforming to copyright and intellectual property right protection laws of the country;

(j)              the subscribers have been informed that neither the subscribers nor their authorized designated users are allowed to reproduce, re-distribute, re-transmit, publish, translate, transfer, or exploit, any information, software or other copyright material received through the service without legal authorization from the owner or licensee. Any subscriber can however, upload or download public domain information content through the service for his personal rise or non-commercial re-distribution. The subscriber will be responsible for ensuring that a program or information content is in public domain;

(k)            the programs or information content provided through the service are permissible in character and treatment and do not come into conflict with standards of morality and social values of people of Pakistan;

(l)              the text or programs or graphical images or multimedia content or dialogue or language transmitted through his service is not obscene, abusive or likely to: –

(i)            impair accepted moral standards and social values;

(ii)          give offence, violate or infringe upon the rights of any section of the public or injure the feelings of any class of persons, or

(iii)         hurt national sentiments;

(m)          the service shall not create problem or shall not be unsuitable directly or indirectly as to:-

(i)        bring contempt to the country or its people or tends to undermine integrity or solidarity of state;

(ii)       violate any provisions of the constitution of Pakistan or relevant law of Pakistan for the time being in force;

(iii)      promote or support sedition, terrorism, anarchy or violence in the country;

(iv)          bring contempt to the Defence Forces, Police Force or any other institution of Government of Pakistan or to divulge any secret information relating to Defence and other services;

(v)          contain any propaganda in favour of any foreign state having bearing on any point of dispute or against a friendly foreign state;

(n)           the service shall not in any way undermine Islam or ridicule, disparage or attack any religion, sect, caste or creed;

(o)           the service shall not glorify, vice, crime, violence, black-marketing, smuggling, bribery, corruption or any other social evil; and

(p)          the service shall not fan racial, sectarian, parochial, linguistic, regional or class hatred.



Specific Conditions of License

  1. 17.           Technical Standards. —The licensee shall comply with all technical standards set and imposed by the Authority from time to time, and shall submit to the Authority its plans for signalling, transmission, switching and synchronisation for the written approval by the Authority within 90 days of the issuence of the License.

  1. 18.     International Standards. —The licensee shall comply with related International Standards for the services provided under the license for non-voice communication network service.

  1. 19.     Quality of Service. —(1) The licensee shall provide the service on 24 hours per day, seven (7) days per week basis, at any location in the service area without interruption in accordance with applicable standards referred in Regulation (17) and (18).

(2)       The Operator shall monitor the performance of the terminal equipment used in his system and ensure that all such equipment remain functional round the clock. Any fault in any of the equipment is put right as early as possible e.g. within two hours in urban areas and within 6 hours for rural areas unless specifically allowed by the authority for a particular site that may be difficult to reach in shorter time than specified for repairs.

  1. 20.           Quality Measurement and Control. —The licensee shall, within 180 days of the date of issuance of the license, establish a network management system (NMS), and a station for quality measurement and control of services being provided.

  1. 21.           Events Initiating Investigations for Failure to Perform. — The Authority is empowered by law to commence an investigation concerning the licensee’s performance when one of the following events takes place: –

(a)           Failure to comply with the service provision and technical standards requirements;

(b)           Failure to comply with any of the performance obligations set forth in the license;

(c)           Partial or total interruption of the service for a continuous period of 120 hours in the service area;

(d)          Failure to comply with the quality of service requirements of the license;

(e)           Complaints in writing by 25% or more of the end-users to the service that the service does not conform to the quality and performance standards required by the license;

(f)            Violation, knowingly or negligently violates confidentiality and secrecy provisions of the license;

(g)           Use/installation of a connection to the company’s terminals or equipment which has not been approved by the Authority, or damages in any way to the “company network by use, installation or interconnection of equipment which have not been approved by the Authority;

(h)           Provision of telecommunications services, which are not authorized by the license;

(i)            Failure to provide information to the Authority as required by the laws of Pakistan and the license;

(j)            Failure to permit or impede inspections by the Authority as permitted by the laws of Pakistan as they exist or come into force from time to time;

(k)           Failure to maintain proper accounting systems for its services and separate clear records of account for its business;

(l)            Violation of the laws of Pakistan as they exist or come into force from time to time;

(m)         Failure to pay agreed license fees, annual license fees and interconnection charges; and

(n)           Violation of the terms of the license is brought to the notice of the Authority.




Relations with Customers



22.       Rates and Invoicing. — (1) The tariff regulations of non-voice communications service is forborne till such time the Authority feels necessary to regulate.

(2)           The licensee shall not charge discriminatory tariffs to the end-users.

(3)           The licensee shall be responsible for ensuring that network/ service tariffs are reasonable and cost based.

23.       Publication of Tariff. — (1) Whenever tariffs changes, the licensee shall make the revised tariffs readily accessible to the general public and publish them in at least two (2) newspapers with significant circulation throughout Pakistan, fourteen (14) days before they are put into effect.

(2)       The licensee shall send a copy of such publication or such part or parts thereof as appropriate, shall be sent to the Authority or any person who may request such a copy.


24.       Confidentiality of Telephone Connections. —The licensee shall not, permit any other person to monitor or disclose the content of any telecommunications carried on its system, except as required or permitted by law in Pakistan.


25.       Code of Commercial Practice. —The Licensee shall provide to each end-user during the first six months of its provision of the services, a code of commercial practices, practiced internationally and approved by the Authority.



Relations with Other Operators



  1. 26.           Interconnection with Networks.—The licensee shall, where necessary, interconnect its own systems with the licensed PSTN operators (company) on reasonable terms and conditions set out in interconnection agreements between the company and the licensee so as to make available to the end-user all the services they may require.

  1. 27.           Interconnection Agreement. —The interconnection agreement shall include, without limitation, the following:—

(a)           The method to be adopted to establish and maintain the connection;

(b)           The connecting points of the network in which the connection is to be made;

(c)           The capacity necessary to ensure reasonable quality of the signal, taking into account the overall capacity of the interconnecting network; and

(d)          The way to ensure that any signal is received with a quality consistent with the recommendations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

  1. 28.           Capacity and Quality for Interconnection.—The licensee shall meet any required installation capacity and demand of interconnection in services in accordance with the technical standards approved by the Authority.

  1. 29.           The Payment Methodology between the Licensee and the PTO’s.—The licensee and operator(s) of the interconnected network(s) shall mutually agree on tariff(s) structure and revenue sharing among themselves while signing the interconnect agreement.

  1. 30.           Collection and Sharing of Revenues.—The licensee shall honor its obligations under the interconnection agreement(s) to collect and share revenue with the company.

  1. 31.           Sanctions. ——In the event that the Authority determines, after an investigation, and pursuant to the procedures of due process established for the administrative and investigative processes that the licensee has committed an  infraction, or that the licensee has breached the license, the Authority without prejudice to Section 23 may impose one or all of the following sanctions:

(a)            A public apology by the licensee, at its own cost for its infraction in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of service to run for two (2) consecutive days;

(b)            Temporary suspension of the benefits of the license as they flow to the licensee, or in the case of serious infractions termination or revocation, cancellation of the license, and other action authorized to the Authority in the interest of the public; and

(c)             Any other sanction as may be appropriate in accordance with the laws and regulations in force in Pakistan and applicable to the service.

  1. 32.           Force Majeure. — (1) without prejudice to their rights under the license, neither the licensee nor the authority shall be held responsible nor suffer financial loss should his performance hereunder be delayed or prevented by circumstances of force majeure which shall include but not be limited to lockout, strike, riot, mutiny, civil commotion, fire, accident, Act of God, war, Government action or other reasons beyond the reasonable control of the licensee.

(2)       In the event of force majeure as defined above, either party shall notify the other party in writing within fourteen (14) days of its first occurring, and should it continue for a period exceeding six (6) months from the date of such notification, either party shall be entitled to terminate the license. Under this sub-regulation the right to terminate the license shall only apply to that part or parts, which are subject to force majeure.

  1. 33.           Miscellaneous Provisions. — (1) The terms of the license constitute the entire agreement between the parties hereto and suppresses all previous communications, representations or agreements, either oral or written, between licensee and the Authority, the parties hereto, with respect to the subject matter of the license.

(2)           The terms, undertakings and conditions of the license shall ensue to the benefit of and be binding upon the parties, licensee and their respective successors and assignees.

(3)        Save where the context otherwise requires, the singular includes the plural, the masculine includes the feminine and vice versa.