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PTA seeks end to illegal GSM booster imports

ISLAMABAD: The Telecommunications Authority of Pakistan (PTA) on Wednesday asked the Federal Revenue Council to stop illegal imports of GSM amplifiers that cause interference in the frequency bands of mobile companies and deteriorate the quality of cellular services in the area where these amplifiers are installed.

In a letter to FBR Customs Members, the telecommunications authority said that only licensed Mobile Operators (CMOs) are authorized to install such devices on users’ premises.

“However, it was observed through field experience, complaints from operators and subsequent field monitoring by the Frequency Allocation Committee that there is an increasing tendency for sub-standard ‘Boosters / Amplifiers / Repeaters’ to be used by the general public, ”The Letter PTA said.

Only CMOs are authorized to import GSM amplifiers. All other licensed and unlicensed are not authorized to import equipment such as GSM amplifiers, said the PTA. “It has been noted that GSM amplifiers are available on the open market and the installation of such devices by end users is increasingly causing interference with existing mobile operators and PTA licensees, causing degradation of service and poor service quality for end users,” letter added.

PTA also said that most GSM amplifiers are Chinese and do not have the manufacturer and model number written on them.

The letter was written after complaints from mobile companies that about 25 percent of complaints about poor signal quality were due to GSM amplifiers installed in these areas.

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