PTA has issued directives for mobile phone operators to replace standard ring back tone with awareness messages about COVID-19 preventive measures for creating awareness among the general public about preventive measures against Coronavirus.
The objective of this directive is to ensure the provision of un-interrupted telecom services by keeping the telecom sector prepared in view of the COVID-19 in Pakistan. The dependence of the general public/public and private sector organizations has increased manifold on uninterrupted telecommunication services due to the precautionary measures including social distancing and work from home.
All telecom operators are advised for preparing emergency plans for the provision of un-interrupted telecom services in the country including AJK & GB.
Guidelines for developing mechanisms for emergency preparedness/response which include basic resources should remain available at all levels for the smooth functioning of voice/data services and networks. All operators 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 during lock down 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