Published on September 4th, 2009 | by Babar Bhatti0
PTA Orders Monitoring of Telephony Traffic
Monitoring of voice and data traffic has been a controversial issue in Pakistan because of the cost and effort which will be incurred by the service providers (ISPs, mobile network operators etc). Now PTA has released draft regulations regarding REAL-TIME monitoring of telephony services, with the usual threat of license suspension if a service provider does not comply with the regulation. There should be a debate about whether this is the right approach (see this previous post for background) and concerns over privacy should be addressed.
Monitoring System(s) means a system which includes such equipment and/ or accessories to be installed and deployed for the purpose of monitoring traffic links and also differentiating between type of information streams (voice or data), essential for regulating all telecom landing station licensees and services to be provided by the landing station licensee.
Per PTA regulation, each LDI licensee and Access Providers shall establish the System on its own cost in accordance with these regulations as determined and required by the Authority from time to time at the PTA designated premises.
All landing station and infrastructure licensee(s), shall establish a Monitoring System with its interface to the Authority, on its own cost for the purpose of monitoring of telecommunication traffic (voice and data) within one hundred and twenty days of the notification of these regulations.
I have included an extract of the requirements from the PTA regulation below. I think this will be heavily debated over the coming days.
Any Monitoring system or System deployed shall comprise the mandatory feature of monitoring and controlling grey traffic with the minimum of the following features and shall ensure compatibility to provide such information as required by the Authority, where applicable:
(a) Capability to monitor, control, measure and record traffic in real-time;
(b) Capability for complete signaling record, including but not limited for billing;
(c) Capability to accurately measure the quality of service;
(d) A complete list of the Pakistani customers; and
(e) Complete details of capacity leased by the licensee(s) to their customers.
Further details from the regulation after the break.
Subject to the mutual consent in writing of all, operational and nonoperational LDI licensees or Access Providers or some operational LDI licensees or Access Providers as the case may be, for procuring, establishing, deploying and maintaining of the System, the Authority may allow deployment of such System collectively on the basis of a cost effective solution.
* “Probe” means a device used to monitor, detect and segregate traffic (voice and data) with respect to speed, links, formats, signaling information and protocols and be able to control undesired traffic;
* “System(s)” means a system which includes but not limited to hardware, software, firmware, peripherals, cables, connectors and internal and external interfaces to be installed and deployed for the monitoring, aggregating, measuring and reconciling of traffic, monitoring and controlling of grey traffic, removal of asymmetry, billing and quality of the licensed service.
Failure to fulfill financial obligations arising out of the mutual arrangement under sub-regulation (2) of regulation 4 or under sub-regulation (5) of regulation 4 of these Regulations, the following actions may be initiated by the Authority:
(i) Restriction of future upgrade/expansion of the system/ traffic links of the Licensee(s) and Access Provider(s);
(ii) Suspension of the switches/circuits/ traffic links of the Licensee(s) and Access Providers proportionate to the relative financial obligation; and
(iii) Suspension of the facilitation extended to the Licensee(s) or Access
Provider(s) under sub-regulation (2) of regulation 4, following which a separate System shall be established under sub-regulation (1) of regulation 4 within sixty (60) days of suspension of facilitation shall be established separately.