May 26, 2008

PTA Busts Illegal Gateway Exchange in Karachi

pta zonal director and fia checking the equipment


Islamabad: In pursuance of their efforts against grey telephony, a combined team of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and FIA has busted an illegal international gateway exchange today in a residential area of Karachi. According to details, the illegal setup was detected through the Technical Facility recently installed by PTA to monitor the illegal business of telecom through out the country. It is the first illegal operation detected through this state of the art facility made operational on 1st May this year. Upon investigation and confirmation, a successful raid was conducted at a residential bungalow in Defense Housing Authority Karachi and an operational international gateway exchange was seized.

The setup was using 2048 kbps bandwidth for international connectivity while hundreds of GSM SIMs were being used for local call termination. The confiscated equipment includes 06 Quantim Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateways (with 16/24 ports each) and a rack of 80 GSM/WLL Telular devices along with other accessories. It is estimated that the setup has caused revenue loss worth Rs.25 million in last 10 months of operations. Further investigations are underway by FIA and it is expected that allied setups would also be unearthed shortly.

It may be mentioned that PTA has acquired a Technical Solution for addressing the menace of grey traffic brought into the country through illegal means in September 2007, he added.

It is a proven solution which is currently being used by various telecom operators across the globe. The list includes AT&T, Telecom Egypt, Saudi Telecom and Brazil Telecom, to name a few.

Grey telephony is a term referred to the illegal telecom traffic in which calls from foreign countries are brought in the country as local calls while using illegal means, which is an offence under Telecom Reorganization Act 1996.


Khurram Ali Mehran

Deputy Director (PR)