April 02, 2007

Three-day SATRC Workshop Starts

participants of workshop


Islamabad:  Three-day South Asian Telecom Regulatorsâ?? Council (SATRC) Workshop on â??Interconnection in Convergenceâ? started in Islamabad on Monday under the aegis of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

In his inaugural address, Mr. Noor-ud-Din Baqai, Member (Telecom) Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) said that, despite the diversities within the region, Asia-Pacific is leading the world in Broadband and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) development. It has tremendous potentials and technological resources which can be properly harnessed only with joint efforts and cooperation of Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) member countries. The region has to respond rapidly to the era of convergence and coming up with the appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks to go hand in hand with the converged networks.

He said that technological changes are leading to growing demand and innovations are significantly modifying the structural features of the telecom industry with emerging convergence across fixed, mobile, Information Technology (IT) and media sectors.

Mr. Baqai said that, in a liberalized telecom market fair, transparent and independent regulatory regime is the single item which can lead to definite success. He thanked PTA for comprehensive arrangements for this important event and to the experts from various SATRC member countries for their presence and contributions.

Dr. Muhammad Yaseen, Member (Technical), PTA said that convergence has been continuously evolving in telecom networks since the market deregulation and privatization due to the innovations and fierce competition among telecom operators to increase the market share. He said that other driving force is the consumer interest for single point of interface, single bill, cheaper and increased access to integrated contents.

Although convergence has impacted the telecom sector with positive note but certain challenges for operators and regulators are creeping up as well. Such challenges arise from the very nature of New Generation Network (NGN) and present hybrid technologies, he added.

He said that in this scenario, clear policy directions and enabling regulations could help the industry to reap the benefits of the migration of NGN as well as to reduce their investment and commercial risks of investors. The licensing and interconnection regime may be required to be well defined for the services and networks.

On this occasion, Executive Director APT, Amrendra Narayan said in his statement that SATRC Workshop will assist the Regulatory bodies of member countries in acquiring knowledge and skills in regulatory matters relating to Interconnection in the present multi-operator, multi-service, multi-technology environment. In addition, it will address the key issues of Interconnection in the era of convergence and will discuss some of the best regional and international practices. It also has the added benefit of providing participants with a unique opportunity to network with individuals from fellow organizations and countries in a similar position, as well as those countries further along the path to open competition.

He said that this workshop will take another large step forward towards the implementation of the SATRC Action Plan and will further progress the work within the region. He thanked the Ministry of Information Technology of Pakistan for their offer to host the workshop. He also appreciated the excellent arrangements made by the host Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.

It may be noted here that this is a training workshop in which about 18 delegates from different countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and representatives from APT Secretariat will participate. In addition to foreign delegates, representatives from local telecom industry will also attend the Workshop.


Khurram Ali Mehran

Deputy Director (PR)