The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has finalized the International Mobile Roaming Service Guidelines for 2024.

As revealed in a document obtained by NetMag, these guidelines are intended to govern the provision of International Mobile Roaming Services by cellular mobile operators (CMOs) across all provinces of Pakistan, including Azad Kashmir & Gilgit-Baltistan.

Under these guidelines, International Mobile Roaming (IMR) Services will only be activated upon a request received from a consumer via email, SMS, mobile application, USSD, helpline, etc.

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Upon receiving a request from a consumer within Pakistan, CMOs must activate IMR service within four hours. For requests originating from outside Pakistan, the service should be activated within 24 hours following proper verification.

Operators are mandated to send a confirmation message to the consumer upon IMR activation, along with a request number. They must also inform consumers of international carrier-wise tariffs and any applicable charges. Additionally, operators are required to provide consumers with a list of precautions to prevent bill shocks while using IMR services.

IMR service must be deactivated promptly upon receipt of a deactivation request from the consumer. Operators must provide a dedicated deactivation webpage for IMR service-related information on their website or other communication platforms.

Operators are obligated to provide clear, accurate, and conspicuous information about IMR services and tariffs to consumers through personalized automatic messages when entering a visited country.

In cases where multiple international roaming partners exist at the same destination, operators are required to connect consumers to foreign carriers with lower tariffs.

Operators must establish a universal toll-free USSD for consumers to request information on IMR service tariffs and billed amounts via SMS while roaming internationally. Additionally, a 24/7 toll-free number must be provided on social media platforms (such as Twitter, Facebook) for handling consumer complaints.

For postpaid consumers, operators must clearly communicate the minimum security deposit required for IMR service activation. Alerts must be issued at 50%, 80%, 90%, and 100% usage of IMR service, with immediate blocking of the service upon reaching 100%.

The guidelines have been published on the PTA website, and public and expert feedback is being sought over the next two weeks.

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