In a positive development for the Pakistani cellular subscribers, the industry players are reported to be working on national roaming services.
In case if you are wondering, when national roaming is operational and in place, users of one network (e.g. Jazz) will be able to avail cellular services of another network (e.g Ufone) in areas where Jazz isn’t available but Ufone is.
The collaboration is aimed at making connectivity less hassle-free and more useful for Pakistani mobile phone users who face frequent connectivity issues, especially while on the move.
According to well-placed sources, the regulator, PTA, is taking the lead on the national roaming initiative, helping the industry players agree on terms and conditions.
The initiative may be in its final stages and as per our sources, things are already settled between operators who are now working on the nitty-gritty of the mechanism.
National roaming will be a massive development for Pakistan as being forced to switch networks while moving between certain areas and cities continues to be a big hassle for users.
The trouble only aggravates when users have a single-SIM phone and have to manually change the SIM cards every now and then to get signals or data connectivity.
This is especially cumbersome in far-flung areas or in smaller cities of the country.
Through national roaming, users will be rid of this hassle as their phones will automatically switch to the available network regardless of what network they’re on.
Currently, only Ufone and SCO have a Bilateral Roaming Service Agreement that offers roaming voice & SMS services in AJ&K and GB to Ufone subscribers.
National roaming services might see their pilot launch in Baluchistan sometime soon where connectivity and network availability issues are most severe.
After that, national roaming will follow in other remote and underserved areas of the country where network expansion is either challenging or makes little business case for multiple operators.
More details on the initiative will be shared by ProPakistani as and when they’re received.