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REGULATION, 2011

NUMBER ALLOCATION & ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS, 2011

[Gazette of Pakistan, Extraordinary, Part-II, 20th July, 2011]

S.R.O. 718 (I)/2011, dated 9.5.2011.—In exercise of the powers conferred under clause (o) of sub-section (2) of Section 5 of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996 (Act XVII of 1996) the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is pleased to make the following Regulations:

PART-I

PRELIMINARY

1.  Short Title and Commencement.—(1) These Regulations shall be called as "Number Allocation & Administration Regulations, 2011".

(2)  They shall come into force from the date of gazette notification of these regulations.

2.  Definitions.—(1) In these regulations, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context:—

(i)         "Applicant" means a licensee of PTA or any other person(s) requiring allocations of numbering capacity and considered by the Authority as eligible for allocation of a number resource;

(ii)        "Area code" means a set of 2, 3 or 4 digits, beginning with '0', at the start of a geographic number, indicating the part of Pakistan where:–

            (a)        a customer, to whom the geographic number is issued, is located; or

            (b)        a service, content service, or a service associated with a service or content service, is supplied or operated.

(iii)       "Authority" means the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority established under the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996;

(iv)       "Call-by-call carrier selection" means that the end-user, in connection with each individual call, may choose another provider by using a short code or an ordinary subscriber number;

(v)        "Carrier pre-selection" means a permanent agreement to the effect that the end-user generally wants to use a specific provider other than the provider with whom the end-user otherwise has a customer relationship, for transport of all or parts of the end-user's outgoing calls;

(vi)       "Carrier selection" means a mechanism that permits customers, while subscribing to a specific local access network operator, to choose between telecommunications carriers for carrying part of their calls;

(vii)      "Country code" means a set of digits allocated by the ITU that indicates the country to which an international call is made;

(viii)     "Customer Number" means the Number (or Numbers) which any telecommunication operator's system recognizes as relating to a particular customer of that operator;

(ix)       "Emergency number" means a number which, in an emergency or disaster situation, makes the public able to call the public emergency service;

(x)        "End users" means the final customers of service providers including closed user groups and those providing services only to organizations under substantively the same ownership; which also mean users of telecommunications networks or telecommunications services who do not make such telecommunications networks or telecommunications services available to others on a commercial basis;

(xi)       "Exchange service area” means an area:–

            (a)        surrounding an exchange to which blocks of numbers are assigned; and

            (b)        defined by the service provider to which the numbers are allocated as the area in which the numbers will be made available for issue.

(xii)      "Free phone service" means a service in which:–

            (a)        a customer issued with a number is charged for calls to the number for the service; and

            (b)        the call charge for calls made to the number for the service from a standard telephone service (other than a public mobile telecommunications service) is zero.

(xiii)     "Geographic number" means a number from the national numbering plan where part of its digit structure contains geographic significance used for routing calls to the physical location of the network termination point of the subscriber to whom the number has been assigned;

(xiv)     “indirect access" means a situation where a customer contracts to buy a telecommunication service from an operator to which the customer is not directly connected and where the second operator pays the first operator for the use of that connection;

(xv)      "Local number" means subscriber number and includes a set of digits that is a component of a geographic number and that, when dialed, gives the caller access to:-

            (a)        a customer at a place that has the same area code as the caller; or

            (b)        a service, content service, or a service associated with a service or content service, supplied or operated at a place that has the same area code as the caller.

(xvi)     "National rate" means the rate for calls within the national call area, the area being defined by the telecommunications operator serving the customer;

(xvii)    "Network operators" means the operator of a telecommunication network, usually, but not always, with a Public Telecommunications Operator license, which provides, amongst other things, network services;

(xviii)   "Number series" means a block of numbers from the national numbering plan for telephony, ISDN and mobile communications that has the same initial digits;

(xix)     "Number Translation" means a facility whereby calls made to special numbers such as free phone, part paid, premium rate, national rate and personal numbers are directed to their real numbers following translation of the special number concerned;

(xx)      "Operator" means any person authorized to provide telecommunication services not being prohibited from receiving any financial benefit from such provision, and obliged, by virtue of provisions in the license authorizing provision of such services, to adopt a Numbering Plan for such Numbers as may have been allocated by the Authority to that person in accordance with the Numbering Regulations;

(xxi)     "Over-ride" means the ability of the CPS customer to choose alternative operators to their pre-selected operator(s) on a call-by-call basis;

(xxii)    "Parties" means and includes licensees or such other allottees authorized to use the number resource under these regulations;

(xxiii)   "Person" means and includes an individual, partnership, association, company, joint ventures, trust or corporation etc.

(xxiv)   "Premium Rate Service" means a service provided by telephone, charged at a higher rate than a normal call because the price includes both the cost of conveying the call and a charge levied by the provider of the service accessed, and a service for which the call charge for calls made by a standard telephone service is at a premium rate, independent of content or delivery technology;

(xxv)    "Primary Assignment" Assignment of numbering resources by the Authority to public telecommunications network operators and public-use telecommunications services providers, henceforth known as operators and providers;

(xxvi)   "Providers of telecommunications networks or telecommunications services" means parties who, on a commercial basis, provide networks or services that are made available to a number of end-users or providers of telecommunications networks or telecommunications services who have not been specified in advance;

(xxvii)  "Providers of telecommunications networks or telecommunications services to end-users" means parties who make networks or services available to several end-users on a commercial basis;

(xxviii) "Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)" means the telecommunications networks of the major operators, on which calls can be made to all customers of the PSTN;

(xxix)   "Recipient" means the receiver of a numbering resource assignment;

(xxx)    "Secondary Assignment" means assignment subsequent to primary assignment carried out by operators or providers to their customers during normal usage of the resources assigned by the Authority;

(xxxi)   "Selection" means the opportunity by the user to select the required access, transport or service providers of his choice. In some cases no selection but only identification is possible;

(xxxii)  "Service Provider" means a person whose business comprises the provision, for reward to the public, of any service delivered entirely by means of a telecommunication system it includes those (whether network operators or not) providing services over telecommunication networks to the public, where such activity comprises substantially all of their business, which also includes service providers means those who provide services over telecommunication networks to the public-at-large; they may install their own networks (i.e. they may also be network operators), or, in the case of independent service providers, use the networks of others;

(xxxiii) "Short code" means a 3-digit or 4-digit number giving access to various services;

(xxxiv) "Subscriber" means any natural or legal person who is party to a contract with the provider of publically available telecommunications services for the supply of such services;

(xxxv)  "Universal service" means a provision in the licenses requiring the licensee to provide certain services to all specified persons; and

(xxxvi) "Universal Access Number (UAN)" means a service that allows a subscriber with several terminating lines in any number of locations or zones to be reached with a unique directory number from the categories determined by the Authority under these regulations;

(2)  Words and expressions used but not defined herein shall bear the meanings given thereto in the Act and the Rules.

PART-II

NUMBER ALLOCATIONS

3.  Criteria for the Eligibility of Applicants for Number Allocations.—(1) All the organizations possessing a valid license issued by the Authority to establish, maintain & operate telecommunication system and provide services are eligible to apply for allocations of numbering capacity.

(2)        Organizations other than Authority licensees are also eligible for allocation of Short Codes as well as Universal Access Number (UAN) and Toll free numbers.

(3)        Organizations requiring allocations of numbering capacity not covered by the sub-regulation (1) and (2) may seek a sub-allocation from those eligible to apply:

Provided the sub-allocations shall be fairly and reasonably available from those with rights to allocations of numbers from the Authority.

Provided further that all applications from foreign missions shall be forwarded through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for all Government Organizations shall be forwarded through the controlling ministry.

4. Timing of Applications.—Applications for numbering allocations shall not be made more than six months prior to the planned in-service date.

5. Application Procedure.—(1) The following information shall be supplied in all applications on a prescribed application form available atwww.pta.gov.pk for the allocation of numbers:–

(a)        the applicant's name, Company’s Registration Number (if applicable), postal address and the name, telephone number, facsimile number and e-mail address of a contact person;

(b)        the name and signature of the person authorized by the applicant to request allocation of numbers;

(c)        the kind of service for which numbers are requested;

(d)       the date when the service for which the numbers are requested shall stop operating, or date by which the numbers shall be vacated (if applicable);

(e)        details of the license under which it operates;

(f)        National Tax Number Certificate of the applicant;

(g)        Copy of Computerized National Identity Card of the authorized representative of the applicant;

(h)        Backend numbers of each intended terminating location. If Primary Rate Interface is to be used as a back-end number, split Primary Rate Interface numbers may be allowed against different UAN(s) as long as different UAN(s) terminate at a different handling (operator) stations;"

(i)         Detail of services for which the allocation in required;

(j)         statement that the numbers shall be used in accordance with the Rules and these Regulations; and

(k)        any other information that the applicant considers necessary or appropriate to justify the application.

(2) The Authority will assign resources after the applicant has fulfilled all the requirements within a reasonable time period but not beyond thirty (30) days.

(3) Ineffective and inefficient use of previous assignments to the same applicant, if any, shall lead to a rejection of the application.

6.  Additional Information from Applicants.—(1) In addition to the information required under Regulation 5 the following information shall be included in an application for the allocation of:–

(2)        Geographic Numbers,—

(a)        the reasons for applying for the allocation of numbers of geographic significance;

(b)        the exchange service area for which the numbers are requested;

(c)        the region for which the numbers are requested;

(d)       the detail of requested numbers for use in the service area;

(e)        the detail of other numbers allocated to the applicant for use in that exchange service area;

(f)        the data as per the "Utilization Performa", where applicable at the time of number allocation request to the Authority; and

(g)        the "VLR Data" by cellular mobile licensees as and when required by the Authority.

(3)        Special Services Numbers,—

(a)        an assessment of the impact on end-users including the structure of call charging;

(b)        the level of awareness of end-users about the numbers and the services that is to be supplied using the numbers:

            Provided that this information is only required for a requested number, if no other special services number, as the requested number, has previously been used.

(c)        cogent reasons for allocation of special services numbers; and

(d)       whether or not the number is for use only in connection with the supply of services for which the call charge for calls to the number, made using a standard telephone service other than a public mobile telecommunications service.

(4)  Emergency and Helpline Numbers,—

(a)        How people/household will convey first hand emergency information to the said service?

(b)        What equipment would be used to originate and terminate the calls?

(c)        What media would be used to connect the calls?

(d)       What all communication facilities are available at the premises?

(e)        Preferably the requirement may be supported with diagrammatic layout of communication facilities available or planned to be made available in the near future.

7. Consideration of Applications.—While making number allocations, the Authority shall consider the following–

(a)        the provisions of the relevant license conditions;

(b)        the views of the applicant and other interested parties;

(c)        these Regulations;

(d)       the proof of payment of application fee and any other fee; and

(e)        any other matter that may be considered fit by the Authority.

8. Consultation on Applications.—(1) Additionally and in the exceptional circumstances described below, the Authority may choose to consult on the relevant details of an application for numbering capacity or an application either for expansion of an existing allocation or for a change of use of an existing allocation.

(2)  Such consultation shall normally take place where, in the Authority's judgment, the allocation of numbering capacity while consistent with the structure of the Plan and with these Regulations would be unusual or might set a precedent in such a way that the views of interested parties shall be sought.

(3) Such consultation shall normally commence within 30 days of receipt of the application.

(4) Where the Authority determines that consultation on any or all of the details of an application shall compromise national security it may consult on only those details which do not compromise the same.

(5) Where such a consultation has commenced, any comments on the application shall be sent to the Authority within 30 days or any other period notified at the time of consultation by the Authority:

Provided that the Authority shall consider the responses and advise the applicant and respondents of its decision within a maximum period of 30 days from the end of the consultation period.

9.  Timescale for Handling Applications for Numbering Capacity.—(1) The Authority shall use all reasonable endeavors to make an allocation in accordance with these Regulations in response to applications for numbering capacity within a maximum period of 30 days after the complete information required by the Authority has been provided,–

(2)  The following may be the exceptions to the period mentioned in sub-regulation (1):

(a)        where additional information is required from the applicant;

(b)        where a period of consultation is required, to be initiated by the Authority;

(c)        where there are significant issues relating to the application that cannot be reasonably handled within that period;

(d)       where the use of the numbers is dependent upon receipt by the applicant of a license under the Act; or

(e)        where the Authority judges that an alternative period of time is justified.

(3)  Where the Authority judges that an exception to the normal period is required, then it shall inform the applicant in writing of the reasons for the exception and of the revised period:

Provided that this period shall generally not exceed 90 days from receipt of the application containing all the information required.

(4)  Where the number resource has been cancelled/withdrawn from a user, it is to be held for "Sterilization" and the maximum Quarantine period will be 90 days and further allocations will only be made after expiry of the said Quarantine period:

Provided that the quarantine period of thirty (30) days shall be applicable in the case of UAN(s).

10. Refusal of Applications for Numbering Capacity.—(1) The Authority may refuse an application for an allocation of numbering capacity, or may not grant the application in full, or may attach specific conditions to the allocation which are consistent with these Regulations related to the use and management of the numbering capacity allocated, having taken into account the criteria for eligibility.

(2) When the Authority refuses an application for numbering capacity, or does not grant the application in full, or attaches specific conditions to the allocation then the Authority may inform the applicant, in writing, of the reasons.

(3) The Authority may, following consultation with the applicant, make an alternative allocation that has the potential to satisfy the applicant's requirements without conflicting with the criteria which caused the application to be refused.

(4) Where the Authority refuses an application for numbering capacity, or does not grant the application in full, or attaches specific conditions to the allocation (on allocation or subsequently), the applicant may write to the Authority within 30 days disputing the reasons given by the Authority for its decision or giving further information for consideration regarding the application:

Provided that the Authority shall consider the request and respond to the applicant within 30 days.

11. Resource Administration.—In order to have a transparent and non-discriminatory allocation of the scarce numbering resource in the competitive environment, the following criteria shall be taken into account:–

(a)        the Authority shall be responsible for the administration of primary assignments, in accordance with criteria of equity and transparency;

(b)        secondary assignments shall be the responsibility of the operators/service providers under the supervision of the Authority;

(c)        the primary assignment shall be treated as surrendered/withdrawn when:–

            (i)         the primary assignment is not utilized within a period of one year;

            (ii)        the primary assignment shall stand surrendered to the Authority upon discontinuation of O&M contract between the parties for re-allocation to meet the demands by other operators.

(d)       numbering resources shall be assigned in proportion to the needs of the applicant and in a transparent and timely fashion; and

(e)        the assignment of toll free numbering resources shall be on chronological order basis and subject to approval of the Authority.

12. Numbering Resource Allocation and Utilization Procedure.—(1) The following criteria shall be used for allocation of Carrier Selection Code, Carrier Access Codes, Common Short Codes, Intelligent Network (IN) Platform Service Code, Mobile Network Code (MNC), Network Destination Code (DNC) and Premium Rate Service Numbers and Universal Access Numbers.

(2)        General.—

(a)        All applicants shall submit candidatures for the allocation of code on the prescribed application form available at www.pta.gov.pk;

(b)        the process for allocation of number resource for provision of telecommunication service or as otherwise specified by the Authority, shall be open and transparent;

(c)        the number allocation shall be made in chronological order on first come first served basis from the available resources by the Authority. However, the Authority may consider the request of the applicant for allocation of specific resource number(s) and the decision of the Authority shall be final:

                        Provided that in case of more than one request for same code the Authority’s decision will be final and binding.

(d)       the short codes shall contain four digits, or as determined by the Authority from time to time, from the available numbering resource.

(3)        Emergency Service Codes.—

(a)        emergency codes shall only be allocated to those organizations working under the umbrella of Government of Pakistan or such organizations providing philanthropic and humanitarian services throughout the country, provincial level or in telecom regions;

(b)        emergency services shall be extended by all telecom operators to the subscribers/ consumers without payment of any charges purely on humanitarian grounds from their respective telecom networks:

            Explanation: Emergency services means and includes Police Emergency, Fire Brigade, Ambulance Services or other as specify/declared by the Authority as Emergency Service from time to time.

(4)        Obligatory Helpline Service Codes.—

(a)        The criteria for allocation of Obligatory Helpline Service Codes shall be the same as specified for Emergency Helpline Service in sub-regulation (3) above:

            Provided that the Obligatory Helpline Services shall be provided on normal tariff to be charged from the consumers.

(5)        Common Short Codes.—

(a)        The common short code shall be allocated to licensees. Licensee shall make Service Level Agreement (SLA) with their respective Access Service Providers and provide the copy of SLA alongwith the application for allocation of common short code.

(6)        Carrier Selection Codes (CS).—

            The Carrier Selection Codes shall be allocated to LDI licensees only.

(7)        Signaling Point Codes (SPC).—

(a)        The Signaling Point Code shall be allocated to all licensed operators for telecommunication system as per the ITU-T recommendations;

(b)        The SPC should be efficiently utilized and managed;

(c)        The allocation of a SPC in national network does not entitle the licensee to utilize the same as an ISPC;

(d)       The SPC shall stand withdrawn if not utilized within a period of one year from the date of allocation.

(8)        International Signaling Point Codes (ISPC).—

(a)        The International Signaling Point Code shall be allocated to LDI licensees as per ITU-T recommendations. ISPC should be efficiently utilized and managed and only one single ISPC will be allocated to a signaling point;

(b)        ISPC resources to be allocated with fairness and equity;

(c)        The allocation of ISPC does not imply ownership by the licensee and shall be allocated on non-exclusive basis; and

(d)       The ISPC shall stand withdrawn if not utilized within a period of one year from the date of allocation.

(9)        Issuer Identifier Number (UN).—

            Issuer Identifier Number shall be issued to recognized operating agencies which are authorized by Authority to issue SIM Cards within Pakistanas per ITU-T recommendations.

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