Pakistan News

Ministry told to restrict jammers’ frequency in jails

Ministry told to restrict jammers’ frequency in jails

LAHORE: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has asked the interior ministry to stop the jails in Punjab and Sindh from increasing the frequency of jammers that results in ‘congestion’ in mobile phone service in adjoining areas.

The PTA has taken up the issue with the interior ministry at the request of the telecom operators. The interior ministry is holding a meeting in this regard with the Inspector General Prisons (Punjab), the home secretary, PTA and cellular company officials here on Monday (today) to come up with a solution to the problem.

The people of the residential areas near jails are facing problems in using their mobile phones because of congestion (no signals or frequent dropping of signals.) “A large number of people living in the surrounding localities of jails are unable to use phone as jammers apparently block their incoming and outgoing calls/SMS and internet speed. Even people suffer in localities which are far from the prisons,” the interior ministry was informed.

“The officials of prisons enhance the blocking frequency of jammers that cause blockade of mobile phone signals to big surrounding areas. The jails are supposed to install the jammers to block the signals only on the (jail) premises but not the outside,” an official told Dawn.

There are 32 prisons in different cities of Punjab mostly situated in the center of populous areas with considerable high tele-density. These jails were established initially in the suburbs of the city but now increasing populations and residential housing societies are surrounding them.

“As a result the quality of service of various cellular companies is being affected in these localities and customers are not getting good quality 3G services,” the official said.

He said the franchise and retail outlets of cellular phone companies were unable to proceed business activities, including balance upload and transfer of money through branchless banking services, due to jammers (blocking frequency).

The deployment of these jammers is carried out by the National Radio and Telecom Corporation (NRTC).

Earlier, a joint optimisation was carried out by the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB), NRTC and PTA to ensure that neither cell phone signals of beyond agreed level are available on the premises nor jammers’ signals go beyond the respective jail premises. “But it is not being followed,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2015

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