The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has raided and seized 15 IP-based gateways that connected inbound voice traffic from abroad into the country. Included in the seizures are gateways to the regional GSM cellular networks. The raids have been occurring every month since April.
Pakistan regulates and controls all international inbound and outbound voice and data traffic. The National Exchequer operated by the PTA has been losing billions of rupees over the past year as technology solutions have found their way into the telecom industry inside the country.
A number of foreign nationals have been arrested along with local entrepreneurs who have been creating the “grey” network infrastructure. It’s currently unclear when deregulation of access into the country will happen. The grey traffic is being monitored and investigated by a U.S.-designed system developed by Narus, one of the biggest telecom intelligence software companies around. Narus signed a contract with the PTA in September of 2007.
Interestingly enough, in September of this year, the PTA emphasized that it doesn’t have the mandate nor is it envisioned that voice, SMS or emails will be monitored.VOIP traffic terminating into the country’s PSTN network continues to be a significant area of investigation and crack down.