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SPECIAL REPORT

WORLD TRADE FOR GLOBALIZATION

COLUMN FOR THE RECORD
SOCIETY PAKISTAN AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CALL CENTERS BUSINESS IN PAKISTAN

 

CALL CENTRES BUSINESS IN PAKISTAN

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By MUHAMMAD USMAN KHAN

Oct 06 - 12, 2003 
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The access to call centers is normally through 0800 Free Phone Numbers. The typical services are airline booking/confirmation; help line, banking, hotels, reservations, medical prescription entries, insurance claims, data entries etc. The overseas customers' calls are routed to call centers in Pakistan where trained operators respond to the inquiries of the customers. This service requires quick response, high quality communication links and efficient handling without any noticeable time delay.

Government of Pakistan has announced policy for the establishment of Call Centers in Pakistan to provide service to offshore companies. Govt. of Pakistan is eager to search for new opportunities for the betterment of services and generation of additional revenue for the benefit of its shareholders. Govt. of Pakistan is not only interested in revenue generation but also interested in generating new employment opportunities. The Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) in the form of Information Technology would be generating plenty of employment opportunities. The call center application is one of the products of Information Technology applications. It has enormous growth potential due to unprecedented growth in service industries of the developed countries. Being labor-intensive, call center business is becoming a major source of employment generation in developing countries like Pakistan and India where the labor rates are comparatively low and educated class is fluent in English language. Apart from employment opportunities, this business would become one of the major sources of foreign exchange earning for the country as well.

CALL CENTER CONCEPT AND CONFIGURATION

The call center industry typically employs packet switched technology for both voice and data communication. The access to call centers is normally through 0800 Free Phone Numbers. The typical services are airline booking/confirmation, help line, banking, hotels, reservations, medical prescription entries, insurance claims, data entries etc. The customer calls are routed to a call center to overseas destination where trained operators respond to the inquiries of the customers. The queries of the customers are satisfied by on-line through data input on computer systems of the companies. The customer is oblivious to the fact that an operator attending the call is located in an overseas destination. This service requires quick response, high quality communication links and efficient handling without any noticeable time delay.

Following procedure is laid down for streamlining the provision, operation and maintenance of these services in the country. PTCL will provide connectivity for establishment of these Call Centers. Chief Engineer (PSP), PTCL HQs Islamabad, shall do registration of Call Center Business. Chief Engineer (PSP) will also issue formal notification of registration to all concerned in PTCL.

INTERFACE

D.E (VAS) will act as one window for registration, issue of Demand Note for international connectivity and provision of the facility

REGISTRATION OF DEMAND

Application forms are available in the office of Divisional Engineer Value Added Services (VAS) Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. These forms are also available on WEBSITE of PTCL. Photocopy of the form can also be used for registration. Applications will be submitted along-with photocopies of the following documents:

A NIC/Company registration
B National Tax No.
C Financial Status for last three years. (Please attach bank, trade references and total return)
D Name of partner(s) with contract specifying requirements and intent at foreign end.

 

 

BANDWIDTH

Here are two ways to get connected to remote office.

a) Optical Fiber
b) VSAT

a) Operator of Call Center will be provided bandwidth on SEA-ME-WE-3 on half circuit basis. 2nd half circuit will be arranged by the call center operator. Sanctioning procedure of clear international circuit already exists in the SOP for ISPs/Data and Software exporters, same procedure will be adopted. Tariff of software exporter will be applicable. Operator will enter into lease agreement for call centers. DG (I/C) and G.Ms, OTR Islamabad/Karachi shall be responsible for providing International Bandwidth from ITMC (Pakistan) to ITMC (Overseas). Domestic Bandwidth from ITMC to Call Center premises shall be provided by the Local Region of PTCL in coordination with Chief Engineer (M&O)-I and GM OFS Islamabad.

b) Govt. has recently granted permission to install Satellite Dish for SCPC connectivity but only to Call Center. This will be own arrangement of the Call Center.

PROVISIONING OF FACILITY

Initial demand note will be issued by D.E (VAS) who will coordinate for provisioning of the facility on receipt of paid copy of Demand Note.

BILLING

Subsequent billing for international connectivity will be done by Director International Accounts PTCL H/Q Islamabad if bandwidth on SEA-ME-WE-3. If Call Center is using Satellite Dish SCPC connectivity, the billing will have no concern to PTCL.

CUSTOMER FACILITATION

1. Code 128 is available for registration of faults of ISP/Data/Software exporters at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. DE IT Maintenance Support will be responsible for rectification of faults and satisfactory service to the valued customers.

2. In case of regions, other than Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad, DE's nominated in each region by the respective GM's to handle ISP/Data Software demand will also handle this demand following above laid down procedure (list of all such DE's enclosed).

3. It will be ensured that the call center companies are not provided with connectivity between the call centers and their affiliated subsidiaries dealing in software/Data export, ISPs or similar business.

 

 

4. To facilitate the customers, complete book comprising policy, application forms copy of agreement and tariff are attached which should be provided to all concerned officers.

PTCL POSITIONING REGARDING FACILITATION OF CALL CENTER BUSINESS

Optical fiber link are favored mode of transmission for call center application. The SEA-ME-WE-3 connectivity to Pakistan provides the appropriate telecom access for this business. The call center is not supposed to be connected in any manner with the telephone network of the host country and as such does not adversely affect the international voice revenues (unless misused). The Call Center business can be an attractive source of foreign exchange earning and gives good opportunity to create jobs. Govt. of Pakistan feels that thousands of jobs will be created in call center applications in next few years. While facilitating this business it has to be ensured that the service is not misused in any manner for which service arrangement will have suitable provisions.

Safeguards have been proposed and are included in the draft terms and conditions as under.

Terms and conditions of interconnect agreement for Call Center operators

I. The applicant will provide company profile, requirements from PTCL and business plans to PTCL.

II. The applicant will need to create a legal entity i.e. a company incorporated in Pakistan. The company needs to be formed, and clearance obtained for name, followed by registration with the Company Registrar Office.

III. Registration with the Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Limited for operating a call center. Registration will also include submission of requirement for bandwidth, with time duration. The applicant shall require to furnish a legal undertaking under the relevant clause of Pakistan Telecommunication (reorganization) Act 1996 that the facility will not be misused or used for any other purpose other than call center applications, failing which, strict action will be initiated by PTCL under the laws in force in Pakistan.

IV. Bandwidth requirement: PTCL will provide the required bandwidth within 8 (eight) weeks of application and payment of service charges. This bandwidth will be provided on available media i.e. satellite or optical fiber.

V. The applicant will provide details of the type of call center (Inbound, outbound or blended).

VI. Interconnectivity with any PSTN or other network(s) in Pakistan is not permitted.

VII. Separate earth station or any other arrangement for the bandwidth termination at the call center bypassing PTCL international and national network is not permitted.

VIII. Details of customers/service partner with contracts specifying clear requirements and intent at the foreign end are to be provided with application.

 

 

IX. Severe penalties under the law of Pakistan will be imposed on international call center found to be involved in any illegal activity including termination of voice telephone traffic into the PSTN via any means.

X. All foreign exchange laws and regulations will be applicable. Details can be obtained from the Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan.

XI. The same bandwidth tariffs as for software export promoters shall apply.

XII. Detailed Network plan including schematic diagrams with full equipment details, specification, type of signaling/protocol, IPL details Pakistan/foreign end locations are to be provided with the application in order to enable PTCL to arrange for necessary interfacing of the call center with PTCL leased line network. Any additional costs incurred by PTCL in bringing the call center on-line will be settled through mutual agreement. Technical details including schematic diagrams, specifications and supporting services, interfacing requirements at the PTCL end shall be provided with the application. PTCL bills payments by the CC operator within fifteen days of issuance of bill.

 

 

ESTIMATED COST FOR 30 SEATS CALL CENTER.

OPTION I (WITH SEIMENS ENTRY LEVEL PABX)

EQUIPMENT

PAK RUPEES

US$ @60 RS

Siemens HiCom Digital PABX with 1 PRI
ACD Pro Centre - Entry Level
30 Telephone Set with Headsets
30 CTI Adapters

5,000,000

83,333

30 Computers + 1 Server

1,150,000

19,167

VSAT Equipment (Dish, ODU, Satellite Modem)

1,500,000

25,000

Router

250,000

4,167

Bandwidth 256kbs ---SCPC connectivity (1000$ installation+ 4400$x3 Security Deposit equal 3 month rent)

852,000

14,200

Installation of Dish

60,000

1,000

UPS Farm (7) @ 60,000/- each of 2.2 KVA

420,000

7,000

LAN (Ducting & Cabling, etc)

300,000

5,000

Miscellaneous (Installation, Transportation, etc)

500,000

8,333

Total

10,032,000

167,200

 

 

 


 

OPTION II (WITH SEIMENS ADVANCE PABX)

EQUIPMENT

PAK RUPEES

US$ @60 RS

Siemens HiCom Digital PABX with 1 PRI
ACD Pro Centre - Advnace Level
30 Telephone Set with Headsets
30 CTI Adapters

10,700,000

178,333

30 Computers + 1 Server

1,150,000

19,167

VSAT Equipment (Dish, ODU, Satellite Modem)

1,500,000

25,000

Router

250,000

4,167

Bandwidth 256kbs ---SCPC connectivity (1000$ installation+ 4400$x3 Security Deposit equal 3 month rent)

852,000

14,200

Installation of Dish

60,000

1,000

UPS Farm (7) @ 60,000/- each of 2.2 KVA

420,000

7,000

LAN (Ducting & Cabling, etc)

300,000

5,000

Miscellaneous (Installation, Transportation, etc)

500,000

8,333

Total

15,732,000

262,200

 

 

 


 

OPTION III (WITH NORTEL TELECOM PABX)

EQUIPMENT

PAK RUPEES

US$ @60 RS

Nortel Digital PABX with 1 PRI
Automatic Call Attendent
30 Telephone Set with Headsets
30 CTI Adapters

5,200,000

86,667

30 Computers + 1 Server

1,150,000

19,167

VSAT Equipment (Dish, ODU, Satellite Modem)

1,500,000

25,000

Router

250,000

4,167

Bandwidth 256kbs ---SCPC connectivity (1000$ installation+ 4400$x3 Security Deposit equal 3 month rent)

852,000

14,200

Installation of Dish

60,000

1,000

UPS Farm (7) @ 60,000/- each of 2.2 KVA

420,000

7,000

LAN (Ducting & Cabling, etc)

300,000

5,000

Miscellaneous (Installation, Transportation, etc)

500,000

8,333

Total

10,232,000

170,533

 

 

Note: Air Conditioning and Generator as per-requirement of space and electric load