As the number of public wi-fi hotspots keeps increasing, PTA has come up with regulations to facilitate service providers and its users through proper check and balances.
Last year, the authority published a draft and asked for public comments. the draft has now been finalized and notified to the appropriate stakeholders.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has notified “Data Retention of Internet extended to WiFi-Hotspots Regulations, 2018″ aimed at facilitating service providers.
According to the rules, the owner of a public Wi-Fi hotspot will be required to maintain a log of the user information for a minimum of twelve months as opposed to the six 6 months proposed in the draft regulations.
The regulator has introduced a mechanism for the registration, maintenance and retention of information of persons using data services through wi-fi hotspots in public places.
In this context, a Wi-Fi hotspot is a Wi-Fi node that is attached to a fixed network and provides limited mobility access or fixed access.
Therefore, backhaul for public Wi-Fi hotspots will be provided by a fixed network operator where such services are available.
Mobile internet is faster than Wi-fi:
Mobile operators wishing to provide fixed or limited mobility public Wi-Fi services to their own customers may do so under a commercial arrangement with a fixed network operator.
Wi-Fi offloading of mobile traffic to a Wi-Fi node linked to a mobile network or to a WiFi hotspot linked to a fixed network may be undertaken by mobile licensees.
These regulations shall apply to access providers and class licensing registration licensees with the mandate to register, maintain and retain information of people using data services through Wi-Fi hotspots at public places as prescribed under these new regulations.
All Wi-Fi hotspot service providers are required to retain information/data of users from public Wi-Fi hotspots.
The regulations for the users:
Service providers/licensees will have to provide this user information to the authority or its authorized officers when required.
Licensees will be required to devise a mechanism for their public Wi-Fi hotspots where the following minimum user information will be saved in an automated mechanism:
- Full name of the user
- CNIC number /passport numbers (in case of foreigners)
- Mobile number [shall be used as Login ID]
- Acceptance of Terms and Conditions to use of such Data Services facilities
- Generation of the password through SMS.
Licensee(s) will have to observe technical expertise and arrangements, as provided in Class Licensing Registration Regulation, 2007, the draft of PTA regulation stated.
The owner of a public Wi-Fi hotspot will be required to maintain a log of the following user information for a minimum of twelve (12) months:
- Full Name of the user
- CNIC number/passport numbers (in case of foreigners)
- Mobile Number
- Date & time of login
- Date & time of logoff
- IP address allocated to the user
- MAC Address
- Internet Access Log e.g. Http, POP, IMAP, Skype, etc
In case of non-compliance with these regulations, the data services provided by the licensees as public Wi-Fi hotspot will be terminated.
The licensees shall comply with all regulations, decisions, guidelines, procedures and instructions issued by the Authority for the establishment of Wi-Fi Hotspot as well as facilitation to the consumer, including all applicable law in force in Pakistan.