Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rapidly Growing High-Speed Fiber Connectivity in Pakistan

A $44 million 820 kilometer fiber optic cable being laid between Pakistan and China will be the 6th high-speed connection to add redundancy and to cater to rapidly growing Internet traffic from-to Pakistan. It is part of the $46 billion Pak-China Economic Corridor project recently agreed between the two neighbors.

Fiber Optic Network in Pakistan Source: KHL
Undersea Fiber Connectivity:

Pakistan is  currently connected with the world through four undersea fibre optic cables. These include India-Middle East-Western Europe (I-ME-WE),  Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 3 (SEA-ME-WE-3) and Southeast Asia-Middle-East-Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE-4), operated by Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and TWA-1, which is owned by Trans-World Associates. A fifth undersea cable called South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe (SEA-ME-WE)-5 is being laid to connect Pakistan with the rest of the world, according to Pakistani media reports.

Overland China-Pakistan Fiber:

The overland fibre optic cable is being laid by Chinese company Huawei between Rawalpindi and Khunjarab Pass on Pakistan-China border, a distance of 820 kilometers, according to media reports.

When completed, this project will provide Pakistan with a direct telecom access to China and the Central Asian States, and from there to Europe and the United States.

3G 4G Subscription Growth Source: PTA


Internet Traffic Growth:

The launch of 3G and 4G networks has accelerated the growth of Internet users in Pakistan. More than a million subscribers are signing up every month since the 3G and 4G rollout in the country last year. These new users are generating more and more data traffic requiring rapid increases in available bandwidth.

Pakistan ended March 2015 with over 12.07 million 3G/4G subscribers, up from 10.34 million in February, according to data from Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). Telenor led the 3G/4G market with over 3.53 million subscribers, followed by CMPak (2.95 million 3G/4G subscribers), Mobilink (2.86 million 3G subscribers), and Ufone (2.66 million 3G subscribers). Warid had 66,140 LTE network subscribers at 31 March.

Thousands of kilometers long fiber network is currently in place to deal with the growing domestic bandwidth demand. Several projects are underway to grow this network further.

Redundancy and Reliability:

Pakistan needs multiple fiber connections to the outside world to prevent the kind of major Internet outages the country has suffered periodically for the last decade.

For example, a major disruption occurred in June 2005 when ALL Internet access from Pakistan was lost due to damage to the lone undersea fiber optic cable in the Arabian Sea connecting the nation with the rest of the world. There were satellite links but these links have very limited bandwidth. Even though the number of Internet users in Pakistan was relatively small at about 15-20 million, the impact on business was disproportionate. Traders on KSE reported as much as 80% drop in trading volume from this outage. All call center activities and other BPO vendors were severely affected.

Then there were more episodes of severe disruptions in 2008 when several undersea cables were cut. The Maldives were 100 percent down, followed by India, which had 82 percent disruption. Qatar, Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates were the next most widely affected areas with about 70 percent service interrupted. Disruptions for Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan ranged from 51 percent to 55 percent.

The increasing number of external fiber connections will help minimize disruptions in Internet connectivity and help deal with its impact on Pakistan's businesses, industry and security.

Summary:

High-speed Internet connectivity is at least as essential as other forms of communication, if not more so. Pakistan is investing in it for its economic and national security. Investments in this area need to be continuously boosted as the user base grows in the country.

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21 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

With the help of the Prime Minister Meeting mechanism between China and Pakistan, in June 2010, China Telecom and SCO (Strategic Communications Organization) of Pakistan decided and signed the C&MA Agreement for China-Pakistan terrestrial optical fiber cable. After completion of this cable, the telecommunications between China and Pakistan will be totally changed. In October 2010, China Telecom successfully commissioned a fiber cable with Kyrgyzstan, which indicated that the breakthrough had been made for the Middle-Asia information highway and which paved a way for the Internet connection and voice service to the Middle-Asia countries. With many land and submarine cable systems constructed, China Telecom has completed a comprehensive network in Asia-Pacific and could act as a gateway and a bridge for all the operators in the other continents of the world to establish communications with many countries bordering with China.

http://en.chinatelecom.com.cn/corp/odaic/

S Qureshi said...

Any chance of laying an optic fiber cable from Gawadar (Pakistan) to Iran and then to Turkey? For us, that's the closest land route to Europe.

Riaz Haq said...

Mobile apps are of different kinds and serve different purposes. While young adults use apps such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and WhatsApp, entrepreneurs and businesspersons usually prefer apps that serve more professional purposes, such as Gmail, Google Finance, Microsoft Office and LinkedIn. Similarly, the apps developed to set reminders, count calorie intakes, order meals online and browse maps are now widely used and have become an important part of our lives. Seeing the consumers’ interest in using and preference for these apps, many companies have developed their own Android and iOS apps to target a wider audience.

Online shopping – an emerging trend

Pakistan has seen a marked increase in buying and selling things online, particularly over the last few years. This has boosted the e-commerce market in Pakistan, an opportunity which many businesses have seized on rather quickly and effectively, leading to a slew of classifieds websites and their apps jostling for a chunk of the market. And this phenomenon is not limited to everyday items or clothes, but has been extended to include cars and even real estate and household items. Shophive.com is an excellent example. It gives you chance to shop electronics and all the household items within your budget. Cash on delivery is the most favorite way of transaction for people living in the Pakistan which grantee security. It is also facilitating installments for the tenure of 6 months, a year and a year and half for the people based at Lahore. What else we need, easy to shop, ship and pay.

Over the past few years, the trend of online buying and selling of different commodities has increased markedly in Pakistan. With a boost in the e-commerce market, many business concerns have capitalized on the opportunity toseize the attention of online buyers by launching their apps in the market. The trend is not limited to smaller items of everyday use such as clothes, footwear, watchesand perfumes,et cetera, as real estate transactions and the sale and purchase of cars are also done online using mobile apps now.

A million properties in your pocket

Zameen.com, Pakistan’s top property portal, launched its mobile apps last year, which were welcomed warmly by property buyers, sellers, investors and real estate agents. The app gives its users easy access to a database of over 1 million property listings.

A line of automobiles

The mobile app of Pakwheels.com, the biggest automotive website in the country, has taken over the automobile industry of the country in a similar way, becoming an indispensable resource for those looking to buy or sell vehicles of all kinds and getting the best out of the automobile industry from the palm of their hands. There are many other similar examples which signify the increasing use of mobile apps in Pakistan.

3G/4G subscribers

The number of 3G/4G subscribers is increasing with every passing month in Pakistan. According to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the number of total 3G/4G subscribersin Pakistan was 12,071,553 as of March 2015. This number was 10,342,191 in February 2015, which means a jump of 16.72% in only a month. We can safely assume that almost all of these subscribers are at least using several apps each.

The bottom line

Mobile apps have changed our lives and have assisted companies, individuals and even students in performing many of their tasks easily and effectively. In the time it took you to read this article, a number of apps will have been downloaded by Pakistanis around the country. This is the smartphone revolution at its peak.

http://paktribune.com/news/The-smartphone-app-revolution-in-Pakistan-273692.html

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan figures prominently among major growth markets in #InternetTrends 2015 report by Kleiner Perkins @kpcb


Internet Penetration 11%, Mobile phones owned by 144 million out of 196 million population. Only 6% own smartphones. Opportunity for strong growth with 3G, 4G rollout done in 2014.

http://www.kpcb.com/internet-trends

Riaz Haq said...

#Facebook, #Telenor launch #Internet.org in #Pakistan, Browse 17 Websites for Free http://propakistani.pk/2015/05/28/internet-org-launched-in-pakistan-browse-17-websites-for-free-on-telenor/ … via @ProPakistaniPK

As we told you yesterday, Telenor, in collaboration with Facebook today launched internet.org initiative in Pakistan, with which all Telenor customers — both prepaid and postpaid — will be able to use selected internet websites for free.

Telenor launched the program with 17 websites today, which are available for free unlimited browsing. However, external links, if any, will be charged as per usual tariffs.

Launch event or internet.org was attended by high-ups of Telenor Pakistan, including Michael Foley, CEO, Telenor, Irfan Wahab, Deputy CEO, Telenor Pakistan and Aslam Hayat Khan, VP, Telenor Pakistan.

Facebook officials, lead by Ime Archibong, Global Head for Strategic Partnerships at Facebook, in first of its kind representation from Facebook in Pakistan, were also present at the event.

Telenor has said that its internet.org initiative is aimed for first time internet users. Company has said that its currently not looking at any business proposition, instead the whole initiative is targeted to convert more users to internet.

Here is the list of websites that can be browsed for free:

Facebook, Telenor Mobile Portal, AccuWeather, Babycenter & MAMA, BBC News, Bing, ESPN Cricinfo, Facts for Life, Girl Effect, IlmkiDunya, Malaria No More, Mustakbil, OLX, Telenor News, UrduPoint Cooking and Wikipedia

Telenor users, in whatever city they are or whatever package they are on (postpaid included) can go to internet.org from their cell phones to access these websites. While accessing internet.org website, users will be presented a list of websites they can access for free.

Alternatively, if you are smartphone user, you can download internet.org app from your respective app store an use it.

Any usage with-in internet.org website (or the app) will be free.

Both 3G and 2G users can access internet.org for free, and there is no need to subscribe or activate anything. You can start browsing internet.org for free, right away!

http://propakistani.pk/2015/05/28/internet-org-launched-in-pakistan-browse-17-websites-for-free-on-telenor/

Riaz Haq said...

#Facebook, #Telenor launch #Internet.org in #Pakistan, Browse 17 Websites for Free http://propakistani.pk/2015/05/28/internet-org-launched-in-pakistan-browse-17-websites-for-free-on-telenor/ … via @ProPakistaniPK

As we told you yesterday, Telenor, in collaboration with Facebook today launched internet.org initiative in Pakistan, with which all Telenor customers — both prepaid and postpaid — will be able to use selected internet websites for free.

Telenor launched the program with 17 websites today, which are available for free unlimited browsing. However, external links, if any, will be charged as per usual tariffs.

Launch event or internet.org was attended by high-ups of Telenor Pakistan, including Michael Foley, CEO, Telenor, Irfan Wahab, Deputy CEO, Telenor Pakistan and Aslam Hayat Khan, VP, Telenor Pakistan.

Facebook officials, lead by Ime Archibong, Global Head for Strategic Partnerships at Facebook, in first of its kind representation from Facebook in Pakistan, were also present at the event.

Telenor has said that its internet.org initiative is aimed for first time internet users. Company has said that its currently not looking at any business proposition, instead the whole initiative is targeted to convert more users to internet.

Here is the list of websites that can be browsed for free:

Facebook, Telenor Mobile Portal, AccuWeather, Babycenter & MAMA, BBC News, Bing, ESPN Cricinfo, Facts for Life, Girl Effect, IlmkiDunya, Malaria No More, Mustakbil, OLX, Telenor News, UrduPoint Cooking and Wikipedia

Telenor users, in whatever city they are or whatever package they are on (postpaid included) can go to internet.org from their cell phones to access these websites. While accessing internet.org website, users will be presented a list of websites they can access for free.

Alternatively, if you are smartphone user, you can download internet.org app from your respective app store an use it.

Any usage with-in internet.org website (or the app) will be free.

Both 3G and 2G users can access internet.org for free, and there is no need to subscribe or activate anything. You can start browsing internet.org for free, right away!

http://propakistani.pk/2015/05/28/internet-org-launched-in-pakistan-browse-17-websites-for-free-on-telenor/

Riaz Haq said...

Fault in submarine cable causes #internet speeds in #Pakistan to fall

http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Jun-2015/fault-in-submarine-cable-causes-internet-speeds-in-pakistan-to-fall …

Recently, internet users in Pakistan have been complaining about slow internet and disrupted connectivity. It turns out that this has been caused by a fault in SEAMEWE4, one of Pakistan’s most important submarine cables.


According to sources, the fault occurred near Karachi and is a physical fault. While the exact location of the fault has been identified, rectification procedures are taking longer than expected.

PTCL relies heavily on SEAMEWE4 and sources have confirmed that in order to save users from the inconvenience they are facing, bandwidth is now being shifted to other submarine cables.

Riaz Haq said...

Information corridor key to success of #Pakistan-#China #CPEC - Global Times http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/928524.shtml#.VYzeKnqN1IU.twitter

Establishment of an information corridor will ensure the success of the China-­Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and yield many benefits, experts said. "In order to support, supplement and sustain the CPEC, there should also be an information corridor, which will serve as a platform between Chinese and Pakistani companies to provide database, share information and promote e-commerce between the two sides," Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, who is also the chairman of the Pakistani Senate Defense Committee, told the Global Times on June 16.

Sayed served as Pakistan's Minister of Information and Broadcasting during the 1990s.

Leading telecom network service supplier ZTE just completed a project called DTMB (digital terrestrial multimedia broadcast) in Pakistan in March.

The project allows residents around Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, to receive TV signals once they install a set-top box. The DTMB project belongs to the earlier harvest projects of the CPEC.

Experts said the project contributes to the establishment of an information corridor and brings Chinese telecom standards to Pakistan.

"Currently, there are four standards in the world: Chinese, European, Japanese and American. The project is significant as Pakistan is a country with a population of nearly 200 million," said Han Song, chief marketing officer of Zhongxing Telecom Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, noting that it took five years to persuade Pakistani partners to adopt the Chinese standards.

Zhongxing Telecom Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd is ZTE's subsidiary in Pakistan.

"The upgrade from analog signals to digital signals means the number of available channels are multiplied. As the local media can only provide enough content for eight channels, the project creates room for Chinese media outlets to broadcast their programs after agreement with Pakistani authorities," Han told the Global Times on June 15.

"For example, after the completion of our program, the China Central Television began to air two channels of programs in Pakistan since March," said Han.

Chinese companies also help guard the cyber security of Pakistani clients.

"We are victims of cyber warfare from other countries so it is very important that we have cyber security and cyber protection on our own infrastructure," Sayed said, referring to Edward Snowden's leaks about the intelligence gathering project PRISM of the National Security Agency of the US.

"Many Chinese companies and foreign companies doing businesses in Pakistan may have concerns over cyber security in Pakistan. And we help them in this regard," Han said.

"Due to the all-weather relationship between China and Pakistan, there is a high level of trust over security issues," Han noted.

According to the 2014 annual report of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority published in January, the overall telecom investment in the country reached $1.82 billion in fiscal year 2014, a 200 percent increase over the $600 million in 2013.

Pakistani telecom sector attracted over $903 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the fiscal year 2014, accounting for 34.2 percent of the total FDI received by Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan nears 12.5 mln #3G #4G subscribers in June 2015. Adding over 1 million users per month. #mobile #internet http://www.telecompaper.com/news/pakistan-nears-125-mln-3g4g-subscribers-in-june--1095574

Pakistan ended June with over 13.49 million 3G/4G subscribers, up from 9.83 million in May, according to data from Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). Telenor led the 3G/4G market with over 4.16 million subscribers, followed by Mobilink (3.65 million 3G subscribers), CMPak (3 million 3G/4G subscribers, and Ufone (2.57 million 3G subscribers). Warid had 106,211 LTE network subscribers at end-June.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Mobilink expands #3G network coverage to 200 cities - Telecompaper

http://www.telecompaper.com/news/mobilink-expands-3g-network-coverage-to-200-cities--1095777#.VcI8ijK7HmE.twitter …

Pakistani mobile operator Mobilink has expanded its 3G network coverage to 200 cities across the country. Mobilink added 178 cities to its 3G network coverage in the first half of this year, Pakistan Tribe reports. Mobilink commercially launched 3G services on the local market in July 2014. To support its 3G services, Mobilink's fiber optic network currently spans over 8,000 kilometers.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan expert helping non-English speaking #Indians access web in local scripts. #ICANN #India
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/49221051.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst …

Even as the government calls for promoting the use of local languages - in the real world and online - a dedicated group led by a language technology expert from Pakistan is working to help the non-English speaking population in India access web addresses in their local scripts.

The 22-member panel, which is working with the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), comprises professionals from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology's Centre for Dev ..

The panel is headed by eminent professor Udaya Narayana Singh, Chair, Centre for Endangered Languages, Visva-Bharati University. It is being supported by ICANN's Sarmad Hussain who is based out of Pakistan, and has been helping develop internationalised domain names (IDN), or domain names in local languages - such as '.bharat' in Hindi. The current project is expected to drive regional content.

"It reduces the barrier for people to come online," Hussain told ET over the phone, talking a ..

Riaz Haq said...

#Digital age: #Pakistan, #China agree to develop e-corridor http://tribune.com.pk/story/1006499/digital-age-pakistan-china-agree-to-develop-e-corridor/ …
Pakistan and China have agreed to develop an e-corridor to establish greater connectivity, keeping in view the importance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The agreement was reached during a meeting of a high-level Chinese delegation, led by China Investment Promotion Centre Chairman Yan Lijin, with Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunications Anusha Rehman.

The minister apprised the delegation of the potential of Pakistan’s IT and telecom sector and how the ministry was working to reap this potential in an optimal way. “We believe in a ‘Digital Pakistan’ and Chinese cooperation and collaboration will help us to materialise this vision of accelerated digitisation,” she said.

“We are awarding the ‘Tech-city’ project on January 7 next year. It is an incubation project meant for the training of young entrepreneurs. Likewise, we intend also to establish a research and innovation centre of international standard.”

She said the ministry was already collaborating for the development of an ‘e-commerce gateway framework’ so that online commercial ventures could flourish further and consumers and companies could get more confidence in online payment systems. “We would like to invite international companies to establish their setups here in Pakistan as well,” she added.

zubair faridi said...

Will this new internet nodes help to boost internet speed in the country??

Riaz Haq said...

ZB: "Will this new internet nodes help to boost internet speed in the country??"


The fiber being is put in to boost backbone bandwidth to handle increased Internet data traffic generated by growing number of users.

Riaz Haq said...

t’s No #SiliconValley, but #Pakistan is Building Its Own Startup Scene. #Technology http://www.newsweek.com/pakistan-building-silicon-valley-scene-426408 …

In the past five years, Pakistan’s startup ecosystem has grown from a nascent colony to a self-sustaining environment. Zameen, an online real estate startup based in Lahore, has ridden that startup wave in developing a Zillow-like app and website that allows users to search and buy real estate listings in Pakistan’s largest cities.

Like many famous U.S. internet companies, Zameen started with a gamble. In 2006, Zeeshan Ali Khan and his brother left their e-commerce business in the United Kingdom to move to Pakistan and started Zameen in their bedrooms. Back then, online-only services in Pakistan were rare, but Ali Khan followed the money coming into Pakistani real estate from expats living abroad—a million of whom lived in the United Kingdom. Now Zameen employees 500 people and has offices in nearly all major cities in Pakistan.

“Zameen.com came into being when we realised there was a desperate need for a trustworthy online real estate enterprise in Pakistan, especially given the importance the average Pakistani attaches to property,” Ali Khan tells Newsweek in an email. “Back then the state of internet infrastructure in Pakistan was extremely poor but the offline property market was exploding. Facilitated by large investments from the Pakistani diaspora, people found that investing in real estate would earn them significant returns.”

Pakistan’s fast-growing economy and, perhaps more importantly, large English-speaking population has provided a backbone to encourage startups to form and work with foreign companies.

The country has seen startup hubs form around elite universities in cities like Lahore and Karachi—similar to Boston and San Francisco—in the last few years. The Punjab province, where Lahore is located, has been the major hotspot for startups in Pakistan. Plan9, the Punjab provincial government-run technology incubator, hosts over 80 startups. Ali Khan believes there are 140 startups in Lahore, a city of 5 million people.

But Pakistani startups are still minnows compared to those in Silicon Valley. Cultural and economic norms, like being predominantly reliant on cash for transactions, are big obstacles for startups. Despite leading the South Asian region in consumers using mobile payments, only 9 percent of Pakistani men and 2 percent of women have used mobile phones for money transfers. Around 39 percent of Americans have used mobile banking in 2015, according to a report from the Federal Reserve.

To accommodate its cash-based users, Zameen employs motorcycle riders to collect payments from Zameen agents across 30 Pakistani cities in person. “The situation is improving, and a lot of people are beginning to feel more comfortable with online payments and even mobile transactions,” says Ali Khan.

Earning public trust for a little-known startup—a concept now just becoming understood in Pakistan—was a big challenge as well. When Zameen began, it discovered most of the Pakistani property market undocumented, and reliable data was nearly non-existent.

Pakistani consumers, including Ali Khan’s family, had a hard time becoming comfortable with Zameen and its Silicon Valley-inspired ideas. “My family was a little apprehensive when I told them I wanted to start a business of my own,” Ali Khan says. “Today however, the attitudes have greatly changed, thanks to the startup ecosystem that is supporting the startup culture in Pakistan.”

The two biggest hurdles Zameen and fellow startups face are the low penetration rates of 3G/4G mobile Internet and the lack of support from its government. In 2015, only 22 million out of 182 million Pakistanis had 3G/4G technology, leaving little room for startups to continue growing and scale upwards with their online services.

Infrastructural issues like 3G/4G technology need the government’s help, but such support has been lacking, according to Ali Khan.

Riaz Haq said...

SRG1: #Pakistan to Lay a New Submarine Cable With Capacity of 20Tbps for growing #Internet data traffic http://propakistani.pk/2016/05/11/srg1-pakistan-to-get-a-new-submarine-cable-with-capacity-of-20tbps/ …

Multinet Pakistan, a voice and data company, and Omantel of Oman yesterday announced the initiation of a new submarine cable network “Silk Route Gateway 1” to connect Karachi with Barka (near Muscat in Oman) with a strategic landing point at Gawadar in future.

SRG1 is going to be 900 kilometer long submarine cable with two fiber pairs system design with capacity of 10Tbps of communication per fiber pair.

Future extension of SRG1 includes a branching unit through Gawadar to connect the next economic hub of Asia with a direct international link.

Current consortium members for SRG1 are Multinet and Omantel and they are already in talks to accept another one or at most two members to be part of SRG1.

Multinet said that SRG1 will be completed and operational in 18 months from today at a cost of USD 24 million.

For the purpose SRG1 consortium yesterday signed Xtera as turnkey vendor for the establishment and maintenance of submarine cable.

Upon completion, Pakistan will immediately get 200Gbps of additional bandwidth, however, this capacity could be upped to 20Tbps with time, mainly based on market demand.

With Multinet as part of SRG1, the duopoly of PTCL and TW1 in space of international bandwidth will end.

Market sources suggest that Multinet’s entrance in market is going to reduce internet bandwidth prices for Pakistani ISPs and telcos by at least 60%. Sources said that current bandwidth rate of USD 3,000 per STM1 are expected to hit USD 1,200 per STM1 till end of 2017.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's Storm Fiber Offers 30Mbps #FTTH Broadband for Just Rs. 3,999 in #Karachi, #Lahore https://propakistani.pk/2016/08/15/storm-fiber-offers-30mbps-unlimited-broadband-for-just-rs-3999/ … via @ProPakistaniPK


While 3G/4G mobile internet has catered to the nation’s demand for high-speed internet, it is just not viable for everyone; especially for businesses and power users who need to consume high volumes of data at very high speeds.

There’s a reason the west has resorted to FTTH and that’s mainly due to its reliability, consistency and capacity to control higher data speeds.

While FTTH in Pakistan is comparatively a new phenomenon, mainly due to its limited coverage, things have started to change now.

Storm Fiber, a Cybernet company, is offering its FTTH services in Lahore and Karachi at unbelievable prices.

For example, you can enjoy 30Mbps for just Rs. 3,999. This price includes cable TV and fixed line as well as a value addition.

Not to mention, this speed of 30Mbps is valid for both uploads as well as for downloads.

Storm Fiber said that these prices are excluding taxes, but there’s no limit on download/upload and customers can enjoy true unlimited data connections throughout the month.

Riaz Haq said...

#CPEC project: Rawalpindi-Khunjerab fiber optic cable by 2018. #Pakistan #China
http://tribune.com.pk/story/1184567/cpec-project-rawalpindi-khunjerab-fiber-optic-cable-2018/

The 820-kilometer long Pakistan-China fiber optic cable project from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab is expected to be completed by June 2018 at a cost of $44 million. After completion, it would add a digital component to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

The project is being built by the Special Communication Organisation (SCO) in collaboration with China’s Huawei, Senior SCO Project Manager Muhammad Adil said. “The Pakistan-China optic fiber cable project will be beneficial for [establishing] a strategic link between both Pakistan and China,” Adil said.

One of the aims of the project is to establish a safe route for voice-traffic between the two countries, he added. The foundation stone for the cable was laid in May this year. Adil said that around 18.2km portion of the fiber optic cable would pass through federal capital, 466km from G-B, 280km from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and 47km from Punjab.

Riaz Haq said...

Three #Pakistan startups make it to #Digital Winners #Asia. #Education #Energy #Employment http://bit.ly/2e4O0eU via @techjuicepk

In November, three startups from Pakistan will be flying to Myanmar for they have been shortlisted to participate in Digital Winners Asia, a regional startup event that will host enthusiastic startup teams from Telenor’s accelerator programs across Asia.

The two-day event will be held on November 1-2 in Yangon, Myanmar. The Telenor Group’s maiden regional startup event will include case preparation sessions, in which startup teams will prepare to compete for 100,000 Norwegian Kroner in initial expansion funds.

The three Pakistani startups shortlisted to feature on the event cater to Energy, Education and Employment, the three key areas the country has long faced challenges in. EcoEnergy, a startup aiming to solve energy crisis in Pakistan, facilitates the spread of sustainable electricity, specifically to rural locations of the country. Where as Edjunction, a social network connecting parents with teachers, is a mobile communication platform to bridge the gap between parents, teachers, students and the schools. Fori Mazdoori, a Pakistani startup aiming to mobilize laborers across South Asia, enables blue-collar workers to register on an employment database to be searchable by employers.

“Establishing Digital Winners in Asia is a natural move for Telenor since we experiences strong growth in the region, and we believe there is a great innovation and entrepreneurial spirit growing here,” said Gunnar Sellaeg, the SVP & Head of Product Innovation at Telenor Digital.

Bilal Kazmi, Chief Marketing Officer, and Telenor Pakistan also extended his complements to the selected startups saying,

“We are pleased to see how Pakistani youth is finding innovative solutions to their own longstanding problems through technology, and it’s a sheer reflection of how Telenor Pakistan’s efforts of digital inclusion in the country are materializing”.

The nine teams attending Digital Winners Asia are from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia. The teams consist of current and past participants of Telenor’s five startup incubation and acceleration programs across the region. Each company has been selected based on the company’s life-cycle and potential to break into to new markets, as well as grow alongside Telenor. Two representatives from each company will participate in Digital Winners Asia. This inaugural year’s participants represent a diversity of industries: marketing services, energy, artificial intelligence, tourism and education.

The event has been designed so as to promote cross border and hence extend sharing of skills, knowledge and tools across markets. The proposed theme has been devised primarily in order to tackle digital business opportunities across markets. Telenor has been promoting individuals to pursue entrepreneurship a lot. Velocity, Telenor’s go-to-market accelerator for Pakistan, recently introduced its first cohort.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s first #Internet Exchange Point connecting #ISPs and #CDNs is now up and running

http://www.dawn.com/news/1295925/pakistans-first-internet-exchange-point-is-now-up-and-running

Pakistan has established its first Internet Exchange Point (IXP) for all local ISPs that will help reduce latency rates for all domestic traffic.
Internet Exchange Point (IXP) is a physical infrastructure through which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Contact Delivery Networks (CDNs) exchange internet traffic between their networks.
The primary purpose of an IXP is to allow networks to interconnect directly, via the exchange, rather than through one or more third-party networks.
Previously Pakistani Internet traffic was routed through foreign internet networks and exchanges, even for local traffic. This will change now as local peering will be allowed, ultimately resulting into lower pings and response times for domestic requests.
Under the headship of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and in collaboration with Internet Society (ISOC), this IXP has been established in the premises of Higher Education Commission (HEC).
Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA, while speaking exclusively with ProPakistani confirmed that IXP is up and running for last two weeks as a test.
Dr. Shah said that hardware is being setup and exchange will formally be launched next month. Chairman PTA also said that more local internet exchanges will be set up in Lahore and Karachi soon.
The IXP was one of the integral part of the Telecommunication Policy 2015 that has been implemented now.
According to the Telecommunication Policy 2015, "Internet and other traffic will be exchanged within Pakistan using local peering or exchange points as far as it is possible to do so, recognizing that the use of international peering points in other countries imposes an unnecessary cost burden and a potential security risk."
"PTA will take appropriate measures in consultation with stakeholders to encourage establishment of local peering and exchange points of IP traffic on legally established gateways in Pakistan."
If a customer is using a local ISP and if a ping is sent for a website or server that is hosted on TransWorld for example, then traffic is routed through international exchanges that reside outside Pakistan. This traffic will now be routed within our local Internet Exchange after its set up.
Such an internet request, which is local — and distance between client and server could be just few kilometres — has to travel the all way to an exchange that’s hosted abroad and then will hit back local server after travelling thousands of kilometres, increasing latency rates and decreasing data transfer rates.
This internet exchange is going to help local hosting companies, data centres, service providers, banks, corporations and everyone who is hosting websites or services with-in Pakistan. It will also benefit ISPs greatly by not only enhancing their performance but also by reducing their bandwidth costs.
Ismail Shah said PTA has always encouraged new ideas and supported initiatives for the betterment of telecom sector. Setting up of IXP is one such new initiative that will help in improving internet access, business environment and local content.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #broadband subscribers reached 38m in October: PTA. #3G #4G #Internet

http://nation.com.pk/business/17-Nov-2016/broadband-subscribers-reached-38m-in-october-pta

The total number of broadband subscribers has crossed 38 million by the end of October 2016. According to the latest data of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the number of broadband users has reached 38076286. Addition of 35.45 million mobile broadband subscribers Since the launch of 3G and 4G LTE services, mobile broadband subscribers have reached 35.45 million. The total usage of data during September 16 to October 16 was 53,340 terabytes. 2G share remained 87 percent in terms of voice, while 13 percent was data share. In 3G technology, 3 percent was voice, while 97 percent was data usage.

Before 3G and 4G launch, the total volume was 1,243 Tbs in January 2014, whereas, it increased gradually after 3G launched. In December 14, the total usage was 6,903 terabytes which increased to 23,980 in December 2015. In September 2016, the data usage was 45,672 terabytes. The PTA data also claimed that the teledensity has reached to around 71 percent. It indicates that majority of people now have access to basic voice telephony, mostly on mobile phones.