|China-Pakistan Fiber Optic Cable Route|
Fiber Optic Cables:
A 820-kilometer long China-Pakistan fiber optic cable has already been laid between the city of Rawalpindi, Pakistan in the south and the Khunjerab Pass, China in the north and operational since July, 2018.
By 2020, the 6,299 kilometers of underwater cables will extend to Djibouti from Gwadar and form the Digital Silk Route between Asia and Africa. At the same time, a space-based Silk Road will provide satellite navigation support to all BRI countries. The first Beidou base station of the Space Silk Road is already operational in Pakistan since 2017. BeiDou is making rapid progress with 30 BRI countries already linked up.
When completed, the ambitious global initiative would use an exclusive satellite navigation system, BeiDou, fiber networks and 5G on land and submarine cables to create a multi-dimensional digital mega-project across land, sea and space.
Huawei is already pushing for 5G deployment in Pakistan where it has already established a strong market presence. Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) has already identified spectrum in 2.6 GHz, 3.5 GHz and millimeter wave band it plans to allocate for auction to 5G vendors. This will include both fixed and mobile 5G deployment.
PTA has set up its 5G Working Group with members from telecom operators, vendors, manufacturers, Academia, R and D organizations, regulator (Pakistan Telecom Authority - PTA), Pakistan Government ministries and Frequency Allocation Board (FAB).
Over 65 million Pakistanis now subscribe to 3G and 4G services launched 5 years ago. 5G uptake rate in Pakistan is expected to be rapid. "Attractive tariffs for 5G users will be the key to encouraging a large number of customers" Mohammad Suhail, head of the Karachi based Topline Securities Investors' Advisory told Nikkei.
US vs China:
The Trump Administration sees China's aggressive 5G lead as a threat to the West's technology dominance. US government has been warning its allies against use Huawei's 5G equipment in their networks based on its fears of Chinese government espionage operations.
Chinese 5G suppliers currently hold 36% of all 5G patents worldwide. In spite of US efforts, Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE are beating their western rivals to acquire access to huge markets around the world in Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East.
China is aggressively pursuing its plans to build a global digital superhighway that runs through Pakistan. This "Digital Silk Road" involves laying fiber optic cables in Pakistan which connect with China to the north and link with Africa and the Arab World via undersea cable to be laid from Gwadar Deep Sea Port built as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). An 820 kilometer long China-Pakistan fiber optic cable has already been laid between Rawalpindi, Pakistan and the Khunjerab Pass, China. The global project will include 5G wireless networks deployment in BRI (Belt Road Initiative) member nations. Meanwhile, the United States is continuing its campaign to have its allies boycott 5G equipment built by China's Huawei.
South Asia Investor Review
State Bank Targets Fully Digital Economy in Pakistan
Campaign of Fear Against CPEC
Fintech Revolution in Pakistan
E-Commerce in Pakistan
The Other 99% of the Pakistan Story
FMCG Boom in Pakistan
Belt Road Forum 2019
Fiber Network Growth in Pakistan
Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has transformed 13 more exchanges in 7 cities as part of its Network Transformation Project (NTP).
The upgraded exchanges include: Ghakhar, Vaniawala and Pasroor Road exchanges in Gujranwala, Shahdara, Egerton Road and Bahria Town exchanges in Lahore, Chaklala & Islamabad Town exchanges in Islamabad, Charsadda Road & Cantt. exchanges in Peshawar, Sargodha Road exchange in Faisalabad, Wah Cantt.
exchange in Rawalpindi and Kharian exchange in Kharian.
Through PTCL's new network, customers can experience a faster and more reliable internet based on the company's enhanced copper network, along with a new fiber network. The upgraded exchanges under NTP have already resulted in a 40% reduction of customer complaints.
Jahanzeb Taj, Chief Business Operating Officer, PTCL,said, "Under NTP, PTCL has invested considerably in transforming and upgrading its top 100 exchanges, which have the highest number of customers in major cities. As a result, customers can now experience a quality network that offers high speed unlimited internet, state-of-the-art technology, seamless surfing and unlimited data streaming, all of which is vital in today's digitally connected world." PTCL customers can view the upgraded exchanges through company's official website and subscribe to 8, 15, 25, 50 and 100 mbps unlimited internet packages offered in transformed exchanges with free PTCL calls, unlimited downloads, free PTCL Smart TV & Smart TV App and free Wi-Fi router, said a press release issued here on Thursday.
PAKISTAN –Way Forward 5G
• A PTA- FAB – MoIT&T - Operator – Vendor- Academia based
Working Group is being established. Consultations to be started
• Pakistan to participate with Standardization bodies especially in
• 5G Trials will be offered. Test & Trial Framework in progress
• Permission for trials will be granted as per applications received.
4.5G LTE-Advanced (Rel. 12 and above) can be utilized as a bridge
towards 5G Networks.
• For conducting Pre-5G trial, Hot Spots can be set-up using Fixed
Broadband Network based on TDD-LTE technology (Rel 12 at
• Trial conditions can be better met in an Indoor Network because it
allows better control on SINR conditions thus resulting in
utilization of higher modulation schemes (64 & 256 QAM) and
support high order MIMO (4x4 and above)
• User Equipment (UE) of Category 16 or above to be used to
ensure Gbps DL speed is supported.
How China is redrawing the map of world science
The Belt and Road Initiative, China’s mega-plan for global infrastructure, will transform the lives and work of tens of thousands of researchers. By Ehsan Masood
In Pakistan, it is co-sponsoring a range of research centres that are studying topics from rice agriculture to artificial intelligence and railway engineering. In the heart of the European Union, a Chinese–Belgian science park provides homes for companies trying to expand trade in medical devices, solar power and other technologies. And in South America, China has partnered with Chile and Argentina on astronomical centres and has gained access to some of the best observatories in the world. In total, the scientific side of the BRI involves tens of thousands of researchers and students, and hundreds of universities. There are few regions of the developing world where China’s scientific outreach does not have a footprint.
As one component of this massive initiative, China is creating what it calls a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a giant oceanic loop that links the country’s shipping to the nations bordering each of the great oceans, including some in Africa and South America. Then there’s the Silk Road Economic Belt, a complicated network of six overland corridors that connect China to some of Asia and Europe’s major cities through railways, roads and maritime paths.
The signs of a scientific BRI emerged soon after Xi visited central Asia in September 2013. The following year, CAS funded an upgrade to a 1-metre telescope at Uzbekistan’s Ulugh Beg Astronomical Institute. The improvement paved the way for the Uzbekistan institute to survey the northern sky in collaboration with China’s Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory. Uzbekistan has no experience in telescope making, observatory director Shuhrat Ehgamberdiev told the CAS Bulletin, so the most important technological part was done by China’s engineers. This was the beginning of much grander plans by CAS.
The BRI’s scientific component is being masterminded by Bai. Trained in China as an X-ray crystallographer, Bai worked with John Baldeschwieler at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena in the mid-1980s on scanning tunnelling microscopy.
Even early in Bai’s career, it was clear he would go far, says Baldeschwieler, who remembers predicting that Bai would one day become president of CAS. During a visit to Beijing in 1995, Baldeschwieler was amazed to find that Bai had arranged a meeting with China’s then-president Jiang Zemin. “We were picked up in a small bus and taken by police escort with flashing lights through Tiananmen Square to the Great Hall of the People.” Young boys and girls were lining the stairs on a red carpet, he recalls.
Under Bai, the science BRI has been running on three parallel tracks. In China, CAS has established five centres of excellence at its institutes, and these host the 200 PhD students that the academy trains every year.
Outside China, it has opened nine research and training centres, in Africa, central Asia, South America and south and southeast Asia — often co-funded by their host countries. The China–Brazil Joint Laboratory for Space Weather in São José dos Campos, for example, is monitoring space weather changes and developing forecast models. In Bangkok, the CAS Innovation Cooperation Center helps Thailand’s universities and technology companies to work with Chinese counterparts, and at the same time gives China a foothold in the region. And then there are hundreds of individual collaborations between CAS and universities in China and elsewhere.
The third track is what CAS is calling the Digital Belt and Road, a platform for participating countries to share the data obtained as part of their collaborative projects with each other and with China. These data include satellite images as well as quantitative data on natural hazards, water resources and cultural heritage sites.
#Trump trying to crush one of #China's most high-profile #tech companies is deeply unwise. Companies around the world — including #Huawei’s #American suppliers (#Google, #Intel, #Qualcomm) will lose business incur & significant new costs #5G https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-20/huawei-blacklist-trump-and-commerce-make-a-serious-mistake via @bopinion
In its struggle with China over trade and national security, the U.S. has many legitimate grievances, and a variety of weapons for seeking redress. That doesn’t mean it should use all of them.
The nuclear missile the U.S. just launched at Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is a case in point. Last week, the Commerce Department placed Huawei and nearly 70 of its affiliates on an “Entity List,” which means that U.S. suppliers may now need a license to do business with them. Both Huawei’s mobile phones and its network equipment rely on American components, including advanced semiconductors. If the ban is applied stringently, it could drive one of China’s most high-profile companies — employing more than 180,000 people — out of business.
That would be a serious mistake. The U.S. has long argued that Huawei poses a national-security threat. And there certainly are legitimate reasons to worry that incorporating Huawei gear into America’s networks will leave them vulnerable both to spying and, in the event of a conflict, sabotage. But the U.S. is already taking other prudent steps to prevent Huawei equipment from being used domestically. Seeking to put the company out of business as well is both disproportionate and deeply unwise.
For one thing, it will impose collateral damage. Blameless companies around the world — including Huawei’s American suppliers — could lose business, face disruptions and incur significant new costs. Allies that have resisted U.S. pressure to shun Huawei’s equipment will resent being backed into a corner: Even if President Donald Trump loosens the noose a bit, they can hardly take the chance that restrictions won’t be re-imposed later. China will only redouble its efforts to produce advanced technologies domestically.
As a negotiating strategy, the decision makes even less sense. U.S. officials claim it had nothing to do with stalled trade talks, but it certainly looks like Trump wants to use Huawei as leverage, just as he did last year with ZTE Corp. Trump has already invoked national security far too often in pursuing his scattered trade battles. Doing so here would set another terrible precedent while almost certainly backfiring: It will aggravate the current impasse and give Beijing little incentive to abide by any eventual agreement.
Worse, the decision undermines the implicit point of any U.S.-China trade deal: not just to increase commerce but to stabilize relations between the world’s two most powerful nations. While tensions are inevitable, a healthy trading relationship should in theory restore ballast, reminding both sides of the benefits of cooperation and strengthening constituencies that have reason to prefer peace to war. By contrast, targeting Huawei so nakedly will only further marginalize the few moderates in the Chinese leadership and embolden hawks who see conflict as unavoidable. For ordinary Chinese, it will be hard to avoid the impression that the U.S. is simply trying to limit their economic possibilities.
Even on its own terms, finally, this gambit is likely to fail. To be effective, an assault on Huawei would need to be embedded in a larger strategy with a clearer endgame in mind. That’s nowhere in evidence: Is the aim to cripple China’s tech industry? Teach the country its place? Give a boost to non-Chinese suppliers? Provoke a conflict? End one? Without a more focused goal, Trump risks simply alienating U.S. allies, infuriating average Chinese and raising the chances of confrontation, all to no obvious end.
Towards CPEC 3.0
Sohaib R. Malik
In the telecom industry, China’s Huawei has become a leading equipment supplier and is among the world’s most innovative companies with nearly 88,000 patents as of December 2018. Analysts believe it is set to lead the world in the rollout of the future’s most promising, and critical, technology: fifth-generation (5G) mobile telecom infrastructure. As of April 2019, Huawei had signed more than 40 5G contracts globally, proving that the firm can commercialise its solutions faster than its Western and Asian rivals.
Many Chinese tech giants are already present in Pakistan. Since digital connectivity and infrastructure are essential for tomorrow’s economies, future cooperation in this area should form a major pillar of CPEC. Regardless of the US government’s fierce opposition, Chinese tech giants will be at the forefront of advancements in the telecom industry. Therefore, B2B partnerships could help Pakistan’s budding ICT sector to develop capacities by engaging with Chinese partners. Meanwhile, Chinese firms can target the vast untapped potential of Pakistani market.
Concerned chiefly about its soaring dependence on imported fuels and worsening urban pollution — challenges we can relate with — the Chinese government implemented several corrective measures. Since taking the reins in 2013, President Xi has stressed the need for sustainability more than his predecessors. Resultantly, China is a leader in the renewables industry and the largest market for electric vehicles (EVs). According to Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy, by December 2018 China had 181 gigawatt of wind and 175GW of solar PV capacity — a whopping one-third of installations worldwide.
Although Western original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) dominate the global wind turbine value chain, Chinese PV suppliers are rivalled by none, albeit facing anti-dumping duties by many countries. Chinese turbine OEMs have struggled to lure investors outside their domestic market, but thanks to CPEC, they hold a 30pc share in Pakistan’s nascent wind energy market. Chinese turbine OEMs are willing to localise production for future installations, which can lay the foundation for tech transfer — yet another incentive that sets renewables apart from thermal power.
China leads the world in emerging trends in e-mobility. It has over 200 million electric two-wheelers and recorded sales of 1m EVs in 2018 — more than the rest of the world combined. According to McKinsey, a consultancy, the success of Chinese OEMs is more pronounced in the e-bus segment — of the 97,000 urban buses sold in China in 2018, 87,000 were electric.
Beijing has a goal that one-fifth of vehicles sold in China by 2025 should be electric, which will catalyse exponential growth in EV sales and help Chinese manufacturers consolidate their strengths. Advancements in these sectors will create further synergies. For instance, 5G connectivity is necessary to commercialise autonomous EVs and robo-taxis, which will rely on artificial intelligence and fuelled (ideally) through renewables.
This is not to suggest that China will help us become an important player in these futuristic technologies. That thought is far-fetched. Nevertheless, by aiding Islamabad in these areas to address the economic and environmental challenges it faces, Beijing will vindicate President Xi’s stated vision of BRI and legitimise its leadership in the developing world. Or else we must tone down the enthusiasm that encircles CPEC and reassess the allocation of our scarce institutional resources for better outcomes.
Total #broadband #subscriptions in #Pakistan hit 70 million. Figure includes 67 million #3G and #4G #wireless subscriptions and 3 million #wired #Internet subscriptions. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1985151/2-total-broadband-users-pakistan-hit-70-million/
Total broadband, 3G, 4G and landline internet users, in Pakistan have reached a milestone of 70 million, according to latest data by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
Out of the 70 million users, 67 million are 3G and 4G subscribers. The number of total cellular subscribers in Pakistan had reached 161 million by end-April 2019, 1.26% more than 159 million in the previous month, according to PTA.
The total count of Jazz’s 4G users grew from 8.774 million by end of March to 9.618 by end of April, according to PTA data. However, the company released a presser on Friday that it has crossed the 10-million mark for 4G data subscribers. The company’s 3G user number stood at 13.393 million by end-April compared to 13.622 million by end-March, a decrease of 0.229 million.
Telenor 4G subscribers jumped to 6.186 million by end-April 2019 against 5.905 million, while the company’s 3G users decreased from 8.764 million in March to 8.640 million in April.
Zong 4G users also soared from 11.6 million by the end of March 2019 to 12.056 million by end-April.
3G subscribers of the Chinese cellular company increased from 8.764 million in March to 8.779 million in April 2019.
Ufone 4G users stood at 1.156 million in the month under review, while its 3G users declined from 7.846 million in March to 7.646 million in April, down by 0.2 million.
Improved internet penetration has a positive impact on the economy of any country, said an industry official. Due to increased broadband, Pakistan is moving towards financial inclusion.
People in remote areas could not use financial services before, but now they are using banking on mobile, due to which the number of accountholders has reached 53 million, according to the State Bank of Pakistan report of June
USF Universal Service Fund #Pakistan approves Rs. 1.89 billion fund for improving #Telecom infrastructure throughout the country. Will provide coverage to segments of the #highways which don’t have any #connectivity yet such as N10, N25, N50, N65 and N70
Universal Service Fund of Pakistan has approved around Rs. 1.89 billion for improving the telecom and IT infrastructure of the country. The fund is aimed at the development of various projects such as Broadband for Sustainable Development (BSD) Program, Next Generation BSD Program and more. These projects once completed will help improve connectivity across the country.
Taking a look at these projects, first up we have Broadband for Sustainable Development (BSD) which will target around 12,000 districts in all provinces of the country and will connect them with rest of the world. The minimum bandwidth being offered as per this project will be 256 kbps. Currently, 30 major projects are underway through this plan and another grant of Rs. 192 million has been awarded to further increase the reach of this plan to 401 unserved districts of North Waziristan, Bannu and Lakki Marwat.
Second up we have Roaming Facility for National Highways and Motorways which will help provide coverage to segments of the motorway which don’t have any connectivity yet such as N10, N25, N50, N65 and N70. This project was first started off in 2018 and since then, the 694 km long Coastal Highway which connects Karachi and Gawadar has broadband connectivity. As of right now, around 7700 km of roads are not covered.
Thirdly, we have the Next Generation BSD Program for Unserved Population which aims to provide high-speed connectivity to 46 districts with a minimum data rate of 512 kbps. Through this, around 30 million people will have better connectivity. Tender notices have also been released to cater to 3052 unserved or underserved districts of Matiari, Hyderabad, Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin, Sujawal, Bahawalpur, Rahimyar Khan and Bahawalnagar.
#UAE to boost #internet speed in #Pakistan with new 1,300km cable undersea connecting #Karachi and #Gwadar in Pakistan, and #Kalba in UAE. Wi-tribe Pakistan, a group company of HB International Investments Ltd and the EITC will be the UAE landing party. .https://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/telecom/uae-to-boost-internet-speed-in-pakistan-with-new-1300km-cable
Du, the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), is strengthening the UAE's bilateral relations with Pakistan, as well as the country's presence as a connectivity hub, by enabling a new Orient Express submarine fibre optic cable between Pakistan and the UAE.
The 1,300km cable system will link between landing points in Karachi and Gwadar in Pakistan, and Kalba in the UAE.
The launch of the submarine cable system will help Pakistan's digital penetration, reducing the country's digital divide, and improving education and general awareness. It will also link the developing port city of Gwadar to the UAE and open up a new data highway to China through Pakistan.
Additionally, this will provide telecommunications operators in Pakistan with access to the competitive IP transit market.
As the partnering telecom operator for the landmark project alongside wi-tribe Pakistan LDI (Private) Ltd, a group company of HB International Investments Ltd, the EITC will be the UAE landing party for the cable and will provide landing station infrastructure for the connectivity of the fibre optic cable system's UAE presence.
Osman Sultan, CEO of the EITC, said: "With this milestone agreement, we are proud to be able to leverage our extensive expertise to institute this new innovation via our strategic datamena facilities and the regional hub presence of over 150 content and cloud providers, including over 40 service providers in our ecosystem."
Syed Rukhsar Ul Hassan Bokhari, chairman of wi-tribe Pakistan LDI (Private) Ltd and HB International Investments, said: "We are trailblazing new paths towards digital innovation, and the construction of the submarine cable system, 'Orient Express', is a testament to our efforts in becoming a pioneer in telecommunications."
With this agreement, the completed Orient Express cable will offer high bandwidth capacity, internet services and transit facilities with low latency, high-quality routes, and peering services to other service providers and enterprise customers.
With the ability to connect to the UAE-IX, as the in-bound provider, Orient Express will deliver access to the high-potential content-savvy market with a reliable low latency route to international service and content providers. By peering the UAE-IX, telecommunications companies can offload customer IP traffic that terminates or originates in networks connected to the UAE-IX.
#Pakistan's Zong launches fibre-to-the-home #FTTH #internet services to initially deploy #fibre connections in select areas of #Karachi. Pakistan ended June with 161.02 million mobile users, and 71.24 million #broadband subscribers. #telecom #technology https://www.telecompaper.com/news/zong-4g-launches-ftth-internet-service-in-pakistan--1302464
Pakistani operator Zong 4G has launched fibre-to-the-home internet services on the local market. Zong Fiber will initially deploy fibre connections in select areas of Karachi, ProPakistani reports. Zong will provide free installation for the first 100 subscribers.
According to a report from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), Pakistan ended June with 161.02 million mobile users, and 71.24 million broadband subscribers. Zong had 34.71 million mobile customers at end-June, of which around 9 million are 4G subscribers.
'Pakistan on short list of 5G-ready countries with Zong's successful trial'. #China #Mobile #Pakistan (CMPak, popularly known as Zong) on Thursday successfully conducted #5G trials in Pakistan https://www.dawn.com/news/1501031
China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak, popularly known as Zong) on Thursday successfully conducted 5G trials in Pakistan, a press release issued by the company said.
By doing so, Zong has become "the first and only operator to officially test 5G services in the country", the statement added.
An official from Zong while speaking to DawnNewsTV explained that while 4G speeds cover a bandwidth of 50-100mb/s, 5G will deliver at least 1GB/s. He said that in today's trials, a speed of 1.14 GB/s was achieved.
"This success marks an important milestone in Pakistan's telecom sector," said Zong CEO Wang Hua at an event in Islamabad held to conduct the test.
"5G will herald a new era in Pakistan's social and economic sectors," he added.
According to the company's handout, "Zong believes that 5G will bring more profound and long-term changes to Pakistan's economic transformation, social progress, and people's livelihood improvement in future. It is expected that 5G will have an impact on health care, agriculture and education."
The Zong CEO also announced that the company will establish a 5G innovation centre in Pakistan in collaboration with Huawei, for which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed at the event.
He reminded the audience that five years ago, it was CMPak that had first brought 4G technology to Pakistan. Hua said that the introduction of 5G services is an important pillar to meet future technological needs.
PTA chairman retired Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa also spoke on the occasion. "The country will soon be able to enjoy 5G services which will be introduced for commercial purposes," he said.
He said that the Authority was making efforts in this regard and recognises that the introduction of 5G services would bring in a technological revolution.
Information Technology and Telecommunication Division Secretary Shoaib Siddiqui lauded the efforts by PTA and congratulated CMPak on becoming the first to have the achievement under their belt.
“I would like to take this moment in congratulating Zong for becoming the first Pakistani telecommunications operator to have successfully conducted the 5G trial and putting Pakistan on a short-list of countries which are 5G ready,” he said.
"Zong is an important part of the ties that bind the two countries together," added Siddiqui.
The IT secretary said that the government aims to bring in other major developments via the Information Technology sector as well. "It is the right of every Pakistani to be able to compete in terms of technology with the developed countries of the world," he added.
#Telenor gets ready to bring #5G to #Pakistan. It took the first step towards 5G enablement last year by beginning the evolution of its network core from legacy architecture to state-of-the-art virtualized hybrid core, taking the lead towards 5G readiness. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2031097/8-telenor-gets-ready-to-bring-5g-to-pakistan/
Taking another stride towards network transformation and digitalisation, Telenor Pakistan and its network partners have geared up to make the network 5G ready to pass on the benefits of this transformative technology to the people of Pakistan in the coming years.
5G is the fifth-generation cellular network technology that offers faster data transfer speeds and enables advanced solutions such as smart homes, smart cities, autonomous driving, automated emergency services, remote medical diagnosis, smart manufacturing, cloud gaming, and enhanced content & media experiences to name a few.
The development cements and once again demonstrates Telenor Pakistan’s position as the frontrunner of innovation and digital transformation in the country. Today, the company has the country’s first and only 4.5G network and takes the lead with such industry-first initiatives as IoT, Cloud Services, and overall digital ecosystem development comprising innovative solutions for gaming, entertainment, and 3G/4G devices portfolio, etc.
Telenor Pakistan took the first step towards 5G enablement last year by beginning the evolution of its network core from legacy architecture to state-of-the-art virtualised hybrid core, taking the lead towards 5G readiness. The latest development takes Telenor Pakistan one step closer to a successful launch of end-to-end 5G trials to demonstrate the potential of futuristic technologies and solutions for socioeconomic advancement.
“As Pakistan gears up for future technologies that will be integrated into governance, businesses and people’s lives, the role of 5G becomes imperative,” said Irfan Wahab Khan, Chief Executive Officer Telenor Pakistan and Head of Telenor Emerging Asia Cluster, while sharing his thoughts on the development. “With this latest step towards digitalisation and network transformation, Telenor Pakistan is opening up new possibilities for millions of Pakistanis who will be the actual winners in the development. We look forward to continued government support as a digitalisation partner for adequate spectrum allocation for adoption and penetration of 5G over the next few years.”
PTA releases number of #3G, #4G users in #Pakistan. The number of 3G and 4G users in Pakistan reached 69.64 million by end July 2019 compared to 68.93 million by end June 2019, said Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). #mobile #broadband https://www.brecorder.com/2019/08/27/520005/pta-releases-number-of-3g-4g-users-in-pakistan//
Number of mobile phone users in Pakistan reached 161.24 million by end July compared to 161.02 million by end June, which registered an increase of 0.22 million during the period under review.
Jazz’s total count for 3G users stood at 12.912 million by end July compared to 13.105 million by end June, registering a decrease of 0.193 million. Jazz 4G user numbers jumped from 11.116 million by end June to 11.782 million by end July 2019.
Zong 3G subscribers decreased from 8.513 million by end June to 8.270 million by end July while the number of 4G users jumped from 12.658 million by end June to 12.794 million by end July.
The number of 3G users of Telenor network decreased from 8.174 million by end June to 8.128 million by end July i.e. registering a decline of 0.046 million. The number of 4G users jumped from 6.461 million by end June to 6.766 million by end July 2019.
Ufone 3G users decreased from 7.015 million by end June to 6.968 million, registering a decline of 0.047 million. The number of 4G users of Ufone increased from 1.886 million to 2.016 million during this period.
Teledensity for cellular mobile remained at 76.56 percent and broadband subscribers reached 71.71 million by end July compared to 71.241 million by end June.
PTA received 7403 complaints from telecom consumers against different telecom operators including (cellular operators, PTCL, LDIs, WLL operators and ISPs) as of July 2019.
According to PTA data Jazz (Mobilink + Warid) leads the chart with 2359 complaints and Telenor stands at second position as the most complained telecom operator with 1583 complaints.
PTA said that it was able to get 7396 complaints resolved i.e. 99.91 percent.
Cellular mobile subscribers constitute major part of overall telecom subscriber base, therefore, maximum number of complaints belong to this segment. Total number of complaints against CMOs by July stood at 5852.
In terms of the segregation of complaints on operator basis, a total of 2359 complaints were received against Jazz which is 40.31% of the total CMO related complaints.
Telenor, which has the second largest number of consumers, was also second with 1583 i.e. 27.05 percent complaints were received against it.
Zong stood third with 977 complaints i.e. 16.69 percent of total complaints.
Ufone had 933 complaints against its various services which make up 15.94 percent of the total CMO related complaints.
PTA also received 560 complaints against basic telephony where 577 were addressed during July 2019. Further 983 complaints were received against ISPs where 979 were addressed.
Zong Fiber – The Latest Technology In Town!
By Usama Muneer
Zong, one of Pakistan’s most popular telecom companies, has introduced the latest technology in town: High-speed fiber optic internet. By doing this, Zong has become the first and only mobile network operator in the country which is offering this advanced and much-anticipated connectivity service. If you’re frustrated by low internet speeds and poor connections, then you can breathe a sigh of relief because this Zong fiber optic technology is the answer to all your prayers!
Previously, Zong has been the pioneer of 4G technology in Pakistan and has since been a popular choice among customers nationwide as provider of quality internet services. Zong has been reported to be the most preferred 4G network with more than 12 million subscribers. Not only this, but the network has more than 11,000 operational 4G sites and thus, has facilitated its users in enhancing their digital experience with speed, efficiency and style.
Recently, The Consumers Association of Pakistan has selected Zong for the “Best in 4G Services” award. Needless to say, this is living proof that Zong has been leading the Pakistani market and is loved by internet users across the country. Furthermore, Zong is committed to continue investing for the expansion of the 4G ecosystem and promises to deliver state of the art services to offer unparalleled connectivity to its uses.
Taking their mission forward, the telecom company has now come up with direct-to-home fiber optic internet which is a step forward towards reinventing internet services in Pakistan. Through this Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Broadband technology, Zong 4G has committed to deliver top-of-the-line services and the fastest internet speed to its valued customers across the nation.
To launch Zong Fiber, a two-day event will be held in Karachi. To begin with, the service will only be available to select areas in Karachi. The company has also announced that the first 100 connections will enjoy the added benefit of no installation charges. Introducing these latest services, Wang Hua, Zong 4G Chairman and CEO has said,
“Zong Fiber allows us to directly deliver the fastest internet to our valued customers’ homes. We have always endeavored to bring new digital experiences to the lives of our customers. Our objective of people empowerment only strengthens our commitment to provide sustainable and top-of-the-line internet technology to the people of Pakistan.”
Wang Hua has also called the development of Zong Fiber a “tremendous milestone” for the telecom company. It remains to be seen how well customers respond to Zong’s latest advancement and how successful this service is, but with all this in front of us, it’s hard not to have high expectations from Zong’s latest venture.
If the service is as good as it looks, it’s a no-brainer that this will be the future of technology in Pakistan. The tech junkies are buzzing with excitement, and it’s for a good reason!
We absolutely can NOT wait to hear all the reviews from those who get to experience Zong Fiber firsthand, and hopefully try it ourselves soon! The future of internet sure looks bright, and for that, we’re counting on you, Zong!
#Pakistan IT minister tests #5G services at Zong HQ. Dr Maqbool accompanied by Zong (#China #Mobile) Chairman and CEO Wang Hua to 5G experience centre. The facility provides a 5G experience through various innovative 5G use cases in Pak #digital future. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/518839-it-minister-tests-5g-services-at-zong-hq
Dr Maqbool praised Zong for its success in 5G trials, which placed Pakistan on the elite list of countries that were 5G ready. “This is a proud moment for both Pakistan and Zong. With the launch of 5G trials, we want to assure you that the advancement of ICT and digital-led development is of utmost importance for the government of Pakistan. In pursuance of our mission of a ‘Digital Pakistan’, we will soon be a country powering the digitalisation through 5G,” the minister said.
Zong Chairman and CEO Wang Hua said, “Zong’s strive to uplift the technological and digital landscape in Pakistan is aligned with the country’s vision to bring 5G services home.” With 5G readiness, he said Zong has demonstrated long-term commitment for developing the digital ecosystem in Pakistan.
#Digital #Pakistan: Increasing digitization and #internet accessibility make Pakistan's e-commerce market one of the fastest growing in the world. Size of #ecommerce market is up by 92% to 99.3 billion rupees ($640.3 million) during the fiscal year 2017-18 http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1163302.shtml#.XXBF_novZYI.twitter
The number of registered e-commerce merchants was 496 in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2017-18, reaching nearly 1,100 by year end, and was over 1,200 in the first quarter of 2018-19, showing an exponential growth in e-commerce activities in the country.
Pakistan has e-commerce companies in almost every major sector from retail and ride-hailing to property and car purchasing. Benefits such as lower transaction costs, ease of selection of various products while sitting at home, wider selection range, opportunity for making informed purchase decisions based on online reviews and on-time delivery process are the main sources of attraction for consumers, paving the way for the industry to flourish.
Leading online businesses in Pakistan in retail are Daraz, Yayvo and HumMart, whereas ride-hailing services have been overtaken mostly by the global and regional giants Uber and Careem.
Additionally, PakWheels and Zameen are the largest online marketplaces for car and property shoppers and sellers in Pakistan. Among food delivery service providers, FoodPanda is most popular.
The industry has not only helped major players in expanding their businesses, it is also an effective tool for small- and medium-sized enterprises due to low costs and increased accessibility of sellers to customers.
In its efforts to increase the growth and development of the industry, the federal government has recently framed a draft e-commerce policy aimed at achieving higher export growth through enhanced activities from e-commerce platforms, promoting small e-businesses and creating employment opportunities.
The main goal of the policy is to augment the e-commerce industry's growth to make it one of the key drivers of Pakistan's economy.
Though data shows a steady rise in digital transactions and the number of registered vendors, the country's successful e-commerce entrepreneurs believe that Pakistan can learn much from China to further boost the industry, which is still in its infancy, as the latter has an immense knowledge base, experience and advanced technology in this field.
In a conversation with the Xinhua News Agency, Adam Dawood, head of Yayvo, one of Pakistan's largest online retailers, said that China is the world's biggest e-commerce market with annual online sales worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
As a neighboring country, China is eyeing the huge untapped potential in Pakistan, with Chinese e-commerce player AliExpress, part of tech giant Alibaba, recently acquiring Daraz.
"Apart from investment in Pakistan, China has such a big market for products that we could increase our product assortment overnight," Dawood said, adding that there is a lot of learning required in terms of product-market fit, legislation, and route to market that would help Pakistan increase not just the online shopping base, but also the internet penetration rate.
Talking about the challenges the e-commerce industry is facing, Dawood said that Pakistan needs to focus on optimizing overall service delivery and customer experience aspects.
"Our logistics and payments systems need to evolve to be better suited; it behooves the government to pass legislations and cooperate and collaborate with regional players including China to further support and actively promote the digital businesses."
Pakistan needs to encourage Chinese enterprises to explore opportunities in the Pakistani e-commerce industry and join with local start-ups for new business ventures, said Shehryar Hydri, secretary general of the Pakistan Software Houses Association, a trade body promoting and developing software and services industry in Pakistan.
Zong promises 1GB/s to Pakistanis very soon after successful 5G tests
Zong conducted a successful 5g test in Pakistan and the internet speed reached up to 1 GB/s. Zong became the first company to test 5g and Pakistan becomes the first in South East Asian region. Commercial use has not been allowed yet by PTA but Zong promises to bring the high-speed internet soon to everyone
Chinese telecom giant, Zong tested 5G technology in Pakistan on 22nd August, making the country first to test the technology in the South East Asian region to test the 5G services.
A press release issued by company said Zong is the first and only operator to officially test 5G services in the country.
“This success marks an important milestone in Pakistan’s telecom sector,” said Zong CEO Wang Hua at an event in Islamabad held to conduct the test.
Zong official, while giving a briefing on 5G trials said that the 4g technology company is providing currently runs at 50-100mb/s but 5G will boost the speed up to 1GB/s. He further added that Zong was successful in achieving the speed of 1.14 GB/s, highest ever by any company.
The launch event was attended by many government officials and noted personalities from the tech and telecom industry including PTA chairman retired Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa.
Zong was allowed to test the 5G services in Pakistan after PTA approved the tests to be conducted in certain geographical limits but commercial trials have not been approved yet, so, for now, a regular customer of Zong won’t be able to avail 5G services.
The Zong CEO also announced that the company will establish a 5G innovation center in Pakistan in collaboration with Huawei, for which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed at the event.
Officials told media that commercial trails and public usage might take 2-3 years more. Consumers will need a 5G enabled device to avail these services. There are currently less than 1000 5G enabled smartphones on Pakistani networks but the number is expected to rise once the 5G services are officially launched by Zong.
In the test trial ceremony of 5G services Zong also showcased several 5G enabled devices including smartphones, tablets, and portable PCs.
5G technology coming to Pakistan?
Pakistan telecom operators envision the adoption of 5G by 2021. It is expected to arrive in India by 2020. India has already embarked on getting the essential structure in place that will be needed for adopting this advanced technology mandatory.
The government of India has recently set a high-level forum to discuss and formulate a roadmap for directing the successful embracing of 5G Technology.
However, nothing can be said pertaining to the status of the 5G trials in India, with the initial introduction of 5G this year, Pakistan has become the first country to test 5G in the entire South Asian region.
5G Testing in Pakistan
It is good to see that PTA has the consumers’ back, saving unsuspecting users from a cheerful leap towards deceptive marketing. It’s quite another matter that the telecom authorities were there to celebrate Zong’s “successful” 5G trial amid much fanfare last month. Perhaps if the clever play on words was detected earlier and rectified, it wouldn’t have led to this so-public loss of face for the Chinese operator.
Nothing to take away from Zong, though! In fact, the operator has a history of pushing competitors out of their comfort zone. Zong was the first player to bring 4G to Pakistan when other operators were hesitating even on 3G. Zong is reportedly looking to develop a 5G Innovation Center in Pakistan, with the tech giant Huawei on board.
For the market, it’s a long way to commercial rollout of 5G anyway, as full set of 5G standards are awaited by carriers. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And 5G will take five years to arrive, as per PTA’s reported statements to the Senate. For its part, the PTA has allowed the public testing of 5G, with other operators also in the line to test 5G on different sites.
However, over time, 5G’s commercial availability in Pakistan will confront several stubborn issues.
One is the availability and pricing of spectrum. The telecom authorities will need to vacate or re-farm the frequency spectrums that are most suitable for operation as per emerging 5G standards. Also, with the license renewal process under litigation, an agreement on future spectrum fees will likely be as contentious, if not more, between the finance ministry and the telecom operators.
Secondly, it’s still a long way to go before 5G-compatible handsets are made commercially available even in developed markets. But whenever it happens, it will aggravate the import dependency for Pakistan. The mobile-phone import bill has averaged $650 million in the past five fiscals – but come 5G, pricey, high-end handsets will likely make this figure cross the billion dollar mark.
And thirdly, operators must maintain a healthy score for their sponsors to inject fresh capital here. The PKR slide since December 2017 has severely dented telco’s dollar returns for their HQs. While Jazz is somewhat better off among the pack as it is leveraging its scale after absorbing Warid, the market in general is hit by economic slowdown. And this situation is expected to persist for a few more years.
In the light of the above, the telecom authorities need to come up with a holistic roadmap for 5G in time. The planning process needs to address policy aspects including spectrum management, local handset manufacturing, cost of doing business, digital equality, and consumer protection. Meanwhile, operators should try to be one up on quality-of-service instead of selling illusions.
Huawei has made Huge Investment in #Pakistan. The country has great potential for #5G if the government facilitates it. #Huawei has started almost 270 projects in Pakistan including safe city project. https://www.phoneworld.com.pk/huawei-has-made-huge-investment-in-pakistan-plans-to-expand-its-network-in-country/
Pakistan is a favourable destination for telecom investment. Keeping in view the reaping benefits, many international chains have opened their chain in Pakistan. The ever increasing mobile subscribers in Pakistan is no doubt an ultimate indicator of how well the telecom sector is booming in Pakistan. Government has tried its best to make internet access easily available along with the help of CMOs. Due to this the telecom market is successfully attracted by many foreign investors and hence managed to become the best investment destination in the South Asian region. The current market is vigorously changing and hence Huawei has also announced that it has made huge investment in Pakistan and will continue to expand its services in the country.
Furthermore, Huawei also plans to develop its own applications if the US does not allow Google to get in any kind of trading with the Chinese tech giant.
Actually, Huawei was leading the 5G race and US out of jealousy had to do something to stop it. It said that the US was ahead in AI, so they shouldn’t have worried about their 5G research lagging behind.
Fulin also noted that Huawie has made huge investment in Pakistan and will continue to do so in the coming years. He said that the goal of Huawei operations in Pakistan is to hire locally. He revealed that almost 90% of Huawei employees in Pakistan are locals. It’s the company’s policy to give jobs to nationals of the country where they have invested.
He said Pakistan has great potential when it comes to 5G however government needs to be ready for the 5G saga. He told that Huawei has started almost 270 projects in Pakistan that will be installed in Safe city projects working in Pakistan.
#Telenor #Pakistan partners with #Engro’s Enfrashare "to enhance Pakistan’s critical #communication #infrastructure network while allowing Telenor to meet its coverage and capacity requirements for rapidly growing data demands.” #telecom #4G https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2019/11/02/telenor-pakistan-partners-with-engros-enfrashare-for-infrastructure-development/ via @Profitpk
Enfrashare Pakistan Private Limited, a connectivity infrastructure company, and Telenor Pakistan have entered into a long-term partnership for the development of connectivity infrastructure.
Telenor has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Edotco, another infrastructure company, for its operations in Pakistan.
According to the press release issued by Enfrashare, the company will help develop connectivity infrastructure and provide key services to Telenor, thereby upscaling connectivity and enabling the telecom to focus on core business functions.
“This partnership aims to enhance Pakistan’s critical communication infrastructure network while allowing Telenor to meet its coverage and capacity requirements for rapidly growing data demands,” read the statement.
Enfrashare is owned by one of the largest groups in Pakistan – Engro Corporation Limited – and was formed as a digital connectivity firm. At the time of its formation, Engro announced that the company plans to invest Rs7.5 billion in the telecommunication sector of Pakistan. While its expertise and investment in connectivity infrastructure allow mobile operators to reduce the cost of access to consumers, Enfrashare aims to engage with all stakeholders in the telecom ecosystem in order to realise a larger goal of digitising Pakistan.
On behalf of Engro, company spokesman Amanul Haque stated, “Engro firmly believes that connectivity is a basic human need and is the conduit that enables social and financial inclusion. This agreement will allow Enfrashare to work with one of the most respected operators in the country to provide enhanced solutions. Enfrashare envisions enabling broader connectivity and encompasses all necessary components including towers, fibre, energy, and more.”
Telenor Pakistan Deputy CEO and Chief Technology Officer Khurrum Ashfaque said, “We, at Telenor Pakistan, are driven by our vision of empowering Pakistan through enhanced connectivity and believe that telecom technology is a true driver towards bridging the socio-economic divide. We look forward to working with Enfrashare to provide innovative and advanced solutions, including fibre and energy optimization, which will be instrumental for network enhancement in years to come.”
Telenor Pakistan Manager Corporate Communications Saad Warraich told Pakistan Today that Telenor has varied operations in vast areas all over the country, so the fact that the company has entered into partnership with both Edotco and Enfrashare does not have any bearing on its individual projects, and will not be overlapping over each other.
He added that Telenor believes that tower sharing is the right way ahead and progress on that front is also underway.
Tower sharing termed essential to meet #Pakistan's growing demand for #data. Four telecom operators in the country have around 34,000 towers...Advent of #4G and #5G will drive tower requirement for 17,000 more towers by 2022. #Mobile #telecom #broadband https://www.dawn.com/news/1514554
“Data consumption is forecast to increase by as much as seven times between 2018 and 2022, so tower requirements will increase too. The need of the hour is to adopt a more collaborative approach by all telecom companies to be successful in the 5G era,” he (Endotco manager) said.
With future investment plan of $100 million, the Malaysia-based Edotco Group offered telecom operators to provide shared network of mobile towers for better services to the customers in Pakistan, he said.
European countries were following the model of shared network of mobile operators to provide better services to the consumers. It would also result in saving of multi-billion dollars that were being spent on installing parallel towers by different companies.
Mr Koralage said that the company had already invested $200 million to set up mobile towers.
“To shift from 3G to 4G, there needed to be an increase in the number of sites. If each operator has their own site and tower then it will result in overcrowding of towers and therefore telcos have to adopt modern concepts being introduced by tower companies,” he said.
To fulfil the Digital Pakistan agenda of the government and meet the growing demand for data transfer, tower sharing will become essential as it is followed by other advanced countries, he added.
The Edotco official added that Pakistan still lagged behind in the digitisation race as other countries have made robust progress in the last five years. In 2018, the 4G penetration rate in Malaysia was 55pc whereas the 4G population coverage has not even crossed 50pc in Pakistan in 2019.
PTCL to build #Pakistan’s first high-perf #telecom 200G #network with #Nokia. PTCL CTO: “We have enhanced the existing capacity from 100G optical network to 200G to take care of the growing traffic in these cities (#Karachi, #Lahore, #Islamabad)” #fiber
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has deployed Nokia’s technology to expand the capacity of its recently installed 100G transport network to 200G optical network for both domestic and international traffic.
This capacity expansion has been carried out in the major cities of Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi to keep pace with the growing demands for capacity from both individuals as well as enterprises.
The deployment makes PTCL the first operator in Pakistan to deploy high-performance 200G 8 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), an optical long-haul technology offering more capacity at lower cost. The upgrade of its optical network allows PTCL to address the growing demands of bandwidth, enabling its enterprise and individual users in Pakistan’s largest cities to use high-bandwidth services and applications such as HD and 4K video.
In addition, the network upgrade allows PTCL to enhance network capacity with the Software Defined Network (SDN) capabilities of Nokia’s optical solution. Further, the unique flexgrid technology will enable PTCL to upgrade to 300G or 400G in the future over the same installed base.
Saad Muzaffar Waraich, Chief Technology & Information Officer, PTCL, said: “We have enhanced the existing capacity from 100G optical network to 200G to take care of the growing traffic in these cities.”
Carlo Corti, Director of the Optics Business Development, MEA, Nokia, said: “Our field-proven technology enables PTCL to provide the best-in-class network experience to its subscribers. With our 200G technology, PTCL is now in a position to cost-efficiently address the ever-growing demand for capacity.”
Pakistan Telecommunication authority is expected to issue 5G licences this year. This will pave the way to officially launch 5th generation service of mobile cellular communications in the country, which has a subscriber base of more than 161 million as of June 2019.
Khaleej times reports that the 5G service in Pakistan will be 100 times faster than the current levels, while network will be 10 times faster than existing broadband connections available in the country. 5G home routers speed has been recorded at 4 gigabytes per second, which means that it can download a 50gb file in just two minutes.
#Pakistan #Telecommunication Company Limited has deployed Nokia’s technology to expand the capacity of a 100G transport network to 200G optical network for domestic and international traffic to meet growing demand. #4G #5G #mobile #Broadband | Nasdaq
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication was informed by a representative of Special Communications Organisation (SCO) that the organisation was required to provide telecom services in areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B).
He said first phase of the fibre optic cable from Khunjerab to Rawalpindi had been completed under CPEC, adding that traffic tests yielded positive results and the project would help generate a lot of revenue for the government. The official said the government was working on the second phase of the optic fibre cable to extend the network along three routes of CPEC. “Sites have been identified,” he said.
The project had been envisaged in 2017 and its PC-I was sent to the Planning Commission, he said. However, it has not been approved so far. The official said the National Highway Authority (NHA) and Pakistan Railways were also working on laying the fibre optic cable on motorways and Pakistan Railways’ ML-I project.
However, SCO had proposed to merge this project into the second phase of fibre optic cable. He said NHA, Pakistan Railways and the Planning Commission deputy chairman had reached an agreement in that regard, adding that the CPEC Authority chairman had held a meeting and asked for a joint proposal.
The official shared that the first phase had been executed by Huawei and the same high technology would be used for the second phase. “We are following the same standards,” he said. The second phase of the project will cost Rs29 billion and SCO has demanded an allocation of Rs5.19 billion for the year 2020-21.
He pointed out that SCO wanted to enforce the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and mobile certification system in AJK and G-B. “We are asking for funds worth Rs235 million in this regard,” he said, adding that mobile devices would be registered in AJK under the project.
The parliamentary panel was informed that the IT ministry had demanded Rs32.9 billion in the last five years but the government allocated Rs12 billion for IT-related projects in the country. It was informed that the IT ministry was seeking allocation of Rs34.6 billion for 16 new and 15 ongoing IT-related projects in the year 2020-21.
Another official told the panel that attempts had been made to hack WhatsApp of officials in the country and there was a plan to replace the network. He said the cabinet had written a letter that no government officer would use third-party communication apps but there was no alternative platform.
China’s Digital Silk Road after the Coronavirus
April 13, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic will be a history-altering event. But where will it take us? In “On the Horizon,” a new CSIS series, our scholars offer their insights into the fundamental changes we might anticipate for our future social and economic world.
Just a few months ago, China’s technology ambitions appeared imperiled by Covid-19, then raging through the center of the country, bringing its economy to a standstill, and wreaking havoc to global supply chains. But the pandemic is already providing new opportunities for China’s rise as a technology power and global provider of digital infrastructure. Indeed, in the months and years ahead, China’s Digital Silk Road will only accelerate and expand.
Consider the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which Chinese officials have touted as the BRI’s flagship. Since CPEC was announced five years ago, over 60 percent of its projects have been transportation and energy, and many have been bogged down with delays. While proposed pipeline and railway connections between China and Pakistan remain pipedreams, Huawei was able to lay a fiber-optic cable across their border and deep into Pakistan in under two years. Stretching 820 kilometers, the project cost just $44 million—less than it costs to build only four kilometers of railway in Pakistan. Given Pakistan’s mounting debt, the second phase of CPEC, much like the future of the BRI, will place a greater emphasis on smaller, higher-tech projects.
The less visible nature of digital infrastructure also fits more easily into the geopolitical environment that Chinese firms will face as the Covid-19 crisis abates. Prior to the crisis, China’s approach to delivering large projects in foreign countries, which relies heavily on its own companies and workers, stoked resentment among local communities. In recent years, Chinese workers have been attacked in Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, and Kenya, among other stops along the BRI. Given the source of the outbreak, Chinese workers are more likely to face discrimination abroad. Digital infrastructure projects are typically less visible, and less disruptive, to local communities than large transport and energy projects.
Chinese tech companies also see an opening to pitch their products as part of responding to the current outbreak and preventing future pandemics. Hikvision, Dahua, and other leading surveillance companies have introduced thermal imaging systems to detect fevers. Alipay and Tencent have developed health apps that generate QR codes indicating a user’s health status. Naturally, these companies are looking to sell these products overseas. Alibaba is already offering its cloud services to model regional outbreaks and connect health professionals. These offerings are not unique to Chinese companies, but they often come with fewer privacy protections than their Western counterparts.
5G trials have begun in #Pakistan. In January 2020 the telecom regulator issued trial #5G licenses to Zong and Jazz. Ministry of Information #Technology is aiming to launch 5G services later in 2020. #Broadband #mobile https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/06/10/2046350/0/en/5G-trials-have-begun-in-Pakistan.html
Just released, this edition of Paul Budde Communication’s focus report on Pakistan outlines the major developments and key aspects in the telecoms markets.
Regulator postpones renewal of Telenor Pakistan’s GSM licence due to CPOVID-19 crisis,
Fixed line market predicted to decline further over the next five years to 2024;
Dominance of the mobile platform continues to hinder development of fixed-broadband segment;
Universal Service Fund (USF) and Ufone signa contract to provide broadband coverage for the Makran Coastal Highway;
MoIT aiming to launch 5G services later in 2020;
Report update includes operator data to Q1 2020, regulator’s market data for 2019, Telecom Iaturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector.
Key companies mentioned in this report:
Pakistan Telecommunication (PTCL); Ufone (PTML, PTCL’s subsidiary); Telenor Pakistan; Warid Telecom; Zong; WorldCall; TeleCard; PakNet; Wateen Telecom (subsidiary of Warid Telecom); Mobilink; NayaTel; Wi-Tribe; National Telecommunications (NTC), Instaphone
Fibre optic cables from #China border at Khunjerab to #Pakistan's capital Islamabad made operational. High bandwidth #Internet #Fiber will be laid from Islamabad to #Karachi and #Gwadar in the next phase. #digitalhighwayplan #CPEC #5G #digitalpakistan https://tribune.com.pk/story/2254533/fibre-optic-cables-from-khunjerab-to-islamabad-made-operational
The Pak-China fibre optic cable is to be laid along three main routes of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), including railway tracks.
The two countries have already activated first phase of the fibre optic cable, which is an 820km-long cable project from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab. In this regard, a Chinese company has already conducted successful tests and can generate a lot of revenue for the government.
On July 10, the CPEC Authority was thanked for facilitating the realisation of the Kohala and Azad Pattan power projects, by Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Raja Farooq Haider, and the chief executive officers (CEOs) of China Three Gorges and China Gezhouba.
This CPEC chairman (Gen Asim Bajwa) had announced in a tweet that the meetings were held separately and discussed the process of the two projects' execution.
He had stated that a total of 1800MW of hydel power will be produced under the projects, whereas 8,000 jobs will also be created.
Belt and Road means big data
and facial recognition, too
China is exporting the same social control
technology it employs to monitor its own population.
The first exports are across the border into what Chinese Premier Li Keqiang considers the BRI’ s flagship project: the US$63 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Pakistan is no easy country for the BRI to pass through, given its chronic civil unrest and endemic societal turbulence. China is to a certain degree trapped, given Pakistan’s centrality to the BRI, making security within the CPEC crucial.
China is supporting numerous “safe city” projects to improve security within Pakistan’s major urban centres by providing soft, low interest-rate loans and urging the involvment of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Safe-city projects have effectively installed much of the Xinjiang digital security system across numerous Pakistani cities, including Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta, Karachi and Gwadar.
An example is Lahore’s Huawei-built safe city, which uses some 8000 high-grade CCTV cameras, 4G wireless connectivity, facial recognition, automated vehicle number plate recognition, multiple tracking options, integrated communication platforms, geographic information systems and specialised apps for use by security personnel. This system is controlled through a large, 10,000 square-metre integrated command, control and communication centre that uses artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing technology.
Along with digitising Pakistani city security, Chinese SOEs are also deeply involved in improving digital connectivity between the two countries through a cross-border fibre-optic cable link. Internet traffic is routed through China, with talk of adopting Chinese internet regulations and installing a Chinese-style national internet firewall. Such connectivity effectively makes Pakistan an outlier of the Chinese domestic network.
The Xinjiang technologies are also finding use in Africa. CloudWalk, a Guangzhou-based tech startup that has received considerable Chinese government finance, has a strategic cooperation framework agreement with Zimbabwe to build a national facial recognition program. The agreement as part of the BRI is intended primarily to improve security and law enforcement. Movement through Zimbabwe’s airports, railways, and bus stations will be monitored using a facial-recognition database integrated with biometric technology.
The CloudWalk agreement is the first Chinese artificial intelligence project in Africa. The extant Xinjiang facial-recognition database is extensive but inappropriate for an African population. Machine learning using a large local database is essential to optimise the Chinese artificial intelligence software for the Zimbabwean urban environment. Accordingly, as part of the agreement, Zimbabwe will send facial data on millions of its citizens as captured by CCTV cameras to CloudWalk so it can improve its artificial intelligence systems capabilities.
In far western China, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is both a BRI cornerstone, with three major transit routes intersecting, and a major centre for testing new security technologies. Security is being digitised and automated through large-scale urban surveillance networks, big data, artificial intelligence, facial recognition, biometrics, ubiquitous GPS tracking and smartphone spyware. These Xinjiang digital security technologies are now being exported commercially.
Two of Pakistan’s MNOs complete 5G trials
In January 2020 Zong and Jazz completed 5G trials, having been awarded six-month licences. The capacity of LTE infrastructure and the lack of compelling user cases for 5G suggests that network operators are not yet pressed to launch commercial services.
BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.
Regulator postpones renewal of Telenor Pakistan’s GSM licence due to COVID-19 crisis;
China-Pakistan Fiber Optic Project becomes operational;
Jazz reported having 19.1 million LTE subscribers, completes 5G trials;
Universal Service Fund (USF) and Ufone sign contract to provide broadband coverage for the Makran Coastal Highway;
Report update includes operator data to Q2 2020, regulator’s market data to July 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.
#Pakistan in #4G download speed 51% faster than #India's. Both showed a growth in #internet download speeds over last year, with India growing by nearly 12% and Pakistan's download speed grew 24%. #mobile #Broadband #telecoms https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/india-trails-pakistan-in-4g-download-speed-report-says/article32982144.ece
India came second to Pakistan in terms of mean download speed over a mobile phone in the July to September period of 2020.
Pakistan showed nearly 40% faster mobile download speed than India last quarter, according to Internet access analytics firm Ookla.
In terms of mean upload speed, India stood last among the South Asian countries at nearly 4 Mbps. Bangladesh stood third for download speed and second for upload speed.
Both India and Pakistan showed a growth in internet download speeds over the year, with India growing by nearly 12% compared with the same period last year. Pakistan's download speed grew 24% this quarter compared with last year.
In terms of 4G LTE performance, Pakistan outperformed India with its mean download speed over 4G being 51% faster than India's.
India's mobile data speeds is said to be one of the slowest in the world, trailing Pakistan, Nepal, South Korea and Sri Lanka, according to Ookla's Speedtest Global Index. Ookla ranked 138 countries based on internet speeds and India ranked 131st.
India is one of the largest markets in the world for smartphones. It also has access to the one of the cheapest data rates around the globe. The findings also come at a time when operators worldwide compete to roll out the fastest internet service there could be - 5G.
Ookla Speed Test Rankings:
Pakistan (18.8 megabits/sec) ranks 106th and India (12.34 megabits/sec) 131st among 139 nations.
Bangladesh (10.26 megabits/sec) stands 135th among 139 nations.
The final stretch of a cross-border fiber optic cable is set to be laid by China in Pakistan to create the Digital Silk Road (DSR), Nikkei Asia reports. The DSR is part of the broader Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The fiber cable will link to the Pakistan East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) submarine cable in the Arabian Sea, to service countries participating in BRI, and Europe. It is currently being laid between Pakistan’s Rawalpindi city and the port cities of Karachi and Gwadar. The $240-million project, which is in partnership with China's Huawei Technologies, was approved by the government last week.
The laying of sea cable in Pakistan's territorial waters will begin in March, following government approval this month for Cybernet, a local internet service provider, to construct an Arabian Sea landing station in Karachi.
The Mediterranean section of the cable is already being laid, and runs from Egypt to France. The 15,000 kilometer-long cable is expected to go into service later this year.
The PEACE cable will provide the shortest direct internet route between participating countries, and will drastically reduce internet data transfer speeds. It is expected to help reduce Pakistan's exposure to internet outages from damaged submarine cables by providing an additional route for internet connectivity.
According to Eyck Freymann, author of ‘One Belt One Road: Chinese Power Meets the World,’ the BRI is evolving to place less emphasis on traditional heavy infrastructure, and more on high-tech cooperation and digital services.
He told Nikkei Asia that "Beijing wants to dominate the physical infrastructure underlying global communications, particularly the internet,”adding: "This will give it an advantage in internationalizing its tech sector and pursuing future tech-related deals with partner countries."
The ambitious multi-trillion-dollar BRI initiative (or the new Silk Road), announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, aims to boost connectivity and cooperation between East Asia, Europe, and East Africa. It is expected to significantly boost global trade, cutting trading costs in half for the countries involved, according to expert estimates.
Interxion has formed an agreement with PCCW Global to locate the PEACE subsea cable's termination and interconnection equipment in Interxion's MRS2 data centre in Marseille, France.
"Interxion's fluid interconnection environment in Marseille enables the PEACE subsea cable to efficiently service the needs of the vibrant community of interest on the campus, while extending the system's reach to additional markets such as Frankfurt and Paris," said Sameh Sobhy, managing director of Middle East, Turkey and Africa at PCCW Global.
The collaboration on the Pakistan and East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) cable will enable low-latency access to over 160 connectivity providers along with multiple content, cloud, gaming and video streaming platforms.
The PEACE cable will be the fifthteenth subsea cable system to land in Marseille and will expand both PlatformDIGITAL and Console Connect, PCCW Global's software-defined interconnection platform.
"Selecting the right data centre in Europe for the PEACE subsea cable to interconnect with is a critical component to ensure the project's commercial success,” added Sun Xiaohua (pictured), chief operating officer of the PEACE Cable International Network.
“We know that with Interxion we have made the right strategic decision,"
Through the collaboration Console Connect is now available to Interxion customers at MRS1, MRS2 and MRS3. In addition, Interxion customers in Marseille can also access Console Connect's new Internet On-Demand service, which offers internet access on-demand across PCCW Global's Tier 1 IP network.
In addition, PEACE deploys a state-of-the-art "system within a system" configuration that gives each party the required flexibility to design its own subsystem with reconfigurable bandwidth for different points over the lifetime of the cable.
"This collaboration with PEACE and PCCW Global not only solidifies Marseille's future as an intercontinental hub with access to state-of-the-art communication services, but also affords Interxion's global customer base entry into new markets and the ability to connect their often geographically dispersed infrastructure in close proximity to the connected community via PlatformDIGITAL," said Mike Hollands, senior director of market development at Interxion.
"The PEACE cable is well placed to meet the burgeoning exchange of data and video traffic between Europe, Africa and Asia, enabling enterprises to extend their global workflows and efficiently execute their digital transformation strategies."
#Africa-#China Ties 2021: “China still addresses Africa’s hunger for structural transformation in a way that the West does not....Any African country with urgent need for new roads, bridges or ports, then Chinese finance and firms are the obvious option" https://www.economist.com/the-world-ahead/2020/11/17/african-countries-will-remain-best-friends-with-china
VERY THREE years African and Chinese politicians gather at a diplomatic jamboree known as the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC). The summits, which attract more African heads of state than annual UN gatherings, are waypoints in China’s long journey on the continent. Over the past three decades it has become the pre-eminent partner for many African countries. Its importance will be apparent again in 2021 at the next FOCAC meeting, the eighth, which is due to take place in Dakar, the capital of Senegal.
Yet the context for this summit is different from that of the previous seven. During the Trump presidency China’s role in Africa came in for increasing American criticism. In 2020 the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, accused China of offering African countries little but “empty promises and tired platitudes”. Though the Biden administration is less likely to use provocative rhetoric, scepticism of Chinese intentions on the continent will nevertheless endure. So the coming year could prove a tricky one for African policymakers, who are already grappling with the fallout from the pandemic.
China’s image in Africa was tarnished last year by the ill-treatment of African migrants in Guangzhou, a port city. That brought condemnation on social media and by African politicians. But, broadly speaking, African views of China are nuanced and resilient. Polling of 18 countries by Afrobarometer, a pan-African research group, released in September 2020, found that an average of 59% of respondents had a favourable view of China—marginally higher than of America (58%). No wonder African politicians are careful not to take sides.
Nor will they see much benefit in speaking out against China over issues such as Xinjiang, Hong Kong or Taiwan. China places great value on the 54 African countries’ votes at the UN and other international organisations. (In 1971 African votes ensured that the People’s Republic of China was admitted to the UN and that Taiwan was expelled.) It will reward those who vote with it and punish those who do not. Officials in Kenya are known to have studied China’s punitive response to Australian criticism of its human-rights records—and fear what would happen if their country did anything similar.
Even if African politicians wanted to speak out against China, few believe Western governments would support them if they did. “The West is unwilling to underwrite the cost of antagonising China,” says W. Gyude Moore, a former cabinet minister in Liberia, now at the Centre for Global Development, a think-tank. “The continent is best served by charting its own course.”
PTCL Group conducts ‘successful 5G trials’
Minister says it will enable emerging technological environment
The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) had successfully tested 5G technology. The fifth generation technology trial was conducted in a limited environment on a non-commercial basis.
“The demonstrations included remote surgery, cloud gaming and overview of anticipated 5G technology applications in Pakistan. Moreover, the PTCL Group was able to achieve the fastest data rate with download speeds reaching 1.685 Gbpsbb during 5G trial in a limited environment,” according to a press release issued on Thursday.
Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque was also present in the ceremony. Haque along with other dignitaries was presented an overview of the live 5G usage scenarios at the ceremony.
“Once the eco-system is developed, doctors will be able to conduct surgeries remotely in far-flung areas. Thus, it will create new social and economic development opportunities that will make the dream of Digital Pakistan a reality,” it read.
On the occasion, Haque said: “[The] PTCL Group takes a momentous step of successful trial of 5G technology in Pakistan. [The] Ministry of IT & Telecom is committed to Prime Minister’s vision of a Digital Pakistan & Broadband for all its utility and is striving towards realization of PM's vision further as boundless, high speed & resilient.”
He was of the view that communication played a major role in the social economic development and uplift of the financial inclusion of the country. 5G technology would enable an emerging technological environment and eco-system conducive for economic prosperity in the country, he added.
Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, the federal secretary for IT and Telecommunication said: “We are committed to the vision of a Digital Pakistan. [The] PTCL Group’s successful 5G trial today is a major step that will pave the way towards digitisation of Pakistan.” Siddiqui, who is also the chairman of PTCL Board of Directors, added that such a technology would open new avenues in many fields such as education, health, security and communication.
Moreover, Nadeem Khan, the acting CEO and group chief financial officer of PTCL Group, said the PTCL has been serving the nation since 1947. With 5G trial in a limited environment, he added that the technology would unlock new realities for e-health, smart homes and cities, agriculture, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, internet of things and artificial intelligence.
“The PTCL Group’s remote surgery demo enabled by 5G, successfully tested for the first time in Pakistan, will enable people living in far-flung areas to potentially have access to the best medical facilities available anywhere in the world,” Khan said. (WITH INPUT FROM APP)
The spatial competition between containerised rail and sea transport in Eurasia
In the future, the BRI will be significant to the integration of economic trade in Eurasia, following the premise that land and sea transport should find a spatial balance. In fact, analysis of the competition and cooperation between land and sea transport can also be of theoretical significance for transport geography. This paper presents a LSTSB model based on the conceptualised Eurasia and simulates different land–sea transport scenarios. We then identify the transport balance lines by applying the model to Eurasia and present the partition of land and sea transport dominated areas in line with the theories of geopolitics.
The main insights are as follows:
Four scenarios based on different locations of destination, different freight costs, different values of a container’s goods and different speeds of transport are simulated using the theoretical model. They show that these basic factors influence the spatial balance lines of transportation. The results indicate that land transport is relatively competitive with sea transport but that this depends on different factors. Land transport may be undervalued at present due to long-term cooperation behaviour between governments or enterprises with maritime companies.
The case study shows that in terms of freight costs, maritime transport has an obvious advantage in Eurasia. The transport spatial balance line divides the Eurasian continent into a land and sea transport competitive pattern with an area ratio of 1:2. However, this ratio changes to 1:1 when we take time costs into consideration. Results show that the Economic Belt on road has economic feasibility and rationality.
Furthermore, the spatially competitive pattern of land–sea transport in Eurasia is highly consistent with geopolitical theories. This paper presents a partition of transport areas based on the calculation of balance lines, showing the land transport preferred area, the sea transport preferred area and the land–sea transport indifference area. The partition shows that the China–Russia–EU region, located in the land transport preferred area and the land–sea transport indifference area, is the key pivot area of integration influencing the current economic geographic imbalance in Eurasia. Further, it can serve as the analytic basis underpinning the necessity of increasing cooperation between China and the EU under the BRI, which is in the land–sea indifference area. Thus, the LSTSB model can bring a new perspective to the discussion of the spatial pattern of geopolitics and geo-economics in Eurasia.
#China completes work on $1.7 billion project to transform #Pakistan’s dysfunctional national grid. The 878km, 660kV DC, #Matiari–#Lahore transmission line will provide the national grid with a new backbone. 1300 #Chinese & 650 #Pakistanis worked on it. https://www.globalconstructionreview.com/sectors/china-completes-work-17bn-project-transform-pakist/
A $1.7bn electricity transmission line on the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which was begun in December 2018, was inaugurated in a ceremony held in Islamabad and Beijing at the end of last month.
The 660kV Matiari–Lahore high-voltage direct current line will provide Pakistan’s national grid with a new backbone and improve chronic problems with the country’s energy transmission and distribution grids.
The 878km line was financed and built by the State Grid Corporation of China, which will operate it for the next 25 years.
More than 1,300 Chinese and 6,500 Pakistani workers were employed on the scheme.
Hammad Azhar, Pakistan’s energy minister, said the project would bring stability to the country’s power system. Speaking at the online ceremony, he said the project would “enhance transmission capability and bring relief to consumers”.
Electricity generation in Pakistan has increased dramatically in recent years, thanks to the large-scale construction of mainly coal-fired plants funded by China.
As a result the country has an installed capacity of around 37GW and peak demand of only 25GW, although this is growing at a rate of about 5% a year. However the grid is able to handle only 22GW of power, resulting in chronic blackouts and load shedding, particularly in the summer when demand is highest.
However, problems occur in winter as well. In January of this year, the entire country suffered a blackout after a fault at a power station in southeast Sindh province caused the grid to lose its 50Hz frequency, which caused power stations throughout the country to close down.
This makes the reinforcement of the grid, arguably, the single most important infrastructure scheme for the country’s socio-economic development.
Zhang Jianhua, head of China’s National Energy Administration, told those present at the ceremony that the Matiari-Lahore line was the first large-scale transmission project of the CPEC, and would provide “solid assurance” for power transmission in the south and power supply in the north.
Speaking about the economic corridor in general, Azhar added: “The CPEC is of utmost importance for Pakistan. It will enable the country to enhance industrial production, upgrade energy and communication infrastructure and improve connectivity within the region.”
Of Pakistan’s 207 million people, roughly 58 million lacked access to grid electricity in 2018, including 46% of the rural population.
Supernet, Avara win Rs250m project in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: In what could be dubbed a major triumph, Supernet Limited and Australian technology partner Avara Technologies (Pvt) Ltd have been awarded a new project worth Rs250 million, enabling in-country engineers and technicians to rectify faults throughout the equipment’s lifecycle.
The new project, valued at approximately Rs250 million, constitutes Phase 3 of the programme for the supply of multiservice multiplexers and associated operations, maintenance, warranty, and support services.
Supernet Limited (Supernet) announced on Wednesday that they, in conjunction with their Australian technology partner Avara Technologies Pvt Ltd (Avara), have been awarded a new project worth approximately Rs250 million within a long-term program that was awarded in 2021 by a major Pakistani customer.
The new project valued at approximately Rs250 million constitutes Phase 3 of the program for the supply of multiservice multiplexers and associated operations, maintenance, warranty and support services.
The program includes the establishment of a repair facility in Pakistan and the transfer of knowledge through an expansive training program enabling in-country engineers and technicians to rectify faults throughout the equipment’s lifecycle.
Supernet Wins Major Optical Fiber Supply and Deployment Project worth PKR 150 million
Supernet Limited (“Supernet”) has secured a sizeable telecommunications infrastructure development project from a Pakistani mobile network operator.
The project valued at over PKR 150 million includes the supply of optical fiber and associated equipment and its deployment in different areas of Punjab. The total length of different segments constituting this project is approximately 140 kilometers.
With this project, Supernet has reached a significant milestone of 1,000 kilometers of optical fiber supply and deployment projects awarded by mobile network operators in Pakistan.
Head of Business Unit-Telecoms & Defense at Supernet, Ali Akhtar said:
“We are excited to play our part in the expansion of telecommunications infrastructure in Pakistan and supporting the proliferation of communications and digital services by mobile network operators in the country. We are ever grateful to our customers for repeatedly trusting Supernet. The optical fiber business line is a relatively new endeavour for Supernet and the 1,000 kilometres mark is a testament to our capabilities and the springboard for further growth in this segment. This is a strong start to 2022 and we will strive to keep the momentum going.”
Pakistan had almost 128 ISPs in 2007, with customers concentrated in the areas of Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. PTCL offers free dial-up Internet service to all its landline subscribers. In 2006 NayaTel began to offer Fiber to the User (FTTU) triple-services in the capital city of Islamabad. In 2005 Telekom Malaysia acquired 78 per cent equity in Multinet Pakistan, and announced the launch of ‘Project Ittehad.’The blueprint of the project suggested that the company would lay down 4,500-km high-speed and higher capacity fibre optic link, which would link 77 cities of the country. Project was estimated to be completed in 14 months and resulted in a highly accessible, fully redundant and resilient DWDM backbone with 20 gigabytes per second operational capacity and 48 cores of dark fibre. Multinet has 12,000 km long self-healing and scalable optical fiber network covering over 120 cities of Pakistan. Broadband access is available in major cities, wireless broadband Internet has been introduced by the Wireless local loop (WLL) networks in many major cities, and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) networks are being deployed. Most Pakistani companies, educational institutes, and government departments maintain web sites, which has further increased the demand for Internet access.
World's highest #ATM奴: #Pakistan's mountaintop bank machine at 4,693m elevation, the #Khunjerab pass is the world's highest paved border crossing. It has been serving the small number of residents, border staff & tourists – since 2016. #China #Pakistan https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20221003-the-worlds-highest-atm-pakistans-mountaintop-bank-machine?ocid=ww.social.link.twitter
The Guinness World Record-holding machine works like any other; it can be used to withdraw cash, pay utility bills and make interbank fund transfers. But as my kids and I acclimated to the dip in oxygen, what struck me most was the unexpected festivity in the atmosphere: almost carnivalesque, with people FaceTiming relatives, posing for photos and orbiting the ATM to get the best selfie shot.
Karachi school teacher Atiya Saeed had brought 39 of her secondary-school students – all girls – here to the Pakistan-China border. "It's the first time in a long time that we've travelled in Pakistan," she said.
Although they didn't come for the ATM alone, the visit to the border was, she explained, an adventurous geography, history and economics lesson in the most hauntingly beautiful of "classrooms".
Constructed by the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) in 2016, the solar- and wind-powered machine serves the small number of residents and staff at this border crossing – and the adventurous travellers who flock to it as a badge of honour, taking pictures while making a transaction that brings new meaning to the phrase "cold, hard cash".
"My account is frozen!" joked another visitor, South African retired principal Ayesha Bayat, who was on holiday with her husband. "We've come from a country where we do have mountain ranges… but not like this. I'm finding the panoramic views absolutely beautiful," she said.
"It's important to have landmarks… like the Eiffel Tower," said Bayat's husband, Farouk. "They become an excuse to discover the rest of the landscape."
But building this landmark was no small feat. And neither is maintaining it.
The project took around four months, said NBP ATM monitoring officer Shah Bibi. The closest NBP bank location is 87km away in Sost, and Sost branch manager Zahid Hussain regularly travels back and forth, braving extreme weather, treacherous mountain passes and frequent landslides to replenish the ATM. "On average, around 4 to 5 million rupees [£15,540–£19,427] is withdrawn within the span of 15 days," he said.
‘One Network’ catches the eye at IDEAS-22
The ‘One Network’ is an advanced communication project, under which 3,000 kilometres of underground fibre optic cable is being laid along the motorways across Pakistan. After the completion of the project, it would meet Pakistan's telecommunication requirements.
According to the One Network chief operating officer (COO), 2,000 kilometres of fibre optic cable haf been laid under the motorways communication infrastructure. People traveling on the motorways would get relief from the rush situations. It would also eliminate cash payments at toll plazas.
The system would also be linked to the motorway police to keep check on any violation of the traffic rules, such as wearing of seat belt and the speed limit. Besides, in case of emergency, people would get timely recovery or rescue assistance.
The ‘One Network’ covers M1 to M16 Motorways in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Pindi Bhattian, Multan, Sukkur, Karachi, Hyderabad, Sialkot, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat and Hazara, besides the Lahore Ring Road and Lahore-Faisalabad route.
The FWO is also conducting six diploma courses. According to the principal of this project, Col (retd) Atif, about 45 short courses of three to six months of duration were also offered. The graduated from here were associated with technical fields in Pakistan and other countries.
5G technology to be launched next year
The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication is likely to launch 5G technology next year in the country to cope with the challenges of the digital world. The official of ministry of IT and telecommunication said that the provision of broadband services across the country was the topmost priority of the ministry of IT. He said that the ministry of IT through the Universal Service Fund (USF) had launched some 70 projects of optical fiber cable (OFC) and broadband infrastructure development in four provinces at a cost of Rs 65 billion. “All projects are underway in far-flung areas would be completed by June next year,” he added. “In the province of Sindh alone, 20 projects of NGBSD and OFC worth Rs16.3 billion have been started so far in 20 districts, including Tharparkar, Nawabshah, Khairpur, Larkana, Badin, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Mirpurkhas, and Dadu,” the official said. He said that projects of connectivity of the un-served and underserved communities of Balochistan, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces had also been launched. He said, through USF aimed to connect all the citizens of the country as digitalisation had become a priority for businesses and communities. Under its Next Generation Optic Fiber (NG-OF) Network and Services programme, USF had contracted over 16,000km of Optic Fiber Cable (OFC) to benefit 31.5 million populations across the country.
Jazz and Huawei Successfully Accomplished Nationwide Rollout for FDD Massive MIMO in Pakistan
Jazz and Huawei have commercially deployed FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) Massive MIMO (Multiple Input and Multiple Output) solution based on 5G technology in a large scale. The solution has been developed and tailored to the needs of boosting network capacity and user experience.
This customized solution has been the first launch of Jazz and Huawei, supporting Jazz leap into the 4.9G domain. This innovative solution has tremendously enhanced the network capacities along with superior 4G experience for the valued subscribers. The average network traffic increased by around 30% and the average single user speed increased by around 170%.
Jazz’s Chief Technology Officer, Khalid Shehzad said, “We see that our customers are increasingly using high-bandwidth applications which resultantly puts pressure on existing network capabilities. Massive MIMO essentially allows us the freedom to provide more data at greater speeds, enabling our customers to use the enhanced services on their existing 4G devices. Network speeds will be faster than ever, which will significantly improve the end-user experience. Jazz is committed to developing an ecosystem that supports the government’s Digital Pakistan vision and the evolving technology needs of individuals and businesses.”
Huawei provides the industry's unique intelligent beam scheduling and intelligent beamforming technology which are native for 5G. Massive MIMO improves the capability of the handsets to transmit more efficiently. Currently Huawei FDD Massive MIMO has been deployed in more than 70 networks and over 20,000 units have been shipped. The level of collaboration between Jazz and Huawei goes beyond to more domains. For example, the first 400G transmission, the first core network cloudification, the first large-scale commercial use of VoLTE, and the first 3G sunset city. In Pakistan, Jazz maintains a leading position in network performance and innovations, and it leads the development of the entire ICT industry.
China's Sunwalk Group intends to invest $2 bn in Pakistan telecom sector | Business Standard News
China's Sunwalk Group intends to invest USD 2 billion in Cash-Strapped Pakistan's telecom sector for the deployment of an optical fiber network, Business Recorder reported.
The deployment of an optical fiber network will cover an area of 100,000 km over a period of time in Pakistan.
A high-level delegation of the Sunwalk Group led by chairman HOU called on Pakistan's Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Aminul Haque on Tuesday.
The meeting discussed about investment in telecom infrastructure, optical fiber cable (OFC), and right of way (RoW).
Sunwalk (Pvt) Ltd, is a telecom and technology-based multinational private Chinese enterprise that has developed multiple telecoms, and communication infrastructure projects in China and has acquired the TIP License in Pakistan, reported Business Recorder.
The company started deployment and invested about USD 5 million and has the plan to deploy 5,000 km OFC as the next step, according to Business Recorder.
Post a Comment