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Pakistan Rolling Out High Speed Broadband Access Service

Pakistan is working on a major roll-out of bonded VDSL2 to deliver 50 Mbps, five times the top speed of the nation's highest level of service today, at a construction cost of just $200-300 per home passed.



Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), the nation’s state-controlled phone company, is deploying VDSL2 Bonding technology to provide existing digital subscriber line (DSL) customers with speeds up to 50 Mbps. The project leverages Alcatel-Lucent’s VDSL2 Bonding expertise and will be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2011, according to a report in Daily Times.

VDSL2 technology is a good cost-effective option for Pakistan to upgrade existing DSL because it could serve as a platform to deliver broadband, video, and phone service, much like AT&T’s U-verse known as triple-play. VDSL2 Bonding takes two copper-based VDSL2 lines per subscriber and aggregates them—almost doubling the bandwidths available to existing customers, or expanding high-speed broadband access to areas that are underserved today.

PTCL selected VDSL2 over fiber to the home (FTTH) primarily because of cost. With fiber installs twice as expensive as a DSL upgrade, a developing country like Pakistan couldn’t justify the higher price. VDSL is expected to be an important part of broadband expansion in the developing world, particularly in Africa, southeastern Europe, and central Asia. Longer term, Pakistan is building Fiber To The Home (FTTH) network for much higher bandwidths, and several thousand homes have already been wired with fiber as a pilot roll-out in Islamabad by a Pakistani Internet service provider (ISP) called Nayatel.

With just over a million broadband subscribers as of October 2010, Pakistan’s broadband subscriber base is small. But it is in the midst of explosive growth with an increase of 63.5% from the 643,892 in December 2009. While the DSL remains the main technology used to access broadband services in the country, alternative wireless solutions WiMAX and EV-DO are catching up fast. The number of DSL users grew by 96.5% from 262,661 in June 2009, according to Business Monitor International (BMI). By contrast, subscriber figures of WiMAX and EV-DO increased by 246.6% and 708.5% over the same period to reach 306,665 and 181,947 respectively. The popularity of mobile broadband services is likely due to more affordable pricing plans bundled with low-cost mobile devices. Moreover, two-thirds of the population reside in rural areas where fixed-line infrastructure remains poor and wireless broadband service therefore becomes an attractive and relatively cheaper method to bring connectivity to the underserved regions.



At current pricing, PTCL offers a basic broadband service package with a 256kbps connection limited to 1GB of data for Rs. 299 ($3.50) a month. This low-cost package is designed for users interested in email and light browsing, not heavy downloads and uploads.

The next level is the popular 2Mbps unlimited package for around Rs. 1499 ($17.78) a month. And then there is 10Mbps service for an expensive Rs. 8500 ($100) a month. With the upgrades, PTCL can either raise speeds, reduce prices, or a combination of both. Other than the 256kbps service, all other broadband packages from the company offer unlimited use.

Considering all the massive negative propaganda in the Indian and western media about Pakistan, it is interesting to see that some Americans are noticing the high-speed access build-out in the "failed state" of Pakistan by a state-owned telephone company.

In a provocatively titled post "Osama bin Laden Getting Faster Internet Than You Have: Pakistan’s ..., an American blogger Philip Dampier complains as follows: "While America’s heartland is being wired for 3Mbps DSL service, residents in Pakistan are getting ready for speeds up to 50Mbps thanks to a major broadband expansion in the country".

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Views: 239

Tags: Broadband, DSL, PTCL, Pakistan

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 2, 2011 at 8:30am
A Pakistani's tweets captured the events in Abbottabad in a twitter stream hours before Obama announced the killing of Osama Bin Laden, according to CNET news:

Even before U.S. special forces succeeded in their mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden earlier today, Twitter users were recording a rough outline of the events to come.

Sohaib Athar, who describes himself as a 30-ish independent software consultant "taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains with his laptops," happened to be in Abbottabad, Pakistan, about 10 hours ago.

Athar heard the helicopters used during the raid. He shared updates live on Twitter, according to the microblogging service's timestamps. And he's likely to be a footnote in history as a result.

President Obama announced bin Laden's demise this evening, saying the elusive al-Qaeda leader was killed in a firefight and the identity of his body had been confirmed. (See related CNET story.)

Here are some excerpts from the conversation that Athar and other Twitter users had over the last 10 hours:

https://twitter.com/ReallyVirtual/status/64780730286358528
Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event). about 10 hours ago via TweetDeck

https://twitter.com/ReallyVirtual/status/64783440226168832
A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S about 10 hours ago via TweetDeck

https://twitter.com/ReallyVirtual/status/64792407144796160
@m0hcin all silent after the blast, but a friend heard it 6 km away too... the helicopter is gone too. about 9 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to m0hcin

https://twitter.com/m0hcin/status/64791032579108864
Just talked to family in Abbottabad, say they heard three blasts one after another, don't know what really happened. about 10 hours ago via web

https://twitter.com/ReallyVirtual/status/64793269908930560
@m0hcin the few people online at this time of the night are saying one of the copters was not Pakistani... about 9 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to m0hcin

https://twitter.com/m0hcin/status/64794837077065728
Seems something nasty happening in #Abbottabad, God save us. about 9 hours ago via web

https://twitter.com/ReallyVirtual/status/64796769418088448
Since taliban (probably) don't have helicpoters, and since they're saying it was not "ours", so must be a complicated situation #abbottabad about 9 hours ago via TweetDeck

https://twitter.com/ReallyVirtual/status/64798882332278785
The abbottabad helicopter/UFO was shot down near the Bilal Town area, and there's report of a flash. People saying it could be a drone. about 9 hours ago via TweetDeck

https://twitter.com/tahirakram/status/64797447821602816
@ReallyVirtual Damn. Unusual. Was it of Pakistan Army? about 9 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to ReallyVirtual

https://twitter.com/ReallyVirtual/status/64800262354763776
@tahirakram very likely - but it was too noisy to be a spy craft, or, a very poor spy craft it was. about 9 hours ago via TweetDeck

https://twitter.com/ReallyVirtual/status/64892915167657984
@kursed Well, there were at least two copters last night, I heard one but a friend heard two, for 15-20 minutes. about 3 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to kursed

https://twitter.com/naqvi/status/64883228590350336
i think the helicopter crash in Abbottabad, Pakistan and the President Obama breaking news address are connected. about 3 hours ago via web Retweeted by ReallyVirtual

https://twitter.com/ReallyVirtual/status/64892915167657984
Uh oh, now I'm the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it. about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck



Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20058790-281.html#ixzz1LD0zXP60
Comment by Riaz Haq on January 23, 2013 at 5:50pm

Here's a Telecom report on growing base of broadband subscribers in Pakistan:

Pakistan ended October 2012 with 2.25 million broadband subscribers, up from 2.21 million in September, according to figures from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Most subscribers used DSL to connect to the internet, with the numbers rising to 913,102 from 904,154 a month earlier. Furthermore, the number of EV-DO internet users grew to 700,214 from 666,886 in the prior month. However, the Wimax internet base fell to 587,967 from 591,680 in September and the number of HFC internet users slipped to 34,141 from 35,343. There were also 9,299 FTTH users in October, up from 8,971 a month earlier, and 3,069 broadband subscribers used other technologies.

http://www.telecompaper.com/news/pakistan-ends-october-with-225-mln...

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 14, 2013 at 7:48pm

Here's a Financial Post story on $100m deal for satellite Internet access in Pakistan:

With the launch of the first four satellites in [external] O3b Networks’ satellite fleet only 78 days away, O3b announced today a strategic agreement with Pakistan’s largest ICT company Interactive Esolutions. Using multiple O3b beams to provide coverage of the entire country, Interactive will be providing a full suite of services in Pakistan, including trunking services to underserved regions, cellular backhaul for mobile operators and enterprise and e-government services across the country.

O3b Networks will deliver fiber-like speed at sub 150 millisecond latency and affordable prices, opening the door to new applications and growth opportunities for customers in Pakistan.

Mr. Shahid Mahmud, Chairman/CEO Interactive Group said, “We are extremely excited about this agreement as we strongly believe that the Pakistani market offers immense appetite for bandwidth and data. Our customer base varies from Telecom operators to large and small enterprise across the country. We anticipate great demand in the Oil & Gas sector, Health, Education, Shipping and Government sectors. We are happy that Interactive will be contributing to the growth of broadband through this state of the art technology. We firmly believe that together we will usher in a new era of Internet usage proliferating the positive effects of connectivity amongst the people of Pakistan.”

“We are honored to support Interactive Group in continuing their history of technical innovation and service to Pakistan,” said Steve Collar, CEO of O3b Networks. “Pakistan, with its burgeoning population and growing economy is in desperate need for state of the art communications infrastructure. By overcoming the geographical hurdles presented by mountainous terrain, working together with Interactive we can ensure that broadband connectivity is available across the entire country.”

O3b’s unique eight satellite, Medium-Earth-Orbit fleet enables affordable, high-speed connectivity in places where traditional satellite and fiber offerings are unavailable or extremely costly.

http://www.financialpost.com/m/markets/news/Networks+Interactive+So...

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 29, 2013 at 8:31pm

Here's a Dawn report on fiber optic plans for Pakistan:

Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman on Thursday announced to lay optic fiber across Pakistan for spreading telecom facilities to create equal opportunities for masses.

She stated this while making a surprise visit to the fiber optic route of Chirah-Lehtrar-Kotli Sattian.

“An optic fiber cable of about 40 km has been laid and has proved to be an asset for a populace of about 101,000 people and further initiatives will be taken in future by the ministry of IT to spread optic fiber across all the union council's of the country to connect the entire nation,” she said.

So far more than 4,250 km of optic fiber cable has been laid to connect the un-served tehsil's and towns. With these achievements, USFCo and ministry of IT has created a success story for the public-private partnership entities nationally and internationally, she added.

“The ministry of IT, Telecom and USFCo stands committed to the envisioned goal of spreading innovative yet affordable ICT and telecom solutions to the masses across the country and this project has particularly played an important role in facilitation of ICT services and has generated socio-economic benefits for the locals of this area.”

Anusha during her visit to the site was accompanied by the secretary MOITT and the senior management of USFCo.

http://dawn.com/news/1059171/it-ministry-to-lay-optic-fiber-across-...

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