February 08, 2007

Chinese Delegation Visits PTA Headquarters

Islamabad: Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Maj. Gen. (R) Shahzada Alam Malik has said that Cellular Mobile Phone market of Pakistan is growing fast and it has been recognized world over.

He said this while briefing a 14-member Chinese delegation who visited PTA today. The delegation included senior government officials from Ministry of Information & Industries, Foreign Affairs Department, representatives from software houses, telecom and electronics companies. Member (Finance) PTA Syed Nasrul Karim Ghaznavi, Member (Tech) Dr. Muhammad Yaseen and other senior PTA officials also attended the meeting.

The Chairman said that Pakistan is the fastest growing telecom market in the region owing to the deregulation policies of the Government of Pakistan. He said that prior to the deregulation, telecom sector was facing issues like limited competition, high tariffs and old technologies but the award of new fixed and mobile phone licenses not only brought spectacular growth in the sector but also made subscribers to have better services at highly competitive tariffs. So far, he said, PTA has issued 92 WLL, 14 LDI and 79 Local Loop licenses.

Chairman PTA said that in 2002, mobile phone subscribers were merely 1.8 million but there were 48.3 million subscribers at the end of December 2006. He said that mobile companies are spreading their infrastructure across the country and now most of the rural areas are covered by them.

The Chairman PTA briefed them about the telecommunication policies of Pakistan and their impact on the sector. He said that the whole process of deregulation of telecommunication has ended the monopoly of state-run telecom service provider and the sector was made open for potential foreign and local investors. Chairman PTA said that Pakistan is being quoted as a model in telecommunications owing to its high speed growth and volume of foreign investment pouring into the sector.

While welcoming China Mobile into Pakistan market, he said that it has recently reached an agreement with Millicom International to acquire M/s Paktel. He hoped that this new development will bring further growth to pulsating Pakistan mobile sector.

Mr. Zhao Wenzhi, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Information & Industries appreciated the development made by Pakistan in the telecom sector. He briefed the senior PTA officers about the Chinese telecom sector and hoped that cooperation can be improved between the two countries in IT & Telecom sector. Chinese delegation discussed the telecommunication policies and appreciated the excellent headway made by Pakistan telecom sector.


Khurram Ali Mehran

Deputy Director (PR)