PTCL to launch cable TV distribution system -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PTCL to launch cable TV distribution system

ISLAMABAD- Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) would launch a cable television distribution system to deliver value added and state-of- the-art services to its customers.

“At the initial stage we have planned to provide 70 channels, high speed Internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to our customers by end of 2004,” Chairman PTCL Akhtar Ahmad Bajwa said.

He said, a license has already been obtained to run this terrestrial cable TV distribution system which would be launched initially in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad by end of 2004.

The Chairman said in phase one multimedia convergence services would be provided in three cities connecting about 100,000 corporate and residential customers.

The system will be run on the Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) distribution network, he said, adding, the network would have high capacity to deliver IP based data and corporate connectivity to the customers.

He said the HFC network will be an extension of PTCL’ s Optical Fibre Access Network (OFAN) which is a network of high capacity junction and access fibre rings that will run through various parts of the cities.

He said PTCL also aims to extend this service to other cities of the country by utilizing it’s inter city fibre links and also a hybrid of coaxial and wireless access technologies.

PTCL generates 70per cent of its total revenue from corporate customers and the main object of this project is to retain them by providing quality services in the wake of deregulation scenario, he added.

He said PTCL has included DWDM technology in its system to greatly enhance the bandwidth capacity, keeping in view the rapidly growing number of fixed line and cellular customer Internet users, data communication operators and anticipating deregulation of Telecom in industry.

PTCL envisages expansion of optic fibre network to meet the growing demands of conventional traffic as well as high speed services, he said.

The Chairman said the capacity of optic fibre has increased by four times with inclusion of this technology in the system. The DWDM backbone interconnects all the major 23 cities and towns of Pakistan on both sides of river Indus, he added.

Highlighting the projects being launched by the organisation to facilitate customers, the Chairman said one of the main projects is billing and customer care programme.

This 21-month long programme to be executed in phases will, start functioning by end of June next year and would be fully operation by end of 2004, he added.

In the first phase, he said, an integrated software will be introduced with the sole aim to handle online billing, application for telephone connection, fault management, and maintenance of data-base and inquiry through one window.

Billing packages with different rates and new products will also be introduced under the same programme to facilitate customers of different categories, he informed.

The other programme is Computerized Directory Assistance Service presently operational in 16 cities, the Chairman said, adding it would also be expanded to

24 more cities by next year.
The Computerized Fault Management System, known as 18 inquiry is available in eight big cities and would be introduced in 21 other cities in coming year.

The Chairman PTCL said the fibre optic connectivity is being increased from 200 to 400 cities by end of June.

This will improve capacity and quality of internet service. He said internet facility is available in 1658 cities, towns and villages covering 70 per cent of the population.

Now internet can be used in 1000 cities in Punjab, l7l in Sindh, 99 in Balochistan and 356 in NWFP through one local call.

Bajwa said Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have point of presence in 38 cities and will be increased to 36 more cities. This expansion will reduce distances for Internet users, improve internet quality and speed and bring down tariffs.

He said two megabits free of cost dedicated capacity is being added for one year in these 36 new cities. PTCL is also planning to facilitate ISPs so that these can install their equipment at its exchanges provided there is capacity.

He said steps are being taken to make the international bandwidth on submarine cable, more reliable which would result in reduced tariffs.

Internet exchange network presently working in three major cities would be set up in four more cities, he said, adding this network is being expanded and high speed routers are being installed to improve its efficiency.

To improve teledensity and meet demand in rural areas, Bajwa said PTCL will introduce Wireless Local Loop (WLL), a cordless telephone system which can be used in a radius of 25 kilometres.

He said 195,000 customers will be accommodated in WLL system by June next year. WLL has shorter installation time and can be easily maintained, he added.

To a question, he said human resource development is an ongoing programme and PTCL arranges refresher courses and on job training for about 6000 of its employees every year.

Replying to a question, Bajwa said PTCL is encouraging foreign investors to establish call centres in Pakistan. These call centres help create job opportunities for the unemployed youth.
Source: The Nation