Wireless payphone service awaiting TA’s approval
KARACHI, (Reuters): Pakistani company Telecard Ltd plans to spend $200 million to set up the country’s first wireless pay phone service, a company official said.
Telecard is now waiting for approval from Telecom Authority to begin work that will be completed within two years, director Shahid Firoz told Reuters late on Tuesday.
“The total project is for 125,000 payphones and this envisages an investment of roughly $200 million,” he said.
Firoz said the company would share its revenues with state-run Pakistan Telecom Ltd, as the calls from the wireless payphones would be patched into its network, under an agreement signed last month.
Firoz said Geneva-based ‘World Tel would also fund the project and would take a 40 percent share in Telecard.
“We are expecting the, commencement within 90 days…in fact we are very keen in having the first phone operational before June 30, 1999, in Faisalabad (Punjab),”. he said.
He said it took three years for the project, which was signed last month, to materialise.
Firoz said the wireless system meant avoiding the complex infrastructure normally needed to expand a land line telephone system into rural areas.
He said Pakistan Telecom would also have a significant role to play in the venture because of its large network.
“These phones will be used to call up anywhere in Pakistan and overseas by accessing PTCL’s network,” he said.
He said without investing anything, Pakistan Telecom would have additional traffic of calls and telephone services to untapped rural and suburban areas of Pakistan.
“We will be sharing our revenues. There is a bilateral revenue sharing agreement with PTCL,” he said.
He said the project was also expected to encourage more private-sector involvement in the telecom industry.
Source: Business Recorder