Post-floods reconstruction: Telecom sector to spend Rs 2.3bn on infrastructure -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Post-floods reconstruction: Telecom sector to spend Rs 2.3bn on infrastructure

By Muhammad Yasir

KARACHI: Landline and cellular operators’ expenses to repair damaged infrastructure are likely to cross Rs 2.3 billion in flood-hit areas across the country.

Heavy rains and flash floods have destructed the network infrastructure of telecom operators unprecedentedly in different telecom regions of the country.

The initial assessment report prepared by Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) said the damage losses of the two sectors would increase manifold as the figures show these sites have became totally un-operational and destructed.

However, expenses to repair and reestablish sites are excluded from the estimates as the number of Base Transceiver Stations and Base Controller Stations / cellular towers, switches, optic fibre cable hit at large in the floods are likely to enhance with the completion of next assessment phase.

The report said the losses are initial ‘snapshot’ of the damage incurred as of August 18. The complete report will be furnished subsequently when the next assessment phases is conducted in all telecom regions of South Punjab, Khaber-Pakhtukhwa, Sindh and Baluchistan.

Landline operators’ infrastructure includes switches, route cable network, aerial optics and buildings. Fiber cable cuts on backbone and local fibers cables. Feeder cables damages at large due to settlement of cable bridge foundation support.

The report said the Special Communication Organization (SCO) incurred losses of Rs 89.14 million in Azad Jamu and Kashmir region. Its infrastructure damaged in Gilgit Baltistan cost it Rs 93.270 million.

The National Telecom suffered losses of Rs 2 million by the floods in Peshawar and adjoining cities.

Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL) incurred losses of Rs 164.3 million in Peshawar alone. It is expected that its repair expenses will increase manifold as assessment of damages are revealed further.

Damage to Multinet’s 350-km long optic fibre cable resulted in losses of Rs 600 million in DI Khan.

The cellular sector incurred a loss of Rs 1.36 billion as a result of damages to its infrastructure.

The boundary walls and tower bases have collapsed and equipment such as Business Support System and DC Power System have been damaged due to water accumulation inside the site.

Telenor infrastructure was the worst hit as damages cost it Rs 438.6 million for its 86 BTS. Mobilink incurred losses of Rs 331.5 million for its 65 BTS. Ufone losses are reported to stand at Rs 113 million after its BTS and DC Power Equipment damages in 16 locations. Zong’s 96 damages BTS cost it Rs 236.3 million and Warid expenses accrued to Rs 249.9 million to repair its 49 sites.

The expenses of cellular operators to restore their network will increase manifold with the surge in the number of damaged sites.

Najiubullah Malik, federal secretary, said the telecom operators have intensified the repair operations of the sites by sending their technical teams.

He said all-out efforts are being made to restore the disrupted networks in different regions in order to re-establish the telephony communication in flood-hit areas.
Source: Daily Times