The commercial operations of the fibre optic cable project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would start full commercial operations by the end of this year, which would prove to be the biggest revenue generator for Pakistan and would provide the briefest route for the Chinese telecom firms.
Nasirul Mulk—the Caretaker prime minister had begun the project a few weeks back, however, the project would begin its commercial operations by the end of the present year.
Some Chinese firms, which includes China Telecom have displayed their interest in diverting their telecom traffic from the undersea cable passing via India and using the fibre optic cable which is laid between China and Pakistan.
The total amount spent on the startup amounts to $44 million supported by eighty-five per cent of the concessionary loan from the Exim Bank of China. The project is under the ownership of Special Communication Organisation (SCO)—operated by the military and its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is with Huawei.
Ashraf Malik—the Huawei Project Director while conversing with the local media said that the phone calls would come from China to Pakistan via the fibre optic cable and then they would be routed to the Middle Eastern nations, Africa, Europe, Afghanistan and Iran.
He also informed that coordination with some Chinese firms like China Telecom was ongoing to put the traffic on the new cable network, which would be building trust among other Chinese firms and would motivate them to use the new route.
He added that Pakistan would be receiving a huge response from the Chinese firms.
The Huawei project Director stressed that the telecom route would be shortest, and the traffic would take a lesser amount of time in linking with other nations.
Additionally, the telecom traffic would be cheaper in comparison to the cost of using the undersea cable that goes via India. He added that the dependency of both the nations—Pakistan and China on India would end owing to this new route.
He said that the Chinese telecom firms would be charged by Pakistan for making use of the network. He added that it all depends on Pakistan that how it maintains and makes use of this traffic for commercial purposes.
The targeted time for the project completion was three years, however, the work ended in one year and nine months. However, no test trails were executed owing to the severe weather conditions.
Testing is being done this year, whereas the project reached completion two and a half year before it was scheduled to complete.
He also unveiled that no Chinese physical help in terms of the labour force was taken during the entire project, it all came from Pakistan.