From Khunjrab to Rawalpindi the Optical Fiber project can revolutionize the communication systems in Pakistan. According to the Special Communication Organization (SCO), the GSM network in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has been upgraded to 3G/4G services.
“We have replaced GSM network in AJ&K and waiting for Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)’s spectrum 3G/4G auction, once the auction is ended 3G/4G services would be launched in AJK”, said SCO officials in a meeting with the standing committee on Information Technology and Telecom.
Pak-China Optical Fiber Cable Project
The SCO officials said the $44 million project which directly connects Pakistan and China is the part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be completed by December 2018. The project will provide safest and fastest internet route between both countries.
Furthermore, 85% of the investment on the project is provided by China while 15% is from the government of Pakistan, this mutual investment project would provide high-speed internet connection to cater the rapidly growing need for both countries.
In this project, 820km long Optical Fiber cable had to be installed underground from Khunjrab to Rawalpindi, the task was assigned to SCO and the physical deployment of the project has already been completed. Other technical implementations are remaining which wouldn’t take much time in the future. When the project is completed and launched it will provide Pakistan with direct access to telecom in China, Central Asia and even Europe and America.
The project has a huge potential for generating revenue besides the safe route of data transfer between the two countries.
Second Optical Fiber Cable Project
The proposal for the next phase of Optical Fiber project which is focused to create a linkage between Khunjrab and Gawadar-Karachi is already been proposed and PC-1 has been submitted to IT ministry in order to provide international linkage along the CPEC route.
However, according to the current government, there are some legal issues in this phase due to which SCO is not sanctioned to proceed with the project. The decision is still pending and waiting for approval from the current prime minister.