Digital BRI: China and Pakistan Building CPEC Info Expressway With Fiber, 5G

‘Digital Silk Road’ project is one of 12 sub-themes agreed to at the recently concluded Belt Road Forum 2019 (BRF19) in Beijing. This state-of-the-art information superhighway will involve laying fiber optic cables in Pakistan which will connect with China in the north and link with Africa and the Arab World via undersea cable to be laid from Gwadar Deep Sea Port built as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The global project will include 5G wireless networks deployment in BRI (Belt Road Initiative) member nations.

China-Pakistan Fiber Optic Cable Route

Fiber Optic Cables:

The laying of 820 kilometer long China-Pakistan fiber optic cable has already been laid between the city of Rawalpindi, Pakistan in the south and the Khunjerab Pass, China in the north  and operational since July, 2018.

By 2020, the 6,299 kilometers of underwater cables will extend to Djibouti from Gwadar and form the Digital Silk Route between Asia and Africa. At the same time, a space-based Silk Road will provide satellite navigation support to all BRI countries. The first Beidou base station of the Space Silk Road is already operational in Pakistan since 2017.  BeiDou is making rapid progress with 30 BRI countries already linked up.

When completed, the ambitious global initiative would use an exclusive satellite navigation system, BeiDou, fiber networks and 5G on land and submarine cables to create a multi-dimensional digital mega-project across land, sea and space.

5G Deployment:

Huawei is already pushing for 5G deployment in Pakistan where it has already established a strong market presence. Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) has already identified spectrum in 2.6 GHz, 3.5 GHz and millimeter wave band it plans to allocate for auction to 5G vendors. This will include both fixed and mobile 5G deployment.

PTA has set up its 5G Working Group with members from telecom operators, vendors, manufacturers, Academia, R and D organizations, regulator (Pakistan Telecom Authority - PTA), Pakistan Government ministries and Frequency Allocation Board (FAB).

Over 65 million Pakistanis now subscribe to 3G and 4G services launched 5 years ago. 5G uptake rate in Pakistan is expected to be rapid. "Attractive tariffs for 5G users will be the key to encouraging a large number of customers" Mohammad Suhail, head of the Karachi based Topline Securities Investors' Advisory told Nikkei.

US vs China:

The Trump Administration sees China's aggressive 5G lead as a threat to the West's technology dominance. US government has been warning its allies against use Huawei's 5G equipment in their networks based on its fears of Chinese government espionage operations.

Chinese 5G suppliers currently hold 36% of all 5G patents worldwide. In spite of US efforts, Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE are beating their western rivals to acquire access to huge markets around the world in Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East.

Summary:

China is aggressively pursuing its plans to build a global digital superhighway that runs through Pakistan. This "Digital Silk Road" involves laying fiber optic cables in Pakistan which connect with China to the north and link with Africa and the Arab World via undersea cable to be laid from Gwadar Deep Sea Port built as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). An 820 kilometer long China-Pakistan fiber optic cable has already been laid between Rawalpindi, Pakistan and the Khunjerab Pass, China.  The global project will include 5G wireless networks deployment in BRI (Belt Road Initiative) member nations. Meanwhile, the United States is continuing its campaign to have its allies boycott 5G equipment built by China's Huawei.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

State Bank Targets Fully Digital Economy in Pakistan

Campaign of Fear Against CPEC

Fintech Revolution in Pakistan

E-Commerce in Pakistan

The Other 99% of the Pakistan Story

FMCG Boom in Pakistan

Belt Road Forum 2019

Fiber Network Growth in Pakistan

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has transformed 13 more exchanges in 7 cities as part of its Network Transformation Project (NTP).

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/pakistan-telecommunication-company-limited-p-605961.html


The upgraded exchanges include: Ghakhar, Vaniawala and Pasroor Road exchanges in Gujranwala, Shahdara, Egerton Road and Bahria Town exchanges in Lahore, Chaklala & Islamabad Town exchanges in Islamabad, Charsadda Road & Cantt. exchanges in Peshawar, Sargodha Road exchange in Faisalabad, Wah Cantt.

exchange in Rawalpindi and Kharian exchange in Kharian.

Through PTCL's new network, customers can experience a faster and more reliable internet based on the company's enhanced copper network, along with a new fiber network. The upgraded exchanges under NTP have already resulted in a 40% reduction of customer complaints.

Jahanzeb Taj, Chief Business Operating Officer, PTCL,said, "Under NTP, PTCL has invested considerably in transforming and upgrading its top 100 exchanges, which have the highest number of customers in major cities. As a result, customers can now experience a quality network that offers high speed unlimited internet, state-of-the-art technology, seamless surfing and unlimited data streaming, all of which is vital in today's digitally connected world." PTCL customers can view the upgraded exchanges through company's official website and subscribe to 8, 15, 25, 50 and 100 mbps unlimited internet packages offered in transformed exchanges with free PTCL calls, unlimited downloads, free PTCL Smart TV & Smart TV App and free Wi-Fi router, said a press release issued here on Thursday.


Riaz Haq said…
PAKISTAN –Way Forward 5G

https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Regional-Presence/AsiaPacific/SiteAssets/Pages/ITU-USF-(Pakistan)-Workshop-on-Internet-Access-and-Adoption/5G%20%26%20Digital%20Divide%20-%20Challenges%20and%20Opportunities.pdf

• A PTA- FAB – MoIT&T - Operator – Vendor- Academia based
Working Group is being established. Consultations to be started
soon.
• Pakistan to participate with Standardization bodies especially in
WRC-19
• 5G Trials will be offered. Test & Trial Framework in progress
• Permission for trials will be granted as per applications received.

4.5G LTE-Advanced (Rel. 12 and above) can be utilized as a bridge
towards 5G Networks.
• For conducting Pre-5G trial, Hot Spots can be set-up using Fixed
Broadband Network based on TDD-LTE technology (Rel 12 at
least)
• Trial conditions can be better met in an Indoor Network because it
allows better control on SINR conditions thus resulting in
utilization of higher modulation schemes (64 & 256 QAM) and
support high order MIMO (4x4 and above)
• User Equipment (UE) of Category 16 or above to be used to
ensure Gbps DL speed is supported.
Riaz Haq said…
How China is redrawing the map of world science
The Belt and Road Initiative, China’s mega-plan for global infrastructure, will transform the lives and work of tens of thousands of researchers. By Ehsan Masood


https://www.nature.com/immersive/d41586-019-01124-7/index.html


In Pakistan, it is co-sponsoring a range of research centres that are studying topics from rice agriculture to artificial intelligence and railway engineering. In the heart of the European Union, a Chinese–Belgian science park provides homes for companies trying to expand trade in medical devices, solar power and other technologies. And in South America, China has partnered with Chile and Argentina on astronomical centres and has gained access to some of the best observatories in the world. In total, the scientific side of the BRI involves tens of thousands of researchers and students, and hundreds of universities. There are few regions of the developing world where China’s scientific outreach does not have a footprint.

--------------------

As one component of this massive initiative, China is creating what it calls a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a giant oceanic loop that links the country’s shipping to the nations bordering each of the great oceans, including some in Africa and South America. Then there’s the Silk Road Economic Belt, a complicated network of six overland corridors that connect China to some of Asia and Europe’s major cities through railways, roads and maritime paths.

The signs of a scientific BRI emerged soon after Xi visited central Asia in September 2013. The following year, CAS funded an upgrade to a 1-metre telescope at Uzbekistan’s Ulugh Beg Astronomical Institute. The improvement paved the way for the Uzbekistan institute to survey the northern sky in collaboration with China’s Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory. Uzbekistan has no experience in telescope making, observatory director Shuhrat Ehgamberdiev told the CAS Bulletin, so the most important technological part was done by China’s engineers. This was the beginning of much grander plans by CAS.

The BRI’s scientific component is being masterminded by Bai. Trained in China as an X-ray crystallographer, Bai worked with John Baldeschwieler at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena in the mid-1980s on scanning tunnelling microscopy.

Even early in Bai’s career, it was clear he would go far, says Baldeschwieler, who remembers predicting that Bai would one day become president of CAS. During a visit to Beijing in 1995, Baldeschwieler was amazed to find that Bai had arranged a meeting with China’s then-president Jiang Zemin. “We were picked up in a small bus and taken by police escort with flashing lights through Tiananmen Square to the Great Hall of the People.” Young boys and girls were lining the stairs on a red carpet, he recalls.

Under Bai, the science BRI has been running on three parallel tracks. In China, CAS has established five centres of excellence at its institutes, and these host the 200 PhD students that the academy trains every year.

Outside China, it has opened nine research and training centres, in Africa, central Asia, South America and south and southeast Asia — often co-funded by their host countries. The China–Brazil Joint Laboratory for Space Weather in São José dos Campos, for example, is monitoring space weather changes and developing forecast models. In Bangkok, the CAS Innovation Cooperation Center helps Thailand’s universities and technology companies to work with Chinese counterparts, and at the same time gives China a foothold in the region. And then there are hundreds of individual collaborations between CAS and universities in China and elsewhere.

The third track is what CAS is calling the Digital Belt and Road, a platform for participating countries to share the data obtained as part of their collaborative projects with each other and with China. These data include satellite images as well as quantitative data on natural hazards, water resources and cultural heritage sites.
Riaz Haq said…
#Trump trying to crush one of #China's most high-profile #tech companies is deeply unwise. Companies around the world — including #Huawei’s #American suppliers (#Google, #Intel, #Qualcomm) will lose business incur & significant new costs #5G https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-20/huawei-blacklist-trump-and-commerce-make-a-serious-mistake via @bopinion

In its struggle with China over trade and national security, the U.S. has many legitimate grievances, and a variety of weapons for seeking redress. That doesn’t mean it should use all of them.

The nuclear missile the U.S. just launched at Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is a case in point. Last week, the Commerce Department placed Huawei and nearly 70 of its affiliates on an “Entity List,” which means that U.S. suppliers may now need a license to do business with them. Both Huawei’s mobile phones and its network equipment rely on American components, including advanced semiconductors. If the ban is applied stringently, it could drive one of China’s most high-profile companies — employing more than 180,000 people — out of business.


That would be a serious mistake. The U.S. has long argued that Huawei poses a national-security threat. And there certainly are legitimate reasons to worry that incorporating Huawei gear into America’s networks will leave them vulnerable both to spying and, in the event of a conflict, sabotage. But the U.S. is already taking other prudent steps to prevent Huawei equipment from being used domestically. Seeking to put the company out of business as well is both disproportionate and deeply unwise.

For one thing, it will impose collateral damage. Blameless companies around the world — including Huawei’s American suppliers — could lose business, face disruptions and incur significant new costs. Allies that have resisted U.S. pressure to shun Huawei’s equipment will resent being backed into a corner: Even if President Donald Trump loosens the noose a bit, they can hardly take the chance that restrictions won’t be re-imposed later. China will only redouble its efforts to produce advanced technologies domestically.

As a negotiating strategy, the decision makes even less sense. U.S. officials claim it had nothing to do with stalled trade talks, but it certainly looks like Trump wants to use Huawei as leverage, just as he did last year with ZTE Corp. Trump has already invoked national security far too often in pursuing his scattered trade battles. Doing so here would set another terrible precedent while almost certainly backfiring: It will aggravate the current impasse and give Beijing little incentive to abide by any eventual agreement.

Worse, the decision undermines the implicit point of any U.S.-China trade deal: not just to increase commerce but to stabilize relations between the world’s two most powerful nations. While tensions are inevitable, a healthy trading relationship should in theory restore ballast, reminding both sides of the benefits of cooperation and strengthening constituencies that have reason to prefer peace to war. By contrast, targeting Huawei so nakedly will only further marginalize the few moderates in the Chinese leadership and embolden hawks who see conflict as unavoidable. For ordinary Chinese, it will be hard to avoid the impression that the U.S. is simply trying to limit their economic possibilities.

Even on its own terms, finally, this gambit is likely to fail. To be effective, an assault on Huawei would need to be embedded in a larger strategy with a clearer endgame in mind. That’s nowhere in evidence: Is the aim to cripple China’s tech industry? Teach the country its place? Give a boost to non-Chinese suppliers? Provoke a conflict? End one? Without a more focused goal, Trump risks simply alienating U.S. allies, infuriating average Chinese and raising the chances of confrontation, all to no obvious end.


Riaz Haq said…
Towards CPEC 3.0
Sohaib R. Malik

https://www.dawn.com/news/1484851

In the telecom industry, China’s Huawei has become a leading equipment supplier and is among the world’s most innovative companies with nearly 88,000 patents as of December 2018. Analysts believe it is set to lead the world in the rollout of the future’s most promising, and critical, technology: fifth-generation (5G) mobile telecom infrastructure. As of April 2019, Huawei had signed more than 40 5G contracts globally, proving that the firm can commercialise its solutions faster than its Western and Asian rivals.

Many Chinese tech giants are already present in Pakistan. Since digital connectivity and infrastructure are essential for tomorrow’s economies, future cooperation in this area should form a major pillar of CPEC. Regardless of the US government’s fierce opposition, Chinese tech giants will be at the forefront of advancements in the telecom industry. Therefore, B2B partnerships could help Pakistan’s budding ICT sector to develop capacities by engaging with Chinese partners. Meanwhile, Chinese firms can target the vast untapped potential of Pakistani market.

Concerned chiefly about its soaring dependence on imported fuels and worsening urban pollution — challenges we can relate with — the Chinese government implemented several corrective measures. Since taking the reins in 2013, President Xi has stressed the need for sustainability more than his predecessors. Resultantly, China is a leader in the renewables industry and the largest market for electric vehicles (EVs). According to Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy, by December 2018 China had 181 gigawatt of wind and 175GW of solar PV capacity — a whopping one-third of installations worldwide.

Although Western original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) dominate the global wind turbine value chain, Chinese PV suppliers are rivalled by none, albeit facing anti-dumping duties by many countries. Chinese turbine OEMs have struggled to lure investors outside their domestic market, but thanks to CPEC, they hold a 30pc share in Pakistan’s nascent wind energy market. Chinese turbine OEMs are willing to localise production for future installations, which can lay the foundation for tech transfer — yet another incentive that sets renewables apart from thermal power.

China leads the world in emerging trends in e-mobility. It has over 200 million electric two-wheelers and recorded sales of 1m EVs in 2018 — more than the rest of the world combined. According to McKinsey, a consultancy, the success of Chinese OEMs is more pronounced in the e-bus segment — of the 97,000 urban buses sold in China in 2018, 87,000 were electric.

Beijing has a goal that one-fifth of vehicles sold in China by 2025 should be electric, which will catalyse exponential growth in EV sales and help Chinese manufacturers consolidate their strengths. Advancements in these sectors will create further synergies. For instance, 5G connectivity is necessary to commercialise autonomous EVs and robo-taxis, which will rely on artificial intelligence and fuelled (ideally) through renewables.

This is not to suggest that China will help us become an important player in these futuristic technologies. That thought is far-fetched. Nevertheless, by aiding Islamabad in these areas to address the economic and environmental challenges it faces, Beijing will vindicate President Xi’s stated vision of BRI and legitimise its leadership in the developing world. Or else we must tone down the enthusiasm that encircles CPEC and reassess the allocation of our scarce institutional resources for better outcomes.
Riaz Haq said…
Total #broadband #subscriptions in #Pakistan hit 70 million. Figure includes 67 million #3G and #4G #wireless subscriptions and 3 million #wired #Internet subscriptions. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1985151/2-total-broadband-users-pakistan-hit-70-million/

Total broadband, 3G, 4G and landline internet users, in Pakistan have reached a milestone of 70 million, according to latest data by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

Out of the 70 million users, 67 million are 3G and 4G subscribers. The number of total cellular subscribers in Pakistan had reached 161 million by end-April 2019, 1.26% more than 159 million in the previous month, according to PTA.

The total count of Jazz’s 4G users grew from 8.774 million by end of March to 9.618 by end of April, according to PTA data. However, the company released a presser on Friday that it has crossed the 10-million mark for 4G data subscribers. The company’s 3G user number stood at 13.393 million by end-April compared to 13.622 million by end-March, a decrease of 0.229 million.

Telenor 4G subscribers jumped to 6.186 million by end-April 2019 against 5.905 million, while the company’s 3G users decreased from 8.764 million in March to 8.640 million in April.

Zong 4G users also soared from 11.6 million by the end of March 2019 to 12.056 million by end-April.

3G subscribers of the Chinese cellular company increased from 8.764 million in March to 8.779 million in April 2019.

Ufone 4G users stood at 1.156 million in the month under review, while its 3G users declined from 7.846 million in March to 7.646 million in April, down by 0.2 million.

Improved internet penetration has a positive impact on the economy of any country, said an industry official. Due to increased broadband, Pakistan is moving towards financial inclusion.

People in remote areas could not use financial services before, but now they are using banking on mobile, due to which
Riaz Haq said…
USF Universal Service Fund #Pakistan approves Rs. 1.89 billion fund for improving #Telecom infrastructure throughout the country. Will provide coverage to segments of the #highways which don’t have any #connectivity yet such as N10, N25, N50, N65 and N70
https://www.techjuice.pk/usf-approves-rs-1-89-billion-fund-for-improving-telecom-infrastructure-throughout-the-country/

Universal Service Fund of Pakistan has approved around Rs. 1.89 billion for improving the telecom and IT infrastructure of the country. The fund is aimed at the development of various projects such as Broadband for Sustainable Development (BSD) Program, Next Generation BSD Program and more. These projects once completed will help improve connectivity across the country.

Taking a look at these projects, first up we have Broadband for Sustainable Development (BSD) which will target around 12,000 districts in all provinces of the country and will connect them with rest of the world. The minimum bandwidth being offered as per this project will be 256 kbps. Currently, 30 major projects are underway through this plan and another grant of Rs. 192 million has been awarded to further increase the reach of this plan to 401 unserved districts of North Waziristan, Bannu and Lakki Marwat.

Second up we have Roaming Facility for National Highways and Motorways which will help provide coverage to segments of the motorway which don’t have any connectivity yet such as N10, N25, N50, N65 and N70. This project was first started off in 2018 and since then, the 694 km long Coastal Highway which connects Karachi and Gawadar has broadband connectivity. As of right now, around 7700 km of roads are not covered.

Thirdly, we have the Next Generation BSD Program for Unserved Population which aims to provide high-speed connectivity to 46 districts with a minimum data rate of 512 kbps. Through this, around 30 million people will have better connectivity. Tender notices have also been released to cater to 3052 unserved or underserved districts of Matiari, Hyderabad, Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin, Sujawal, Bahawalpur, Rahimyar Khan and Bahawalnagar.
Riaz Haq said…
#UAE to boost #internet speed in #Pakistan with new 1,300km cable undersea connecting #Karachi and #Gwadar in Pakistan, and #Kalba in UAE. Wi-tribe Pakistan, a group company of HB International Investments Ltd and the EITC will be the UAE landing party. .https://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/telecom/uae-to-boost-internet-speed-in-pakistan-with-new-1300km-cable

Du, the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), is strengthening the UAE's bilateral relations with Pakistan, as well as the country's presence as a connectivity hub, by enabling a new Orient Express submarine fibre optic cable between Pakistan and the UAE.

The 1,300km cable system will link between landing points in Karachi and Gwadar in Pakistan, and Kalba in the UAE.

The launch of the submarine cable system will help Pakistan's digital penetration, reducing the country's digital divide, and improving education and general awareness. It will also link the developing port city of Gwadar to the UAE and open up a new data highway to China through Pakistan.

Additionally, this will provide telecommunications operators in Pakistan with access to the competitive IP transit market.

As the partnering telecom operator for the landmark project alongside wi-tribe Pakistan LDI (Private) Ltd, a group company of HB International Investments Ltd, the EITC will be the UAE landing party for the cable and will provide landing station infrastructure for the connectivity of the fibre optic cable system's UAE presence.

Osman Sultan, CEO of the EITC, said: "With this milestone agreement, we are proud to be able to leverage our extensive expertise to institute this new innovation via our strategic datamena facilities and the regional hub presence of over 150 content and cloud providers, including over 40 service providers in our ecosystem."

Syed Rukhsar Ul Hassan Bokhari, chairman of wi-tribe Pakistan LDI (Private) Ltd and HB International Investments, said: "We are trailblazing new paths towards digital innovation, and the construction of the submarine cable system, 'Orient Express', is a testament to our efforts in becoming a pioneer in telecommunications."

With this agreement, the completed Orient Express cable will offer high bandwidth capacity, internet services and transit facilities with low latency, high-quality routes, and peering services to other service providers and enterprise customers.

With the ability to connect to the UAE-IX, as the in-bound provider, Orient Express will deliver access to the high-potential content-savvy market with a reliable low latency route to international service and content providers. By peering the UAE-IX, telecommunications companies can offload customer IP traffic that terminates or originates in networks connected to the UAE-IX.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan's Zong launches fibre-to-the-home #FTTH #internet services to initially deploy #fibre connections in select areas of #Karachi. Pakistan ended June with 161.02 million mobile users, and 71.24 million #broadband subscribers. #telecom #technology https://www.telecompaper.com/news/zong-4g-launches-ftth-internet-service-in-pakistan--1302464

Pakistani operator Zong 4G has launched fibre-to-the-home internet services on the local market. Zong Fiber will initially deploy fibre connections in select areas of Karachi, ProPakistani reports. Zong will provide free installation for the first 100 subscribers.

According to a report from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), Pakistan ended June with 161.02 million mobile users, and 71.24 million broadband subscribers. Zong had 34.71 million mobile customers at end-June, of which around 9 million are 4G subscribers.
Riaz Haq said…
'Pakistan on short list of 5G-ready countries with Zong's successful trial'. #China #Mobile #Pakistan (CMPak, popularly known as Zong) on Thursday successfully conducted #5G trials in Pakistan https://www.dawn.com/news/1501031

China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak, popularly known as Zong) on Thursday successfully conducted 5G trials in Pakistan, a press release issued by the company said.

By doing so, Zong has become "the first and only operator to officially test 5G services in the country", the statement added.

An official from Zong while speaking to DawnNewsTV explained that while 4G speeds cover a bandwidth of 50-100mb/s, 5G will deliver at least 1GB/s. He said that in today's trials, a speed of 1.14 GB/s was achieved.

"This success marks an important milestone in Pakistan's telecom sector," said Zong CEO Wang Hua at an event in Islamabad held to conduct the test.

"5G will herald a new era in Pakistan's social and economic sectors," he added.

According to the company's handout, "Zong believes that 5G will bring more profound and long-term changes to Pakistan's economic transformation, social progress, and people's livelihood improvement in future. It is expected that 5G will have an impact on health care, agriculture and education."

The Zong CEO also announced that the company will establish a 5G innovation centre in Pakistan in collaboration with Huawei, for which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed at the event.

He reminded the audience that five years ago, it was CMPak that had first brought 4G technology to Pakistan. Hua said that the introduction of 5G services is an important pillar to meet future technological needs.

PTA chairman retired Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa also spoke on the occasion. "The country will soon be able to enjoy 5G services which will be introduced for commercial purposes," he said.

He said that the Authority was making efforts in this regard and recognises that the introduction of 5G services would bring in a technological revolution.

Information Technology and Telecommunication Division Secretary Shoaib Siddiqui lauded the efforts by PTA and congratulated CMPak on becoming the first to have the achievement under their belt.

“I would like to take this moment in congratulating Zong for becoming the first Pakistani telecommunications operator to have successfully conducted the 5G trial and putting Pakistan on a short-list of countries which are 5G ready,” he said.

"Zong is an important part of the ties that bind the two countries together," added Siddiqui.

The IT secretary said that the government aims to bring in other major developments via the Information Technology sector as well. "It is the right of every Pakistani to be able to compete in terms of technology with the developed countries of the world," he added.
Riaz Haq said…
#Telenor gets ready to bring #5G to #Pakistan. It took the first step towards 5G enablement last year by beginning the evolution of its network core from legacy architecture to state-of-the-art virtualized hybrid core, taking the lead towards 5G readiness. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2031097/8-telenor-gets-ready-to-bring-5g-to-pakistan/

Taking another stride towards network transformation and digitalisation, Telenor Pakistan and its network partners have geared up to make the network 5G ready to pass on the benefits of this transformative technology to the people of Pakistan in the coming years.

5G is the fifth-generation cellular network technology that offers faster data transfer speeds and enables advanced solutions such as smart homes, smart cities, autonomous driving, automated emergency services, remote medical diagnosis, smart manufacturing, cloud gaming, and enhanced content & media experiences to name a few.

The development cements and once again demonstrates Telenor Pakistan’s position as the frontrunner of innovation and digital transformation in the country. Today, the company has the country’s first and only 4.5G network and takes the lead with such industry-first initiatives as IoT, Cloud Services, and overall digital ecosystem development comprising innovative solutions for gaming, entertainment, and 3G/4G devices portfolio, etc.


Telenor Pakistan took the first step towards 5G enablement last year by beginning the evolution of its network core from legacy architecture to state-of-the-art virtualised hybrid core, taking the lead towards 5G readiness. The latest development takes Telenor Pakistan one step closer to a successful launch of end-to-end 5G trials to demonstrate the potential of futuristic technologies and solutions for socioeconomic advancement.

“As Pakistan gears up for future technologies that will be integrated into governance, businesses and people’s lives, the role of 5G becomes imperative,” said Irfan Wahab Khan, Chief Executive Officer Telenor Pakistan and Head of Telenor Emerging Asia Cluster, while sharing his thoughts on the development. “With this latest step towards digitalisation and network transformation, Telenor Pakistan is opening up new possibilities for millions of Pakistanis who will be the actual winners in the development. We look forward to continued government support as a digitalisation partner for adequate spectrum allocation for adoption and penetration of 5G over the next few years.”
Riaz Haq said…
PTA releases number of #3G, #4G users in #Pakistan. The number of 3G and 4G users in Pakistan reached 69.64 million by end July 2019 compared to 68.93 million by end June 2019, said Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). #mobile #broadband https://www.brecorder.com/2019/08/27/520005/pta-releases-number-of-3g-4g-users-in-pakistan//

Number of mobile phone users in Pakistan reached 161.24 million by end July compared to 161.02 million by end June, which registered an increase of 0.22 million during the period under review.

Jazz’s total count for 3G users stood at 12.912 million by end July compared to 13.105 million by end June, registering a decrease of 0.193 million. Jazz 4G user numbers jumped from 11.116 million by end June to 11.782 million by end July 2019.

Zong 3G subscribers decreased from 8.513 million by end June to 8.270 million by end July while the number of 4G users jumped from 12.658 million by end June to 12.794 million by end July.

The number of 3G users of Telenor network decreased from 8.174 million by end June to 8.128 million by end July i.e. registering a decline of 0.046 million. The number of 4G users jumped from 6.461 million by end June to 6.766 million by end July 2019.

Ufone 3G users decreased from 7.015 million by end June to 6.968 million, registering a decline of 0.047 million. The number of 4G users of Ufone increased from 1.886 million to 2.016 million during this period.

Teledensity for cellular mobile remained at 76.56 percent and broadband subscribers reached 71.71 million by end July compared to 71.241 million by end June.

PTA received 7403 complaints from telecom consumers against different telecom operators including (cellular operators, PTCL, LDIs, WLL operators and ISPs) as of July 2019.

According to PTA data Jazz (Mobilink + Warid) leads the chart with 2359 complaints and Telenor stands at second position as the most complained telecom operator with 1583 complaints.

PTA said that it was able to get 7396 complaints resolved i.e. 99.91 percent.

Cellular mobile subscribers constitute major part of overall telecom subscriber base, therefore, maximum number of complaints belong to this segment. Total number of complaints against CMOs by July stood at 5852.

In terms of the segregation of complaints on operator basis, a total of 2359 complaints were received against Jazz which is 40.31% of the total CMO related complaints.

Telenor, which has the second largest number of consumers, was also second with 1583 i.e. 27.05 percent complaints were received against it.

Zong stood third with 977 complaints i.e. 16.69 percent of total complaints.

Ufone had 933 complaints against its various services which make up 15.94 percent of the total CMO related complaints.

PTA also received 560 complaints against basic telephony where 577 were addressed during July 2019. Further 983 complaints were received against ISPs where 979 were addressed.
Riaz Haq said…
Zong Fiber – The Latest Technology In Town!
By Usama Muneer

https://www.streetbuzz.pk/zong-fiber-latest-technology/

Zong, one of Pakistan’s most popular telecom companies, has introduced the latest technology in town: High-speed fiber optic internet. By doing this, Zong has become the first and only mobile network operator in the country which is offering this advanced and much-anticipated connectivity service. If you’re frustrated by low internet speeds and poor connections, then you can breathe a sigh of relief because this Zong fiber optic technology is the answer to all your prayers!

Previously, Zong has been the pioneer of 4G technology in Pakistan and has since been a popular choice among customers nationwide as provider of quality internet services. Zong has been reported to be the most preferred 4G network with more than 12 million subscribers. Not only this, but the network has more than 11,000 operational 4G sites and thus, has facilitated its users in enhancing their digital experience with speed, efficiency and style.


Recently, The Consumers Association of Pakistan has selected Zong for the “Best in 4G Services” award. Needless to say, this is living proof that Zong has been leading the Pakistani market and is loved by internet users across the country. Furthermore, Zong is committed to continue investing for the expansion of the 4G ecosystem and promises to deliver state of the art services to offer unparalleled connectivity to its uses.

Taking their mission forward, the telecom company has now come up with direct-to-home fiber optic internet which is a step forward towards reinventing internet services in Pakistan. Through this Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Broadband technology, Zong 4G has committed to deliver top-of-the-line services and the fastest internet speed to its valued customers across the nation.

To launch Zong Fiber, a two-day event will be held in Karachi. To begin with, the service will only be available to select areas in Karachi. The company has also announced that the first 100 connections will enjoy the added benefit of no installation charges. Introducing these latest services, Wang Hua, Zong 4G Chairman and CEO has said,

“Zong Fiber allows us to directly deliver the fastest internet to our valued customers’ homes. We have always endeavored to bring new digital experiences to the lives of our customers. Our objective of people empowerment only strengthens our commitment to provide sustainable and top-of-the-line internet technology to the people of Pakistan.”

Wang Hua has also called the development of Zong Fiber a “tremendous milestone” for the telecom company. It remains to be seen how well customers respond to Zong’s latest advancement and how successful this service is, but with all this in front of us, it’s hard not to have high expectations from Zong’s latest venture.

If the service is as good as it looks, it’s a no-brainer that this will be the future of technology in Pakistan. The tech junkies are buzzing with excitement, and it’s for a good reason!

We absolutely can NOT wait to hear all the reviews from those who get to experience Zong Fiber firsthand, and hopefully try it ourselves soon! The future of internet sure looks bright, and for that, we’re counting on you, Zong!
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan IT minister tests #5G services at Zong HQ. Dr Maqbool accompanied by Zong (#China #Mobile) Chairman and CEO Wang Hua to 5G experience centre. The facility provides a 5G experience through various innovative 5G use cases in Pak #digital future. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/518839-it-minister-tests-5g-services-at-zong-hq

Dr Maqbool praised Zong for its success in 5G trials, which placed Pakistan on the elite list of countries that were 5G ready. “This is a proud moment for both Pakistan and Zong. With the launch of 5G trials, we want to assure you that the advancement of ICT and digital-led development is of utmost importance for the government of Pakistan. In pursuance of our mission of a ‘Digital Pakistan’, we will soon be a country powering the digitalisation through 5G,” the minister said.

Zong Chairman and CEO Wang Hua said, “Zong’s strive to uplift the technological and digital landscape in Pakistan is aligned with the country’s vision to bring 5G services home.” With 5G readiness, he said Zong has demonstrated long-term commitment for developing the digital ecosystem in Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
#Digital #Pakistan: Increasing digitization and #internet accessibility make Pakistan's e-commerce market one of the fastest growing in the world. Size of #ecommerce market is up by 92% to 99.3 billion rupees ($640.3 million) during the fiscal year 2017-18 http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1163302.shtml#.XXBF_novZYI.twitter

The number of registered e-commerce merchants was 496 in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2017-18, reaching nearly 1,100 by year end, and was over 1,200 in the first quarter of 2018-19, showing an exponential growth in e-commerce activities in the country.

Pakistan has e-commerce companies in almost every major sector from retail and ride-hailing to property and car purchasing. Benefits such as lower transaction costs, ease of selection of various products while sitting at home, wider selection range, opportunity for making informed purchase decisions based on online reviews and on-time delivery process are the main sources of attraction for consumers, paving the way for the industry to flourish.

Leading online businesses in Pakistan in retail are Daraz, Yayvo and HumMart, whereas ride-hailing services have been overtaken mostly by the global and regional giants Uber and Careem.

Additionally, PakWheels and Zameen are the largest online marketplaces for car and property shoppers and sellers in Pakistan. Among food delivery service providers, FoodPanda is most popular.

The industry has not only helped major players in expanding their businesses, it is also an effective tool for small- and medium-sized enterprises due to low costs and increased accessibility of sellers to customers.

In its efforts to increase the growth and development of the industry, the federal government has recently framed a draft e-commerce policy aimed at achieving higher export growth through enhanced activities from e-commerce platforms, promoting small e-businesses and creating employment opportunities.

The main goal of the policy is to augment the e-commerce industry's growth to make it one of the key drivers of Pakistan's economy.

Though data shows a steady rise in digital transactions and the number of registered vendors, the country's successful e-commerce entrepreneurs believe that Pakistan can learn much from China to further boost the industry, which is still in its infancy, as the latter has an immense knowledge base, experience and advanced technology in this field.

In a conversation with the Xinhua News Agency, Adam Dawood, head of Yayvo, one of Pakistan's largest online retailers, said that China is the world's biggest e-commerce market with annual online sales worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

As a neighboring country, China is eyeing the huge untapped potential in Pakistan, with Chinese e-commerce player AliExpress, part of tech giant Alibaba, recently acquiring Daraz.

"Apart from investment in Pakistan, China has such a big market for products that we could increase our product assortment overnight," Dawood said, adding that there is a lot of learning required in terms of product-market fit, legislation, and route to market that would help Pakistan increase not just the online shopping base, but also the internet penetration rate.

Talking about the challenges the e-commerce industry is facing, Dawood said that Pakistan needs to focus on optimizing overall service delivery and customer experience aspects.

"Our logistics and payments systems need to evolve to be better suited; it behooves the government to pass legislations and cooperate and collaborate with regional players including China to further support and actively promote the digital businesses."

Pakistan needs to encourage Chinese enterprises to explore opportunities in the Pakistani e-commerce industry and join with local start-ups for new business ventures, said Shehryar Hydri, secretary general of the Pakistan Software Houses Association, a trade body promoting and developing software and services industry in Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
Zong promises 1GB/s to Pakistanis very soon after successful 5G tests
Zong conducted a successful 5g test in Pakistan and the internet speed reached up to 1 GB/s. Zong became the first company to test 5g and Pakistan becomes the first in South East Asian region. Commercial use has not been allowed yet by PTA but Zong promises to bring the high-speed internet soon to everyone

https://www.globalvillagespace.com/zong-promises-1gb-s-to-pakistanis-very-soon-after-successful-5g-tests/

Chinese telecom giant, Zong tested 5G technology in Pakistan on 22nd August, making the country first to test the technology in the South East Asian region to test the 5G services.

A press release issued by company said Zong is the first and only operator to officially test 5G services in the country.

“This success marks an important milestone in Pakistan’s telecom sector,” said Zong CEO Wang Hua at an event in Islamabad held to conduct the test.

Zong official, while giving a briefing on 5G trials said that the 4g technology company is providing currently runs at 50-100mb/s but 5G will boost the speed up to 1GB/s. He further added that Zong was successful in achieving the speed of 1.14 GB/s, highest ever by any company.

The launch event was attended by many government officials and noted personalities from the tech and telecom industry including PTA chairman retired Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa.

Zong was allowed to test the 5G services in Pakistan after PTA approved the tests to be conducted in certain geographical limits but commercial trials have not been approved yet, so, for now, a regular customer of Zong won’t be able to avail 5G services.

The Zong CEO also announced that the company will establish a 5G innovation center in Pakistan in collaboration with Huawei, for which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed at the event.

Officials told media that commercial trails and public usage might take 2-3 years more. Consumers will need a 5G enabled device to avail these services. There are currently less than 1000 5G enabled smartphones on Pakistani networks but the number is expected to rise once the 5G services are officially launched by Zong.

In the test trial ceremony of 5G services Zong also showcased several 5G enabled devices including smartphones, tablets, and portable PCs.

5G technology coming to Pakistan?
Pakistan telecom operators envision the adoption of 5G by 2021. It is expected to arrive in India by 2020. India has already embarked on getting the essential structure in place that will be needed for adopting this advanced technology mandatory.

The government of India has recently set a high-level forum to discuss and formulate a roadmap for directing the successful embracing of 5G Technology.

However, nothing can be said pertaining to the status of the 5G trials in India, with the initial introduction of 5G this year, Pakistan has become the first country to test 5G in the entire South Asian region.
Riaz Haq said…
The Silk Road came into being during the westward expansion of China’s Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), which forged trade networks throughout what are today the Central Asian countries of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as modern-day India and Pakistan to the south. Those routes extended more than four thousand miles to Europe.

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-massive-belt-and-road-initiative

Xi’s vision included creating a vast network of railways, energy pipelines, highways, and streamlined border crossings, both westward—through the mountainous former Soviet republics—and southward, to Pakistan, India, and the rest of Southeast Asia. Such a network would expand the international use of Chinese currency, the renminbi, while new infrastructure could “break the bottleneck in Asian connectivity,” according to Xi. (The Asian Development Bank estimates that the region faces a yearly infrastructure financing shortfall of nearly $800 billion.) In addition to physical infrastructure, China plans to build fifty special economic zones, modeled after the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, which China launched in 1980 during its economic reforms under leader Deng Xiaoping.

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China’s overall ambition for the BRI is staggering. To date, more than sixty countries—accounting for two-thirds of the world’s population—have signed on to projects or indicated an interest in doing so. Analysts estimate the largest so far to be the $68 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a collection of projects connecting China to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea. In total, China has already spent an estimated $200 billion on such efforts. Morgan Stanley has predicted China’s overall expenses over the life of the BRI could reach $1.2–1.3 trillion by 2027, though estimates on total investments vary.


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Developing the economies of South and Central Asia is a longstanding U.S. goal that intensified after the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and President Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia. The Obama administration frequently referenced the need for the Afghan economy to move past foreign assistance, and in 2014 then Deputy Secretary of State William Burns committed the United States to returning Central and South Asia “to its historic role as a vital hub of global commerce, ideas, and culture.” In this spirit, the Obama administration supported a $10 billion gas pipeline through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. It also spent billions of dollars on roads and energy projects in Afghanistan and used its diplomatic muscle to help craft new regional cooperation frameworks to foster Central Asian economic links.

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Policymakers in New Delhi have long been unsettled by China’s decades-long embrace of traditional rival Pakistan, and since the George W. Bush administration, U.S. leaders have seen India as a regional balancer against a China-dominated Asia. The Trump administration’s 2017 Indo-Pacific Strategy framed India as a counterweight to China’s “repressive vision of the world order” based on “economic inducements and penalties, influence operations, and implied military threats.” India has provided its own development assistance to neighbors, most notably Afghanistan, where it has spent $3 billion on infrastructure projects, including the parliament building, roads, hospitals, and dams.

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