The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has recently granted the first Long Distance International (LDI) license after 8 years. The PTA First LDI license is issued to Cyber Internet Services Pvt. Limited as part of the ongoing deregulation of the telecom sector.
PTA First LDI License Issued After 8 years
PTA has taken a gap of over 8 years to issue the LDI License. The LDI license was issued by PTA after the completion of formalities by the company. In addition to that, it took place after the submission of $0.5 million license fee and $10 million bank guarantees for the laying of a 1,500 km optical fiber cable.
It is a piece of very good news because it’s the first time that private companies will be able to provide fixed-line telecommunication services. It was the monopoly of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) earlier but now more licenses would be issued on completion of formalities by other companies too.
PTA stated that:
“New License has enhanced Roll Out obligations concerning Optical Fiber Network and Quality of Service Standards. This will pave the way for the absorption of futuristic technologies, not only in the main cities but in major towns and small cities.”
Furthermore, the Cabinet Committee on Regulatory Bodies (CCRB) imposed a watch hold on the issuance of Mobile, Local Loop (LL), and LDI licenses for seven years in March 2006. The watch hold expired on 22 March 2013 as a result of which an LDI license was issued to China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak). After issuing a license to CMPak, the grant of the LDI license was suspended. Recently, the number of LDI operators has increased to 17.
In Pakistan, 16 LDI operators were providing LDI services previously including Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and the National Telecommunications Corporation (NTC). Moreover, the majority of LDI operators are now focusing on the termination of international incoming traffic based on leased transmission facilities.