Sunday, January 15, 2006

Pak India Fiber Link Up - Who Wins?

Pakistan and India are getting more and more close to having a fiber link between their networks and following news item is an update on this initiative. It is a no-brainer to realize that the chief beneficiary of this link would be India telecos with lots of spare BW who would use the link to sell Internet BW to Pakistani market. With a negligible Call Center and other BPO market in Pakistan (as compared to India) and almost no content of significant International interest placed inside Pakistan (unfortunately we don't have any content-hosting data center locally in Pakistan yet fellas!), the fiber under consideration would financially benefit Indian outfits. From a consumer view piont, of course, Pakistani outfits will benefit. It is high time that we realize that in the Internet game, content localization is the winning key and that our policy guidelines should force us to move the dial from the current 80:20 (internet:local) to 20:80.

Jan 11, 2006

(Asia Pulse via NewsEdge) Setting aside security concerns, state-run PTCL has signed an agreement with two Indian telecom companies to provide cable links between the two countries through the Wagah border.

Telecom giants Reliance and BNC inked the agreement with PTCL, while Indian Telecom is expected to join the pact shortly, officials said.

This is the first time that Pakistan has opted to have a direct link with India in the telecom sector.

Last year, the Indian companies were not permitted to take part in the bidding of privatization of PTCL.

"Pakistan is ready to make the new cable operational as early as in a month. We are waiting for the final go-ahead from India," the Daily Times quoted a top PTCL official as saying.

Pakistan showed interest in having an optic-fiber cable telecom link with India ever since the Internet services were disrupted across the country last year due to snapping of an international undersea cable.

Since then Pakistan opted for another alternative cable and decided to have the cable link with India despite concerns expressed by security agencies.

"It will be a very cost effective operation providing quality voice communication between the two countries and the project is being taken up keeping in mind future traffic requirements," the official said.