Makran Coastal Highway: Contract signed for Rs759m broadband coverage project

Published: December 11, 2018
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It would be the first network in Pakistan where the winning bidder would be required to provide roaming services for other consumers as well. PHOTO: REUTERS

It would be the first network in Pakistan where the winning bidder would be required to provide roaming services for other consumers as well. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The Universal Service Fund (USF) and Ufone on Tuesday signed contract for a project worth Rs759 million for seamless broadband coverage on the Makran Coastal Highway.

USF Chief Executive Officer Rizwan Mustafa Mir and Ufone CEO Rashid Khan inked the contract. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Muhammad Naveed inaugurated the project called “Seamless Broadband Coverage from Hub to Jiwani: Makran Coastal Highway” worth Rs759 million.

In order to execute the project, 58 base transceiver stations (BTS) – commonly called mobile phone towers – will be installed in a time frame of 18 months. To extend its scope, all major motorways and highways will be provided seamless connectivity in the future.

Speaking on the occasion, the PTA chairman stated that with constant dedication and devotion, yet another milestone had been achieved. The event marked one of the greatest landmarks achieved in the field of telecom in Pakistan and would go a long way in taking the development work being done by the information technology ministry to the greater level, he said.

With such projects, he pointed out, the IT ministry, through the USF, would continue to work towards achieving broadband penetration across the country in order to facilitate people in rural areas. In addition to the broadband infrastructure, he expected the USF to launch new e-services and m-services to facilitate the adoption of digital technology by the people of Pakistan.

USF expected to spread broadband services

The USF CEO, while giving an introduction of the project, told the audience that it was the first scheme under the Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development programme with focus on broadband coverage in order to allow seamless operations.

Furthermore, he said, it would be the first network in Pakistan where the winning bidder would be required to provide roaming services for other consumers as well.

The Ufone president recalled that the USF was established in order to promote the development of telecommunication services in unserved and under-served areas across the country.

“The project has a special significance as an important highway in Balochistan will be connected through broadband services under this initiative,” he remarked.

Under the project, seamless voice and broadband services will be provided on the coastal highway spread over 694 km and for the first time national roaming is being made available in Pakistan.

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