PTA says faulty submarine cable in UAE repaired

AAE-1 was reportedly cut causing ‘degradation’ of internet services for users


News Desk October 12, 2021
ISPs working on older cables provide distributed internet connections unlike the dedicated ones on FTTH. PHOTO: REUTERS

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) on Tuesday said a submarine cable fault reported near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, had been fixed.

In a tweet, the authority announced that the faulty segment of the cable, which led to “degradation in services”, had been repaired and work was under way to make it fully functional.

The PTA further wrote that it was “monitoring the situation and will continue to update on it”.

The AAE-1, one of the six international submarine cables landing in Pakistan, had reportedly been cut, which caused internet services across the country to be disrupted with users reporting sluggish performance on their connections.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), in conjunction with the International Submarine Consortium, worked to restore services across the country.

“We regret the inconvenience caused to our customers and will notify you as soon as the services are fully restored. Thank you for your patience”, said a PTCL spokesperson.

Read PTA awards licences to mobile operators in AJK, GB

In February this year, the Trans World Associates (TWA) had communicated service degradation on the international connectivity towards Europe on SMW5 cable system due to subsea fault near Abu Talat, Egypt.

“While the work to remove the fault is continuing, the internet service providers (ISPs) are being shifted to the spare capacity maintained by the company,” said a senior executive of the TWA.

The TWA and the PTCL are the two licence holders for international landing stations of submarine cables.

While the TWA operates SMW-5 and TW-1, the PTCL submarine cable network comprises SMW-3, SMW-4, I-ME-WE and AAE-1.

The TWA systems cater for around 40% of internet traffic in Pakistan.

The fault occurred in the cable system coming from France and the TWA executive said ISPs were in the process of shifting the load to other submarine systems coming from Singapore.

Pakistan has been listed amongst the top ten countries with the biggest share of internet users in Asia 2020 according to a report published by Statista.

The geographic analysis of the audience showed that China accounted for 37.1% of internet users in Asia as of May 2020, followed by India with 24.3%. Pakistan came in at sixth position on the chart with 3.1% internet users.

The spike can be attributed to increased online activities by educational institutions and businesses and, ‘work from home’ policy adopted by individuals and organisations, according to a PTA press release.

 

 

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