PTCL

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Pakistan Telecommunicaton Company Limited (PTCL)
Native name
مشارکتِ پاکستان برائے بعیدالمواصلات (المحدود)
Company typePublic utility state-owned enterprise
PSXPTC
IndustryTelecommunications
Founded14 August 1947 incorporated 1995[1]
Headquarters,
Key people
Federal Secretary IT
(Chairman Board)
•Hatem Bamatraf
(President and Group CEO)
Products
RevenueIncreaseRs. 96.26 billion (US$330 million)[2] (2023)
IncreaseRs. 13.90 billion (US$48 million)[2] (2023)
IncreaseRs. 9.39 billion (US$33 million)[2] (2023)
Total assetsIncreaseRs. 305.16 billion (US$1.1 billion)[3] (2022)
Total equityIncreaseRs. 108.05 billion (US$370 million)[3] (2022)
OwnerGovernment of Pakistan (62%)
Etisalat (26%)
General public (12%)
Number of employees
15,392[3]
SubsidiariesUfone
Websitewww.ptcl.com.pk

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd., commonly known as PTCL (Urdu: مشارکتِ پاکستان برائے بعیدالمواصلات (المحدود)) is the national telecommunication company in Pakistan.[1][4] PTCL provides telephone and internet services nationwide and is the backbone for the country's telecommunication infrastructure. The corporation manages and operates around 2000 telephone exchanges across the country, providing the largest fixed-line network. Data and backbone services such as GSM, HSPA+, CDMA, LTE, broadband internet, IPTV, and wholesale are an increasing part of its business.

Originally a state-owned corporation, the shareholding of PTCL was reduced to 62%, when 26% of shares and control were sold to Etisalat Telecommunications while the remaining 12% to the general public in 2006 under an intensified privatization program under Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. However, the 62% of shares still remain under the management of government-ownership of state-owned corporations of Pakistan.[5]

Leadership[edit]

In May 2021, Etisalat by e& appointed Hatem Bamatraf as President and Group CEO of PTCL. Hatem previously served as the CTO of Etisalat.[6][7]

History[edit]

Posts & Telegraph Department[edit]

From the beginning of the Posts & Telegraph Department in 1949 and establishment of Pakistan Telephone & Telegraph Department in 1962, PTCL has been a major player in telecommunication in Pakistan. [8]

Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation[edit]

Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation (PTC) took over operations and functions from Pakistan Telephone and Telegraph Department under Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Act 1991. This coincided with the Government's competitive policy, encouraging private sector participation and resulting in the award of licenses for cellular, card-operated pay-phones, paging and, lately, data communication services.

Privatization Plan[edit]

Pursuing a progressive policy, the Government in 1991, announced its plans to privatize PTCL, and in 1994 issued six million vouchers exchangeable into 600 million shares of the would-be PTCL in two separate placements. Each had a par value of Rs. 10 per share. These vouchers were converted into PTCL shares in mid-1996.[8]

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited[edit]

In 1995, Pakistan Telecommunication (Reorganization) Ordinance formed the basis for PTCL monopoly over basic telephony in the country. The provisions of the Ordinance were lent permanence in October 1996 through Pakistan Telecommunication (Reorganization) Act. The same year, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited was formed and listed on all stock exchanges of Pakistan

PTCL launched its mobile and data services subsidiaries in 2001 by the name of Ufone and PakNet respectively. None of the brands made it to the top slots in the respective competitions. Lately, however, Ufone had increased its market share in the cellular sector. The PakNet brand has effectively dissolved over a period of time. Recent DSL services launched by PTCL reflects this by the introduction of a new brand name and operation of the service being directly supervised by PTCL.

A shop of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) in Islamabad

As telecommunication monopolies head towards an imminent end, services and infrastructure providers are set to face even bigger challenges. The post-monopoly era came with Pakistan’s Liberalization in Telecommunication in January 2003. On the Government level, a comprehensive liberalization policy for the telecoms sector is in the offering.

In 2005, Government of Pakistan decided to sell 26 percent of the company to some private corporation. There were three participants in the bidding process for the privatization of PTCL. Etisalat, an Abu Dhabi company was able to get the shares with a large margin in the bid.[9] In June 2005, Etisalat won the 26% of PTCL shares along with management control of the then telecom monopoly for US$2.6 billion. As of 2019, Etisalat has held back $800m amount over a property-transfer dispute with the Pakistani government.[10]

The government's plan of privatizing the corporation was not welcomed in all circles; countrywide protests and strikes were held by PTCL workers. They disrupted phone lines of institutions like Punjab University Lahore along with other public sector institutions.[11][12]

Financial and Operational performance[edit]

Year ended Revenue (PKR million) Operating income (PKR million) Net income (PKR million) Total assets (PKR million) Total equity (PKR million)
31 December 2014[13] Increase81,513 Decrease8,012 Decrease5,207 Decrease179,574 Decrease92,144
31 December 2015[14] Decrease75,752 Increase13,272 Increase8,760 Increase180,378 Decrease86,218
31 December 2016[15] Decrease71,420 Decrease10,201 Decrease6,835 Decrease180,109 Decrease83,013
31 December 2017[16] Decrease69,757 Increase12,845 Increase8,350 Increase186,158 Increase84,952
31 December 2018[17] Increase70,100 Decrease10,757 Decrease7,422 Increase196,044 Decrease83,571
31 December 2019[18] Increase71,548 Decrease9,331 Decrease6,347 Increase209,994 Increase87,751
31 December 2020[19] Increase71,804 Decrease8,493 Decrease6,030 Increase223,600 Increase94,010
31 December 2021[20] Increase76,853 Increase9,682 Increase6,874 Increase245,735 Increase99,653
31 December 2022[21] Increase83,444 Increase13,513 Increase9,053 Increase305,160 Increase108,054
31 December 2023[22] Increase96,266 Increase13,905 Increase9,390 TBD TBD

Products[edit]

Voice[edit]

PTCL provides fixed-line telephone services across Pakistan.

Vfone network shutdown[edit]

Wireless voice services used to be provided through PTCL's CDMA2000 network, which was broadcast over the 1900 MHz WLL frequency under the 'Vfone' brand name, however, the network was shut down on 31 August 2016 nationwide to allow the spectrum to be re-farmed for PTCL's 'CharJi' LTE service.

Internet[edit]

PTCL offers three different types of fixed-line broadband across 2,000 cities* in Pakistan with plans ranging from 2 Mbit/s to 250 Mbit/s.[23]

*PTCL's FlashFiber is currently only offered in 70 cities.[24]

Wireless[edit]

PTCL also offers TDD-LTE based Wireless Broadband under the 'CharJi' brand name with coverage in over 70 cities. Service is only available through their provided mobile hotspot device.[25]

Ufone is also a wholly owned subsidiary of PTCL, it also the fourth and the smallest cellular provider in mainland Pakistan. It provides GSM, HSPA+ and LTE services over the 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands.

Television[edit]

In addition to voice and data services, PTCL also offers digital TV services based on DVB-IPTV under PTCL Smart TV brand name.[26] PTCL users can also stream live TV using the Smart TV smartphone application.[27]

Anti-competitive practices[edit]

PTCL has been involved in anti-competitive practices several times in the recent years, particularly in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, against private FTTH provider, Nayatel Pvt. Ltd.

In 2006, PTCL terminated Nayatel's E1 link at their colocation facility despite Nayatel fulfilling all the requirements as per their interconnect agreement.[28]

Again in 2016, PTCL and Bahria Town were both involved in preventing other ISPs from laying fiber infrastructure in, effectively giving PTCL a monopoly for voice, data and TV in Bahria Town.[29]

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) issued a show-cause notice to Bahria Town for abusing its dominant position. After the case was heard, a fine of 2 million PKR was imposed on Bahria Town and CCP ordered them to allow Nayatel and any other potential entrants to lay their fiber infrastructure, allowing healthy competition in the ISP sector.[30]

On 20th February 2024, Nayatel submitted a complaint with PTA alleging that PTCL was actively blocking Nayatel IP addresses as Nayatel terminated their bandwidth agreement directly with PTCL due to price gouging. Nayatel instead opted to purchase PTCL bandwidth through Telenor Pakistan and Zong CMPak who were authorized by PTA to resell to other licensees, as this was more cost effective for Nayatel. However, PTCL refused to allow Nayatel's traffic to pass through its network since the bandwidth was purchased through a reseller.[31][32]

Phone number format change[edit]

PTCL had started with 10 digit numbers for landline telephones. The first three (in case of smaller cities, 4 or 5) signified the area code (e.g. 042 for Lahore) and the rest (7 for large cities, 6 or 5 for smaller ones) were the subscribers number. Due to the large demand for landlines in Lahore and Karachi, in 2009, PTCL decided to increase the 7-digit subscriber numbers to 8-digits, adding "9" before existing Government numbers and "3" before the others (e.g. the number 042-7878787 before 2009, was changed to 042-37878787).[33]

5G trials[edit]

PTCL successfully carried out 5G trials in February 2021 and achieved download speeds up to 1.7 Gbps in their testing environment.[34]

Acquisition of Telenor Pakistan[edit]

After Telenor ASA announced in November 2022 that they would leave the Pakistani market,[35] the sale of Telenor Pakistan to PTCL was announced in December 2023. Subject to regulatory approvals, PTCL will acquire a 100% stake in Telenor Pakistan for US$493 million.[36][37]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b [1] Company Profile of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) on Financial Times (UK newspaper), Retrieved 9 December 2017
  2. ^ a b c "PTCL Financial Results Report 2023" (PDF). www.ptcl.com.pk.
  3. ^ a b c "PTCL Annual Report 2022" (PDF). www.ptcl.com.pk.
  4. ^ PTCL and Netflix sign collaboration agreement Dawn (newspaper), Updated 31 October 2016, Retrieved 9 December 2017
  5. ^ "'Etisalat eager to resolve $800m payment issue'". Dawn.
  6. ^ Ahmed, Ali (24 May 2021). "PTCL appoints Hatem Bamatraf as Chief Executive". Brecorder. Retrieved 6 July 2023.
  7. ^ "About PTCL". ptcl.com.pk. Retrieved 6 July 2023.
  8. ^ a b TLTP (29 July 2020). "Telecom infrastructure ready to support 5G networks: PTA chief". Profit by Pakistan Today. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Pakistan takes Etisalat's $2.59 billion PTCL bid" The Indian Express (newspaper), Published 21 June 2005, Retrieved 9 December 2017
  10. ^ "Privatisation gone sour: Govt signed agreement to transfer PTCL properties 'which don't exist'". Dawn. 2 January 2019.
  11. ^ "KARACHI: PTCL workers on strike against privatization". DAWN.COM. 26 May 2005. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  12. ^ "Hundreds of striking telecom workers detained". gulfnews.com. 14 June 2005. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  13. ^ "PTCL Annual Report 2014" (PDF). PTCL. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  14. ^ "PTCL Annual Report 2015" (PDF). PTCL. 31 December 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  15. ^ "PTCL Annual Report 2016" (PDF). PTCL. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  16. ^ "PTCL Annual Report 2017" (PDF). PTCL. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  17. ^ "PTCL Annual Report 2018" (PDF). PTCL. 31 December 2018. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  18. ^ "PTCL Annual Report 2019" (PDF). PTCL. 31 December 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  19. ^ "PTCL Annual Report 2020" (PDF). PTCL. 31 December 2020. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  20. ^ "PTCL Annual Report 2021" (PDF). PTCL. 31 December 2021. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  21. ^ "PTCL Annual Report 2022" (PDF). PTCL. 31 December 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  22. ^ "PTCL Financial Results 2023" (PDF). PTCL. 13 February 2024. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  23. ^ "Unlimited Internet Packages | Internet Bundles". ptcl.com.pk. Retrieved 6 July 2023.
  24. ^ "Coverage - PTCL Flash Fiber". PTCL Flash Fiber. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  25. ^ "Coverage - PTCL CharJi". PTCL CharJi EVO. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  26. ^ "Better than Cable - PTCL Smart TV". www.ptcl.com.pk. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  27. ^ "Smart TV App". www.ptcl.com.pk. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  28. ^ "Claim under the Interconnection Dispute Resolution Regulations" (PDF). Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. 6 March 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  29. ^ "CCP issues show-cause notice to Bahria Town for abuse of dominance". The Nation. 4 August 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  30. ^ "Competition Commission imposes Rs 2m fine on Bahria Town". Profit by Pakistan Today. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  31. ^ Gardezi, Ahsan (20 February 2024). "PTA Asks Nayatel, PTCL, Zong and Telenor to Resolve Bandwidth Dispute Within 3 Days". ProPakistani. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  32. ^ Siraj, Wahaj (21 February 2024). "Might tries to be right, Internet is no exception". www.linkedin.com. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  33. ^ "PTCL shifts numbers from 7 to 8 digit series". The Nation (newspaper). 25 June 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  34. ^ "PTCL Group conducts successful 5G trials". Profit by Pakistan Today. 11 February 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  35. ^ Nair, Dinesh; Chan, Vinicy; Baigorri, Manuel (9 November 2022). "Telenor Kicks Off Sale of $1 Billion Pakistan Business". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 14 December 2023. Telenor ASA is pushing ahead with plans to sell its operations in Pakistan, which could be valued at about $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.
  36. ^ Sadozai, Dawn com | Irfan (14 December 2023). "PTCL to acquire Telenor's Pakistan operations". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  37. ^ Mjaaland, Ola (14 December 2023). "Telenor selger datterselskap i Pakistan for 5,3 mrd: – 18 vellykkede år" [Telenor sells daughter company in Pakistan for 5,3 billion [NOK]: – 18 successful years]. NRK/NTB (in Norwegian Bokmål). Archived from the original on 14 December 2023. Retrieved 14 December 2023. Det er klart at det har vært krevende 18 år, ingen tvil om det. Men på den andre siden har vi gitt 45 millioner mennesker en mobiltelefon. Vi har også greid å bygge en kultur som har gjort at vi har blitt lagt merke til. [...] [Brekke] nevner blant annet at selskapet innførte svangerskapspermisjon 6 måneder som den første noen gang i dette markedet, og at ingen andre selskaper i Pakistan har så mange kvinner som jobber hos seg. [It clearly has been 18 demanding years, no doubt about that. But on the other hand we have given 45 million people a mobile phone. We have managed to create a culture which has caused us to be noticed. [...] Brekke mentions among other things that the company was the first in the [Pakistani] market to implement a 6 month maternity leave, and that no other company in Pakistan employs as many women as them.]

External links[edit]