Business

Multimedia firm to upgrade infrastructure


KARACHI:

A Pakistani multimedia company has announced that it will upgrade its telecommunication infrastructure in 20 major cities by deploying Fibre to the Home (FTTH) platform and blockchain technology to boost internet speed and improve customer experience in telephone and TV services.

FTTH is a fast and reliable network being used by millions of people around the world, especially in Europe.

“This (FTTH) provides dedicated internet connections to each and every (household and business) customer. It is used to boost internet speed for consumers,” IT expert Noman Said told The Express Tribune.

Internet service providers (ISPs) working on older cables provide distributed internet connections unlike the dedicated ones on FTTH. “They (old technology) lack bandwidth and speed,” said Said, who is also the CEO of SI Global Solutions.

Old cable lacks fibre which is the key to high-speed internet. Four to five ISPs, out of eight, are already using FTTH technology in Pakistan, he said.

“WorldCall Telecom Limited (WTL) has entered into a business collaboration agreement with Tufa Telecommunications…targeting Fibre to the Home (FTTH) service rollout across Pakistan,” Company Secretary Muhammad Zaki Munawar said.

In a notification to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Tuesday, he said that existing subscribers of the company would be offered an upgrade to the FTTH platform on initial deployment at a nominal cost.

Read more: WAPDA spends Rs100b on development projects

The collaboration will roll out seamless broadband access by fully utilising its existing fibre optic network. “This business endeavour also aims to provide a major boost to proliferation of affordable broadband services for all segments of society.”

WTL has more than 1,850 kilometres of fibre optic infrastructure across 20 major cities with ability to access the market of almost 3 million households for subscriber acquisition, the notification read.

The company also plans to secure all subscriber operations through state-of-the-art blockchain technology, which would open additional avenues for its subscribers. Blockchain architecture would further augment transparency in service delivery and transparency in subscriber management for all stakeholders, it added.

Said, however, said the area (1,850 kilometres) covered by the company, after laying underground fibre optic line, was quite low considering the huge size of major cities and the country.

He suggested that a mechanism should be established to help technology customers get exactly what service providing companies claim to offer.

At present, there is no check and balance on the technology services for end-users. Customers are charged higher amount and offered less services.

There should be a rule in Pakistan that all the wires should be laid underground. Aerial wires are risky, especially when it is raining. They have already caused a number of accidents.

He recalled that WTL had enjoyed a monopoly in the multimedia sector about a decade ago. However, its performance declined which can be attributable to the lack of finances.

“The new acquirer of the company may re-invest and re-establish it similar to its good days,” he said.

WTL’s share price rose Rs0.14 (or 4%) to Rs3.69 with almost 400 million shares changing hands at the PSX on Tuesday.

The company recreated history when it generated a record high turnover of over 900 million shares on news of its acquisition (51% shares) by a new investor a few days ago. The same day, traders exchanged all-time high volumes, ie 2.2 billion shares (including on futures counter) across the board at the stock market.

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