Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) is the largest
telecommunication company in Pakistan. This company provides telephony services
to the nation and still holds the status of backbone for country's
telecommunication infrastructure despite arrival of a dozen other telcos
including telecom giants like Telenor and China Mobile . The companay consists
of around 2000 telephone exchanges across country providing largest fixed line
network. GSM, CDMA and Internet are other resources of PTCL, making it a
gigantic organization. The Government of Pakistan sold 26% shares and control of
the company to Etisalat in 2006.
PTCL is also part of the consortiums of three major Submarine communication
cable networks: SEA-ME-WE 3, SEA-ME-WE 4 and I-ME-WE.
From the humble beginnings of Posts & Telegraph Department in 1947 and
establishment of Pakistan Telephone & Telegraph Department in 1962, PTCL has
been a major player in telecommunication in Pakistan. Despite having established
a network of enormous size, PTCL workings and policies have attracted regular
criticism from other smaller operators and the civil society of Pakistan.
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
award of licenses for cellular, card-operated pay-phones, paging and, lately,
data communication services.
Pursuing a progressive policy, the Government in 1991, announced its plans to
privatize PTC, 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
In 1995, Pakistan Telecommunication (Reorganization) Ordinance formed the basis
for PTCL monopoly over basic telephony in the country. It also paved the way for
the establishment of an independent regulatory regime. 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
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
the period of time. Recent DSL services launched by PTCL reflect this by the
introduction of a new brand name and operations of the service being directly
supervised by PTCL instead of Paknet.
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 Pakistanís Liberalization in Telecommunication in
January 2003. On the Government level, a comprehensive liberalization policy for
telecom sector is in the offing.
New Logo of PTCL, effective from August 14, 2007Last Year, in middle of 2005
Government of Pakistan had decided to sell at least 26 percent of this company
to some private agency. There were three participants in the bet for
privatization of PTCL. Etisalat, a Dubai based company was able to get the
shares with a large margin in the bet.
Last year when Government was going to privatize the company there was country
wide protest and strike by PTCL workers. They even disrupted Phone lines of some
big Government institutions like Punjab University Lahore and many lines of
public sector were also blocked. Military had to take over the management of all
the Exchanges in the country. They arrested many workers and put them behind
bars. The contention between Government and employees ended with a 30% increase
in the salaries of workers.
Many big change events are happening in PTCL at the moment after its
privatization. these include the VSS (Voluntary Separation Scheme for its
employees), ERP (SAP based), restructuring, B& CC (Billing and Customer Care
Software) etc. Another seemingly minor change was change of brand identity
(logo) that will present PTCL's new face after privatization, with greater focus
on customer satisfaction and bringing about of new advancements in telecom for
1947 Posts & Telegraph Dept established
1961 Pakistan Telegraph & Telephone Deptt.
1990-91 Pakistan Telecom Corporation
1995 About 5% of PTC assets transferred to PTA, FAB & NTC.
1996 PTCL Formed listed on all Stock Exchanges of Pakistan.
1998 Mobile(Ufone)& Internet(PakNet)subsidiaries established.
2000 Telecom Policy Finalized
2003 Telecom Deregulation Policy Announced
2006 Etisalat Takes Over PTCL's management
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