The telecommunication industry in Pakistan has come a long way since the country's independence in 1947. The initial era could be fairly termed as the PTCL (Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited) monopoly, for it was the sole provider of all telecommunication services across the country. It was not until four decades later that the region embarked into the new world of wireless communication, hence ending the decades old PTCL monopoly. By the end of the late 1990's, government support and international investment in the region opened new doors to innovation and better quality, low cost, healthy competition. Wireless licenses for the private sector in the telecommunication industry triggered a promising chain of events that resulted in a drastic change in the telecommunication infrastructure and service profile. The newly introduced wireless (GSM) technology received enormous support from all stakeholders (consumers, regulatory body, and market) and caused a vital boost in Pakistan's economy. Numerous tangential elements had triggered this vital move in the history of telecommunications in Pakistan. Entrepreneurs intended to test the idea of global joint ventures in the East and hence the idea of international business became a reality. The technology had proven to be a great success in the West, while Pakistan's telecom consumer had lived under the shadow of PTCL dominance for decades and needed more flexibility. At last the world was moving from wired to wireless! Analysts termed this move as the beginning of a new era. The investors, telecommunication businesses, and Pakistani treasury prospered. It was a win-win situation for all involved. The learning curve was steep for both operators and consumers but certainly improved over time. In essence, the principle of deploying the right technology in the right market at the right time led to this remarkable success. The industry today stands on the brink of a similar crossroads via transition from second generation to something beyond. With the partial success of 3G in Europe and the USA, the government has announced the release of three 3G licenses by mid 2009. This decision is not yet fully supported by all but still initiated parallel efforts by the operators and the vendors to integrate this next move into their existing infrastructure.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wireless communication systems--Pakistan; Mobile communication systems--Pakistan

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (CAST)


Fulle, Ronald


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TK5103.2 .P37 2009


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