PTCL gets more than half of Universal Service Fund (USF) contracts : 10 contracts worth Rs 7.5 billion allocated to PTCL:
Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL) has crossed the benchmark of 50 percent accumulated subsidy awarded by Universal Service Funds (USF) in last three years.
Official sources told Daily Times that PTCL has been allocated Rs 7.5 billion contracts to carry out various telephony and broadband services infrastructure development projects in different parts of the country.
The total number of subsidy amount allocated to several telephony companies reached Rs 15 billion by May 2010. The USF has allocated more than Rs 6 billion of contracts for the development of broadband infrastructure projects in different provinces.
USF has awarded 10 contracts to PTCL for the development of broadband, optic fiber and basic telephony and data service in different telecom regions during last three years. The total number of subsidy contracts was 14 signed by USF with different telephony companies.
PTCL was awarded three contracts of Rs 2.9 billion in August 2009, which was the biggest auction for development projects.
USF officials said that PTCL became ineligible to participate in the next auction, under USF Rule 24(12). However, it can bid for new contracts after next auction.
Pakistan Telecommuni-cation Company Ltd (PTCL) was awarded the lion’s share of 50.9 percent subsidy in overall funds, followed by Wateen with 18.9 percent subsidy allocation. CMPAK became successful winning the auction with 10.4 percent share in subsidy. Also, Telenor obtained 9.8 percent subsidy in the current fiscal year followed by WorldCall, with 8.4 percent share.
So far in the current fiscal year, the projects related to rural telecom and E-services programmes have been granted in most of the cities of Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtoonkhawa.
The concentration of broadband programmes has been witnessed in Punjab and Sindh as the number of project by different operators are underway in these provinces.
The optic fiber projects are also being carried out in Sindh and Balochistan, aimed at providing infrastructure for provision of basic telephony services in these provinces.
USF also intends to establish a Special Project to set-up a Pilot Telemedicine (TM) network at 3 hubs and 12 remote sites in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health. Through this project, USF aims to demonstrate that the Optic Fiber and the Broadband Networks can be used for providing health care facilities without any further addition in the telecommunications part. Telemedicine centers will be set up for provision of different medical services.