Asad Naveed, General Manager (System Eng), PTCL, Pakistan is taking part in an interactive discussion entitled, “Can Next Generation Fixed Services be delivered over Copper, or is Fiber Required?” taking place on Day One of the Broadband Asia conference, taking place on the 29th-30th April 2014 at the Suntec, Singapore. Here were find out about the huge force that is PTCL and the challenges it is facing this year.
Can you give me an overview of PTCL and its position in the market?
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) is a megacorporation that provides telephone and internet services nationwide. It manages and operates around 2,000 telephone exchanges across the country, creating the largest fixed-line network in the country. Data and backbone services such as GSM, CDMA, broadband Internet, IPTV, and wholesale are an increasing part of its business (GSM Services are provided via a subsidiary, named Ufone).
Originally a state-owned corporation (SOE), in 2006, 26 per cent of shares and control was sold to Etisalat Telecommunications with the remaining 12 per cent sold to the general public under a privatisation programme. PTCL delivered over Rs 100 billion (US$ 1billion) revenue during nine months of FY2013.
What would you say are the main challenges you are facing in 2014?
PTCL plans to deploy FTTx solutions and enhance its optical backbone from 10G x 40 λ to 100G x 80 λ systems, which requires huge CAPEX. Further, a 3G auction is expected in March 2014, which will bring a lot of competition in the market. Aligning the right people up with our changing needs is another challenge that we pursue with tenacity and prudence.
How important is it for you to maximise your investment in copper assets, over moving to fibre?
Moving to fibre is not optional (it has to be done in any case), but we are trying to use the existing copper network to its full extent by deploying ADSL2+, G.SHDSL, VDSL2 and VDSL bonding techniques. In addition, fibre is being extended nearer to the customers, while the last mile is still copper (FTTC).
The Broadband Asia conference is taking place on the 29th-30th April 2014 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure.
What would you pick out as the most exciting or innovative technology that will appear in 2014?
It is hard to say, but Cloud, SDN (Software Defined Networking) and NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) will definitely make their way into many operators’ plans this year. Technologies that make use of existing copper will also be popular among some operators.
How can you drive demand for uptake of faster services?
By having a positive approach, customer-oriented focus, and innovative ideas.
Where do cloud services fit into your strategy?
Cloud services play a vital role in PTCL’s strategy. We have data centres in Lahore and Karachi and by cloud-enabling them we can deliver cloud services in a cost-effective way. Services like IaaS, PaaS and SaaS are being planned.
Why is the Broadband World Forum such an important date in your diary?
Broadband is the main revenue stream of PTCL and we need to grow further by having new technologies in a cost-effective way, while reducing OPEX and finding new revenue generating streams based on industry trends and innovative approach. All these can be served well at the BBWF.