Pakistan’s PTCL to launch IPTV service
Throughout the world, IPTV has continued to grow in subscribers. This new technology has been pegged to be the next great internet breakthrough. France is tops in the industry, with the largest subscriber base. It is followed closely by Hong Kong, Spain, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Morocco, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Sweden.
In the past, Pakistan has lagged behind the rest of the region in broadband availability and especially in cost. It looks like the situation is set to change over the next few years due to policy and regulatory changes. Several companies are already in the process of preparing to offer the internet television services.
IPTV will be (and is) an important part this Lahori Generation. It offers Triple Play combination of phone, television, and internet services. Pakistan has the elements in place to become a part of this new world experience. It just has to step out and make it happen. I remember when WorldCALL first appeared to the Lahore with the introduction of their CableTV, they gave this idea of IPTV back in 2001 (I guess). But we ended up receiving Internet and Cable while they didn’t opt the License for Voice over Cable. Rather, they switched to their WLL – WorldCALL Wireless Local Loop service.
BrainNET I suppose is the only company in Lahore who is Unofficially full- functional (technically) to provide IPTV services. They are providing BrainTEL number along with Internet and TV (Test Transmission). Hence, they also haven’t opted the license for the TV broadcasting/rebroadcasting yet. They aren’t officially announcing the TV bit of their network on commercial basis.
So finally, PTCL – as expected – has won the first licence to launch an IPTV service in Pakistan, which will be a landmark development in the country’s telecom industry. Pemra will issue further licences to companies which meet the set criteria (I don’t know what it is).
Official statement states that:
The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) is planning to launch an IPTV service in Pakistan in October 2007, following clearance from the Director-General of the Pakistan Electronic Media regulatory Authority (Pemra).
The PTCL project is supported by Chinese telecom equipment firm Huawei and Netherlands-based content security company Irdeto. Huawei is to supply the servers and set-top boxes for the project, while Irdeto will provide the content security solutions.
With an employee strength of 65,000 (mostly redundant) and 5.7 million customers, PTCL is the largest telecommunications provider in Pakistan.
I hope for the best of the new introduction in the market.
[References: IPTV-Watch.co.uk, WorldCALL, PTCL, BrainNET, Huwei, Irdeto]