Monday, June 17, 2024

Pakistan-China Agreement Boosts Internet Connectivity, Targets $400M Revenue

Pakistan has inked an agreement with China to channel the East Asian nation's Internet traffic through Pakistan, aiming to transform it into a regional connectivity hub and potentially generate around $400 million annually, revealed the IT minister on Monday.

Dr. Umar Saif unveiled this milestone as he inaugurated the Pakistan Internet Exchange (PIE) in Islamabad, in collaboration with DE-CIX, a global operator of carrier- and data-center-neutral Internet Exchanges.

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Saif highlighted four pivotal achievements attained through partnerships with key entities such as Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd. (PTCL), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), China Mobile, and PEACE Cable, a submarine cable project linking Asia, Europe, and Africa.

"We've secured an agreement with China to route their Internet traffic through Pakistan, positioning Pakistan as a regional connectivity hub," stated Saif.

Additionally, UAE-based telecommunications company Etisalat established Pakistan's maiden carrier-neutral Internet Exchange Point (IXP) and data center, bolstering Internet reliability.

Furthermore, PTCL, in collaboration with DE-CIX, will manage a new data center, facilitating the introduction of cloud services like AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure to Pakistan, while also serving as a content hub for platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and Netflix.

"With these advancements, Pakistan can emerge as a regional connectivity hub, offering local access to services and generating significant revenue," emphasized Saif.

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Highlighting Pakistan's massive digital market and burgeoning Internet user base, Saif emphasized the country's progress in fiber connectivity and submarine cables.

The PTCL data center, managed by DE-CIX, opens avenues for localized content hosting and seamless content delivery to other markets, positioning Pakistan as a digital connectivity powerhouse and potentially adding $200-400 million annually to the economy.

Owned by Etisalat, PTCL is Pakistan's largest integrated Information Communication Technology (ICT) company, while DE-CIX is a leading global Internet Exchange (IX) operator.

Zarrar Hasham Khan, Group Chief Business Solutions Officer at PTCL & Ufone 4G, noted that PTCL's network coupled with DE-CIX's infrastructure would enhance the Internet experience for customers and facilitate international content hosting.

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Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX, stressed the importance of local interconnection for Pakistan, anticipating PIE to unlock Pakistan's economic potential through robust Internet connectivity.

The Pakistan Internet Exchange, powered by DE-CIX, aims to replicate the success of UAE-IX in Dubai, further solidifying its role as a vital international Internet hub.

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Izaan Zubair
Izaan Zubair
With a passion and curiosity for technology, Izaan is a seasoned writer with four years of experience. His expertise lies in translating complex tech updates into engaging stories. Beyond technology, Izaan keeps a finger on the pulse of worldly news, crafting exclusive narratives that inform and inspire his readers.

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