A radical overhaul of Pakistan’s communications framework has all the earmarks of being on the cards — or possibly that is the thing that Beijing and Islamabad have imagined under their Long Term Plan (LTP) for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
A nearer examination of the LTP record acquired in June by Dawn uncovers goals for a patched up interchanges structure, which incorporates segments, for example, a fiber optic link associating Pakistan and China, another submarine arrival station for web activity stream, and computerized TV for all.
The guide, which was created from November 2013 to December 2015 by authorities and specialists from the two nations, contains a definite 21-page diagram particular to correspondences – an arrangement imagined to traverse up to 15 years, beginning in 2016 and closing in 2030.
The most basic part is another, updated fiber optic link organize which traverses Pakistan and crosses the outskirt to interface specifically with China.
A cross-border wander
As plot in the end-all strategy, the cross-outskirt fiber optic link will address various difficulties looked by China and Pakistan.
Right off the bat, it says it will deal with the expected increment in correspondence between the two nations. With “developing exhaustive vital collaboration” comes the need to set up quick, dependable availability – and maybe most basically – correspondence that isn’t directed through Europe, the United States or India.
A security concern
The current fiber optic system through which Pakistan associates with the world has been produced by a consortium that has Indian organizations either as accomplices or investors.
This is seen as a security concern e.g. with regards to observation of correspondence. As of late as January this year, Director General Special Communications Organization (SCO) Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa educated the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology that some approaching and outbound web activity arrived in India before being steered to its goals, representing a security chance for Pakistan.
Connecting to Gwadar
It additionally creates the impression that network till the capital isn’t the true objective in the LTP. The arrangement likewise incorporates completing upgrades on the 804km long spine transmission organize from Sukkur to Gwadar.
In the long haul, a moment course of the link organize is planned to be built once again from Sukkur to Gwadar. This second course spreading over 370km is basic to “framing a circle with the current optical links to improve organize security”.
From Gwadar to the world
The LTP additionally imagines an arrangement to cure the threat of web interruption because of any mischance at Pakistan’s just submarine link landing station. As of now, the undersea fiber optic links that convey all web activity interface with one landing station situated at Karachi. A noteworthy mischance at the station can bring about disturbance of the web over the whole nation.
To address this, another submarine link landing station at Gwadar Port is intended to be worked to “upgrade security of the global interchanges organize in Pakistan”. As indicated by the arrangement, the Gwadar station would cover a territory of around 10,000 square meters.
An achievability think about in the here and now will be followed up by development from 2021-2030. Executive of the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) Viqar Rashid Khan said in September a year ago that work has just begun on the undertaking.
Switch to digital TV
The introduction of terrestrial Digital TV with a network “covering over 90%” of Pakistan’s population is another key project of the LTP, set to be complete by 2020. To this end, Chinese enterprises will provide Pakistan with Digital Terrestrial Multimedia Broadcast (DTMB) technology to enable the switch to digital TV.