Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) is the largest telecommunication company in Pakistan. This company provides telephony services to the nation and still holds the status of backbone for country's telecommunication infrastructure despite arrival of a dozen other telcos including telecom giants like Telenor and China Mobile. The company consists of around 2000 telephone exchanges across country providing largest fixed line network. GSM, CDMA and Internet are other resources of PTCL, making it a gigantic organization. The Government of Pakistan sold 26% shares and control of the company to Etisalat in 2006. The Government of Pakistan retained 62% of the shares while the remaining 12% are held by the general public. PTCL is also part of the consortium of three major Submarine communication cable networks: SEA-ME-WE 3, SEA-ME-WE 4 and I-ME-WE. In addition to wire line operations, PTCL also provides fixed line service through its countrywide CDMA based WLL (Wireless Local Loop) network, under the Vfone brand name. In the cellular segment, the second largest cellular provider in Pakistan, Ufone, is also a wholly owned subsidiary of PTCL.
From the beginnings of Posts & Telegraph Department in 1947 and establishment of Pakistan Telephone & Telegraph Department in 1962, PTCL has been a major player in telecommunication in Pakistan. Despite having established a network of enormous size, PTCL workings and policies have attracted regular criticism from other smaller operators and the civil society of Pakistan. Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation (PTC) took over operations and functions from Pakistan Telephone and Telegraph Department under Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Act 1991. This coincided with the Government's competitive policy, encouraging private sector participation and resulting in award of licenses for cellular, card-operated pay-phones, paging and, lately, data communication services. Pursuing a progressive...
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