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Pakistan Telecommunicaton Company Limited (PTCL)
Founded14 August 1947 incorporated 1995[1]
Key people
Federal Secretary IT
(Chairman Board)
•Hassan Tahir Khan
RevenueDecrease31.83 billion (US$200 million) - Q1 2020[2]
Decrease7.92 billion (US$49 million) - Q1 2020[2]
Total assetsIncrease196.04 billion (US$1.2 billion) - 2018
Total equityDecrease83.57 billion (US$520 million) - 2018
OwnerGovernment of Pakistan (62%)
Etisalat (26%)
General public (12%)
Number of employees

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd., commonly known as PTCL (Urdu: مشارکتِ پاکستان برائے بعیدالمواصلات (المحدود)) is the national telecommunication company in Pakistan.[1][3] PTCL provides telephone and internet services nationwide and is the backbone for the country's telecommunication infrastructure despite the arrival of a dozen other telecommunication corporations, including Telenor GSM and China Mobile. The corporation manages and operates around 2000 telephone exchanges across the country, providing the largest fixed-line network. Data and backbone services such as GSM, HSPA+, CDMA, LTE, broadband internet, IPTV, and wholesale are an increasing part of its business. Originally a state-owned corporation, the shareholding of Ptcl was reduced to 62%, when 26% of shares and control were sold to Etisalat Telecommunications while the remaining 12% to the general public in 2006 under an intensified privatization program under Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. However, the 62% of shares still remain under the management of government-ownership of state-owned corporations of Pakistan.[4]


On 12 February 2019, PTCL announced that Rashid Khan would be its new CEO. Rashid Khan is acting as CEO of both PTCL, and its subsidiary, Ufone effective from 2 March 2019.[5][6]

PTCL appointed Mr Hassan Kakar as Chief Executive with effect from 1st December 2020.[7]

In 2021, Etisalat appointed Hatem Bamatraf, an Arab national as the President and Group CEO of PTCL and Ufone. [8]


Posts & Telegraph Department[edit]

From the beginning of the Posts & Telegraph Department in 1949 and establishment of Pakistan Telephone & Telegraph Department in 1962, PTCL has been a major player in telecommunication in Pakistan. [9]

Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation[edit]

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 the award of licenses for cellular, card-operated pay-phones, paging and, lately, data communication services.

Privatization Plan[edit]

Pursuing a progressive policy, the Government in 1991, announced its plans to privatize PTCL, and in 1994 issued six million vouchers exchangeable into 600 million shares of the would-be PTCL in two separate placements. Each had a par value of Rs. 10 per share. These vouchers were converted into PTCL shares in mid-1996.[9]

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited[edit]

In 1995, Pakistan Telecommunication (Reorganization) Ordinance formed the basis for PTCL monopoly over basic telephony in the country. The provisions of the Ordinance were lent permanence in October 1996 through Pakistan Telecommunication (Reorganization) Act. The same year, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited was formed and listed on all stock exchanges of Pakistan

PTCL launched its mobile and data services subsidiaries in 2001 by the name of Ufone and PakNet respectively. None of the brands made it to the top slots in the respective competitions. Lately, however, Ufone had increased its market share in the cellular sector. The PakNet brand has effectively dissolved over a period of time. Recent DSL services launched by PTCL reflects this by the introduction of a new brand name and operation of the service being directly supervised by PTCL.

A shop of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) in Islamabad

As telecommunication monopolies head towards an imminent end, services and infrastructure providers are set to face even bigger challenges. The post-monopoly era came with Pakistan’s Liberalization in Telecommunication in January 2003. On the Government level, a comprehensive liberalization policy for the telecoms sector is in the offering.

In 2005, Government of Pakistan decided to sell 26 percent of the company to some private corporation. There were three participants in the bidding process for the privatization of PTCL. Etisalat, an Abu Dhabi company was able to get the shares with a large margin in the bid.[10] In June 2005, Etisalat won the 26% of PTCL shares along with management control of the then telecom monopoly for US$2.6 billion. As of 2019, Etisalat has held back $800m amount over a property-transfer dispute with the Pakistani government.[11]

The government's plan of privatizing the corporation was not welcomed in all circles; countrywide protests and strikes were held by PTCL workers. They disrupted phone lines of institutions like Punjab University Lahore along with public sector institutions were also blocked. The military had to take over the management of all the exchanges in the country. They arrested many workers and put them behind bars. The contention between the Government and the employees ended with a 30% increase in the salaries of workers.


PTCL owns two subsidiaries, Ufone and UBank.[12]


PTCL is a part of the consortium of four major Submarine communication cable networks: SEA-ME-WE 3, SEA-ME-WE 4 and I-ME-WE and AAE-1.


PTCL provides its fixed-line telephone services in many cities of Pakistan.

Vfone network shutdown[edit]

Voice services used to be provided through PTCL's CDMA2000 network, which was broadcast over the 1900  MHz WLL frequency under the 'Vfone' brand name, however, the network was shut down on 31 August 2016 nationwide.

Internet / high speed broadband[edit]

Being Pakistan's largest ADSL2+ provider, PTCL primarily provides its customers with ADSL broadband, however as demand for higher bandwidth connections has increased, PTCL is upgrading its customers to VDSL2 and FTTH GPON in a few major cities, namely Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta, Peshawar and Kharian.


Wireless options are also available under the 'EVO Nitro' or 'CharJi Evo' brand names. The former being based on EvDo Rev A and B, and the latter using LTE technology. This is done using PTCL's 1900  MHz WLL frequency that was previously used for their Vfone CDMA2000 network. There is seamless LTE coverage in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Islamabad, whereas there is coverage for EvDo Rev B (up to 9.3 Mbit/s) in the remaining 200+ cities.

Ufone GSM is also a wholly owned subsidiary of PTCL, it also the fourth and the smallest cellular provider (excluding SCO) in the country. It provides both GSM and HSPA+ services over the 900, 1800 and 2100  MHz bands.[1]

In September 2014, for its corporate customers, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) launched an exclusive WiFi service called 'Managed WiFi'.[13]


In addition to these services, PTCL also offers digital TV services based on DVB-IPTV with the brand name of Smart TV.[14] PTCL users can also stream live TV using the SmartTV application for smartphones.[15]

Collaboration with Netflix[edit]

In October 2016, PTCL and Netflix signed a collaboration agreement to provide its customers, without commercials, high quality streaming content.[3]

Company profile[edit]

PTCL is the largest telecommunications provider in Pakistan. PTCL also continues to be the largest CDMA operator in the country with 0.8 million V-fone customers. The company maintains a leading position in Pakistan as an infrastructure provider to other telecom operators and corporate customers of the country. It has the potential to be an instrumental agent in Pakistan’s economic growth. PTCL has laid Optical Fibre Access Network in the major metropolitan centers of Pakistan and local loop services have started to be modernized and upgraded from copper to an optical network. On the Long Distance and International infrastructure side, the capacity of two SEA-ME-WE submarine cable is being expanded to meet the increasing demand for International traffic.[1][3]

Changing in format of numbers[edit]

PTCL had started with 10 digit numbers for digital telephones. The first three (in case of smaller cities, 4 or 5) signified the area code (e.g. 042 for Lahore) and the rest (7 for large cities, 6 or 5 for smaller ones) were the subscriber's number. Due to the large demand for landlines in Lahore and Karachi, in 2009, PTCL decided to increase the 7-digit subscriber numbers to 8-digits, adding "9" before existing Government numbers and "3" before the others (e.g. the number 042-7878787 before 2009, was changed to 042-37878787).[16]

5G Trials[edit]

PTCL Group had successfully conducted 5G Trials on a non-commercial basis.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e [1] Company Profile of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) on Financial Times (UK newspaper), Retrieved 9 December 2017
  2. ^ a b "PTCL Q1 Report 2020" (PDF).
  3. ^ a b c PTCL and Netflix sign collaboration agreement Dawn (newspaper), Updated 31 October 2016, Retrieved 9 December 2017
  4. ^ "'Etisalat eager to resolve $800m payment issue'". Dawn.
  5. ^ Attaa, Aamir. "Rashid Khan Announced as the CEO of PTCL". Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  6. ^ Jamal Shahid (13 February 2019). "PTCL group profits jump 32pc, new CEO by next month". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  7. ^ "British executive Hassan Kakar confirmed as PTCL CEO". Profit by Pakistan Today. 16 October 2020. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b TLTP (29 July 2020). "Telecom infrastructure ready to support 5G networks: PTA chief". Profit by Pakistan Today. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Pakistan takes Etisalat's $2.59 billion PTCL bid" The Indian Express (newspaper), Published 21 June 2005, Retrieved 9 December 2017
  11. ^ "Privatisation gone sour: Govt signed agreement to transfer PTCL properties 'which don't exist'". Dawn. 2 January 2019.
  12. ^ Research, B. R. (15 October 2020). "PTCL: subsidiaries deliver". Brecorder. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  13. ^ PTCL launches 'Managed WiFi Service' for corporate customers Pakistan Today (newspaper), Published 17 September 2014, Retrieved 9 December 2017
  14. ^ "Better than Cable - PTCL Smart TV". Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Smart TV App". Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  16. ^ "PTCL shifts numbers from 7 to 8 digit series". The Nation (newspaper). 25 June 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  17. ^ "PTCL Group conducts successful 5G trials". Profit by Pakistan Today. 11 February 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.

External links[edit]