The cellular services providers are making efforts to restore the telecommunication network in flood-hit areas, said a Pakistan Telecommunication Authority official in an interview with The News.
The fibre optic cable network of PTCL and Wateen Telecom in Khyber Pakhtonkhwa (KP) was cut off severing link between numerous towns of the province, PTA said. Due to the deluge a total of 53 Base Stations Controllers (BSCs) and 2,703 Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) have been affected at Peshawar, Nowshera, Dir, Mardan, Charsada, Swabi, Jahangira, Swat, Bara, Timergara, Mingora, Bannu, Kohat, D. I. Khan, Kurram Agency and Khyber Agency.
Access in the affected areas was difficult but the service operators made utmost efforts to restore 43 BSCs and 2,239 BTSs. Remaining sites are being accessed by the technical teams and shall be restored as soon as possible.
Another official of a cellular company informed that telecom network on both banks of Indus River is yet to be fully restored. Flood, broken roads, and collapsed bridges are hindering the repairs. Ufone spokesperson Moazzam Ali Khan said Ufone has been able to keep 99 percent of network running throughout the country.
“Out of around 6,000 only 25 sites are down at the moment; most of the effected sites have already been restored,” Khan said.
“The floods have caused staggering damages to infrastructure in rural Punjab and KP,” said Telenor Head of Corporate Communication and Responsibility Affan Haider.
It was hard to keep the network going with no electricity and fuel, but most of the sites were restored within days, he said. “The scenario in Punjab and Sindh is much more fluid, with floods continuing to play havoc we are cautiously watching and maintaining our current network access and are geared to intervene in case of any issues,” Haider said. Warid spokesperson said that most of the infrastructure damaged due to floods in KP has been restored. The flood damaged the cellular services equipment, electric power system, generators and fuel tanks, boundary walls, floors and tower bases.
Warid attained redundancy via Wateen & Mobilink on few routes and planned long haul route redundancy in Southern Punjab, Sindh and KP.