Pakistan to Get $44 Million Fiber Optic Back Haul to Link with China

Pakistan and China are vigorously pursuing Fibre-Optic cable from the Chinese border to Rawalpindi. But Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), which is one of the main stakeholders, is yet to be taken on board, it is learnt.

This $44 million fiber optic cable is being laid between Pakistan and China and it will become another high-speed international connection to cater to the rapidly growing Internet traffic needs of Pakistan.

When completed, this back-haul fiber optic cable will provide Pakistan with a direct telecom access to China, Central Asian States and from there to Europe and to and from the United States.

The optic fiber will be laid between Rawalpindi and Khunjrab, covering a distance of 820 Kilometers.

Also Read: Pakistan Has Potential to Become Connectivity Hub for Entire Central Asia

High-ups at PTA revealed that Authority is yet to be approached about the project; however, it is ready to cooperate whenever there’s a need.

These situations were also confirmed by Chairman PTA Syed Ismail Shah on Thursday in a meeting of a parliamentary panel. “We have not been officially informed about the Fibre optic project under the CPEC”, said Shah.

It must be noted that this back haul fiber optic link was planned long ago and was in fact due for completion by Q4 2015, however, it is now perused under CPEC and may finally get delivered as per promised timelines.

Secretary Ministry of Information Technology, Mr. Azmat Ali Ranjha said that the task of the project has been given to Special Communications Organization (SCO). He said that PC-1 worth Rs 1.4 billion has been sent to the Planning Commission in this regard.

Pakistan is currently connected with the world through four undersea fiber optic cables, while another four are being built and will be operational in the next couple of years.

Pakistan’s current international links and bandwidth capacity include:

  1. TW1 with design capacity of 1.28Tbps
  2. Sea-Me-We-3 with 480 Gbps with two fibre pairs
  3. Sea-Me-We-4 with design capacity of 1.28Tbps
  4. I-ME-WE with Design Capacity of 3.86Tbps

Following international links with landing points in Pakistan are under construction:

  • AAE-1 with design capacity of 40Tbps
  • Sea-Me-We-5 with design capacity of 24Tbps
  • Silk Road Gateway-1 (With landing points in Karachi and Gwadar)
  • Pakistan-China Fiber Optic Back-Haul

It must be noted that both China and Pakistan have signed agreements for up-gradation of 1,300-kilometre Karakorum Highway connecting to Islamabad and laying a fiber-optic cable from the Chinese border to Rawalpindi.

The Exim bank China has agreed to provide the government a concessional loan at an interest rate of 2 % per annum for Cross Boarder Optic Fiber Project.

Pakistan will greatly benefit in terms of enhanced security and revenue from the state of the art optic fiber project between Pakistan and China, which will be undertaken by Huawei.


  • Hopefully better pings to Europe and more bandwidth availability at peak load times. Cautiously optimistic.

  • Please correct typo “A $44 million kilometer fiber optic cable is being laid between Pakistan and China”

  • Provide 1gbps unlimited or at least 100mbps connection to home users.Like google fiber then it will be good.

      • Affordability is also a factor make is reasonable.In Oslo i heard they provide home user 1gbps connection for $40.

        • Haha bro rhat is OSLO not pakistan. Here they’ll balantly ask for a price upwards of 35k at LEAST for such a speed. What else can you expect in a country where the total bill for a 1 Mbps connection (including landline bill, taxes etc . ) is easily 2k rupees??!

          • True. But I have also heard that in countries like China, Hong Kong and Japan high speed internet i.e 200mbps+ is provided at the lowest prices under $30/Month. Best in the world, Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN), a local internet provider, offers 1Gbps at $26/Month only and if you only need 100Mbps connection they have that too, only costs $13 a month.

            Rs35K upwards is way too much for these countries as well, not just Pakistan as no one from these countries will pay $350+/Month for a internet connection. :P

            • But unfortunately, this WILL happen if such fast internet becomes available due to the fact that we here do not have honest politicians ..

  • Badwidth!!! The more the merrier :)
    Ping!! The less the merrier (not exactly a rhyme but…. i guess it works…)

  • The current internet infrastructure is not bad in Pakistan. I think the government should spend this budget (all or part of $44 million) on health and education sector.

    • Health and education will both be provided online in future. Besides the government is not interested in funding health and education. It could easily do that by cutting defence spending. FYI we spend the least on health and education as a percentage of GDP compared to other countries in the region. We also spend far too much on the Army.

    • Speed of light and geographical distance from servers in Europe will always be a limiting factor. Maybe you can pray to your God to change that for Pakistanis?

      Realistically speaking we just need cheaper bandwidth, better infrastructure (electricity and data centers) and skilled workers in order to develop a hosting industry in Pakistan. Then you can host your game servers locally and enjoy sub-50ms pings. This is possible but it is very far off.

  • Very good news.i think government should allocate at least 4mbps to every user with reasonable price.This is the standard speed .

  • Well…Having More Than Enough BandWidth Shows That The Companies Will Need To Lower Their Services Prices & Also Will Be Able To Avail High Speed Connections Like Normal Connection Will Become Like 10 Mbps Or May Be More..! As I Am Thinking So..! But The Companies Really Needs To Improve Their Internal Service In Country..There Is No Benefit Of Having More Than Enough BandWidth If You Have Bad Service..! Last Time I Checked That Even 1 Mbps Run’s Very Hardly In Stable Condition In Most Of The Country Parts Under PTCL..!

  • for home use fiber connection in Hong Kong we are paying 500Mbps US$21.67 for 1Gbps charges are US$32.77 & if client want 10Gbps also available charges are US$372

  • Even if we get 4 mbps or better internet but The speed doesn’t go above 14kbs -__- what is this?


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