Cable TV System in Pakistan to be Converted to Digital Within a Year

The Cable Operators Association of Pakistan (COAP) will replace analogue cable system to digital cable TV system by September 2016 across the country, starting with 12 major cities, at estimated cost of Rs 90 billion.

Addressing a press conference, the representatives of COAP along with Absar Alam Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) said that the association has requested the government to declare cable operators as an industry and provide it tax holiday for importing the material required for digitization of the cable TV network.

With Digital Cable TV, consumers will be able to enjoy high-definition streams on their TVs. However, an additional Set top box — that will cost Rs. 5,000 or around — will be needed to get digital cable TV. Here are the cities that will get digital cable transmission within a year:

  • Karachi
  • Lahore
  • Islamabad
  • Rawalpindi
  • Peshawar
  • Multan
  • Hyderabad
  • Quetta
  • Sukkur
  • Faislabad
  • Hassan Abdal
  • Gujranwala

Chairman PEMRA said that the Association and authority have reached a consensus over extending the deadline for switch local cable operators from current analogue to digital cable TV in major cities of Pakistan by end May, while entire urban area of the country by the end of September 2016 will be digitalized.

He further added that for the purpose of importing digital boxes, fees for one year have been eliminated. In addition, for cable operators converting to digital, 10 year licenses instead of the standard 5 year ones will be issued.

Alam said that the regulator will take stern action against all those private TV channels found involved in violating set rules and regulations, adding that recently license of two private TV channels on this account have been canceled and some TV channels have been warned for airing controversial material.


  • It is a joke of the year. If a government can not acution (bidding) DTH licences, it can not success in the digitilization of cable system.

  • That’s no good deal. The reason is cable doesn’t work during power outages and now we have to pay cable bills per TV that’s insane. When Indians buy cable set top box for 500-1000 inr ,I wonder why cable boxes in Pakistan are so expensive?

      • Yeah, plus there’s a ton of competition. Similar to how mobile operators fight for customers by offering ever cheaper call and text packages, DTH operators offer more HD channels for a lower price in India.

      • yea from what i read on forums and websites. even dishtv , tatasky , etc are very cheap there and come with few months subscription which makes them more cheap .

      • PAKISTAN MAI SARAY DAKU BEHTAY HAIN KARACHI MAI CABLE TV PER MQM KA QABZA HY ELAQON MAI WOHE CHALA RAHAY HAIN PEHLAY RS 250 P/M BILL AATA THA AB 450 LAITAY HAIN JB CABLE KHARAB AATA HY COMPLAIN KARO TOU HAFTON LAGA DAITAY HAIN

  • i am from Karachi and my cable provider just converted thier system to digital the device cost me 4200 Rs there are more than 160 channels most of international channels are HD i like the device because there is usb option as well in the device and you can orgnize the channels as well as child lock

    device is little slow and some times signal strength is weak

        • I am using cline and it has tons of indian channels but frankly speaking I dont like indian tv because it is so much india centered. the sad thing is people in our country just watch indian entertainment channels while never bothering to watch indian news channels which are all the time talking against Pakistan and Muslims, just watch those channels, indian channels ka bukhar utar jaie ga bhai ap ka. another thing is even their natgeo, discovery is too indian centered I would prefer to watch american, asian or european nat geo or discovery as it has better programming,

    • Your cable operator ripped you off and sold you either an illegal Indian set top box, in which case the police will come knocking at your door pretty soon, or just a cheap DAC with no improvement in quality over regular cable.

    • YAR AAP TOU LUCKY HAIN 4200 HAMARAY ELAQAY MAI MQM WALAON K HAAT MAI HY AUR WO 6000 MANG RAHAY HAIN YE HY 98% GAREEBON KE JAMAT HAHAHAHAHA

  • It will be better if analog and digital both are available rather than replacing analog cable.
    For digital cable, people will need to spend nearly 5000 rupees for receiver, and further this will be for only one television, also monthly fee for digital cable will be much higher than analog.
    People here are addicted to analog cable bacause one connection is enough for whole house and fee is much lower.

  • The announcement from chair PEMRA Mr. Absar Alam’s modest request to COAP members and service providers. ITU had been harping for long time to administrations worldwide for the digitalisation whcih is already done in the Middle East region. Suggest all COAP members/service providers be given an orientation on the benefits of digitalisation to the sector, members, public, viewers, for the HD, censorship and regulatory aspect being met. Let me suggest yourselves and some staff should attend the GSR 2016 of ITU this year in Cairo, that will have more detail on regulating the Cable Operator, IPTV, satellite, DTH, Chrome, IOS, Android, and other platform be regulated.

    • Thats true , I was able to tune local cables digital channel then suddenly it stopped working and error seems related to security configurations yet I dint get chance to talk to them but I have feel they are going to force to buy stupid boxes

  • Digital heanded started in karachi, few operators are giving to client if they want to buy it, MPC is going to re-lanuch soon and it will start digital service in karachi with wide range of channels ..

  • Why is the government actually going for the digital option of cable? Apart from HD channels and improved broadcasting , what is the government getting out of this? Not to mention that buying the digital boxes would only help the cable “mafia” of Pakistan.


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