About 80 percent of PTCL’s much trumpeted Charji WiFi service at Rawalpindi/Islamabad Metro Buses is down after the latter refused to pay the maintenance fee for the services.
PTCL was offering free internet services throughout Islamabad/Rawalpindi metro bus stations and within buses but now more than 80 percent of bus stations and buses on the route are without WiFi internet, ProPakistani has checked.
PTCL had earlier announced that free internet would be offered through WiFi for Metro buses and stations and anyone traveling through Islamabad-Rawalpindi metro service would be able to use the service.
However, after some time — according to inside sources — PTCL demanded that Metro authorities pay a maintenance fee for the service.
Our sources tell us that the main reason behind PTCL’s demand was because company’s devices — through which it was offering the WiFi services — went missing or were stolen.
In response to ProPakistani’s query on the matter, PTCL said that it was in discussion with relevant authorities to formalize the support, maintenance and operations agreement.
PTCL confirmed that while the talks are ongoing, the facility might not be fully available at certain locations and as soon as the arrangements between PTCL and relevant authorities are formalized, the services will be enhanced and fully operational across the Metro Buses and Stations.
Islamabad/Rawalpindi Metro, on the other hand, confirmed to ProPakistani that it is not going to pay anything for the service and PTCL can withdraw its devices anytime.
It won’t be out of place to mention that a Print Ad published by Punjab Government recently claimed that it is offering free WiFi hotspots at metro stations, airports parks, etc.
With Metro authorities refusing to pay anything for the service, it is unclear how Punjab Government is going to achieve its claims of offering free WiFi hotspots in Islamabad/Rawalpindi.
While the service was active, some 150,000 commuters of Islamabad/Rawalpindi Metro had the facility to use free internet.
It is interesting to note here that PTCL’s Charji WiFi service at Rawalpindi/Islamabad Metro Buses and stations has been shortlisted for the forthcoming GSMA Asia Mobile Awards which will be held in Shanghai at the end of this month.