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Updated on May 16, 2010


The history of telecommunication in the sub continent is as old as the history of our slavery. In the subcontinent before independence this sector was under the Indian post and telegraph department and developed as a successful industry. The role of telecommunication in Pakistan can be broadly divided in to four phase.


At the time of independence and telecommunication services were performed by a single department known as Pakistan post and telegraph (P&T).his department started its telephone service with only 12346 telephone lines and seven telegraph offices all over Pakistan. All the telephone service at that time was manual. This department continues its business up to 1962.the government of Pakistan adopted the government of India telegraph act 188 to control and direct the activities of telecommunication.


The first step towards reform in telecommunication sector was made in 1962.when the ayyub khan government decided to split up the (PT&T) department into two separate departments Pakistan post and Pakistan telephone & telegraph (PT&T) under the presidential ordinance. The PT&T in fact a civil service department under the minstrel controls. This department was headed by director general. The decision making power was concentrated with the post of dg, whilst the responsibilities were delegated to general managers and chief engineers and general managers reporting directly to the director general. The centralized structure of PT&T caused inefficiency in operations and long delay in implementing decisions. At the time of inception of PTCL the total number of employees working in PT&T was 45686 and total network comported of 922,000.


The decade of 1990s brought about many changes in the economic structure of Pakistan. The government of Pakistan pursued the deregulation and liberalization policy in production and service industry. The major change in this regard was privatization and deregulation of many of the departments of government of Pakistan. The objective was to reduce the burden of the government minimize the bureaucratic influence and improve the efficiency of these departments.

A major break through in the history of telecommunication in the country occurred with the gradual deregulation and privatization of t) t, at the first stage Pakistan telephone and telegraph department (PT&T) was converted into a statutory corporation Pakistan telecommunication corporation. On December 5th ,1990 the PT&T department was transformed into Pakistan telecommunication corporation with a legal identity separate from the government. This change in the statute introduced by the government of Pakistan enabled PTC to move from administrative to contractual relationship with its customer. It provided the opportunity for the development of telecommunication facilities to an unprecedented level and also for an increased customer satisfaction. Working under the PTCL act noxv111 of 1991, the corporation was responsible for establishment maintenance and operation of telecommunication services telephone telegraph telex, tele fax and data transmission with in the country and establishment of international link with all member countries of ITU (international telecommunication union

Pakistan telecommunication corporation in it five years life spread the network of its services all over the country and the total number of telephone lines expanded TP 2127344 in addition to telegraph the telex services. The total number of employees at the end of 1995 was 53705.

In addition to inland telephone network PTCL did a lot to improve the international communication. The international communication network of PTCL comprised of variety of satellite earth stations, terrestrial systems, submarine cable system and coastal radio systems, as well as international gateway exchanges.


Pakistan telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) is a company established to undertake the telecommunication business formally carried on by Pakistan.

Telecommunication corporation (PTCL) Pakistan telecommunication corporation (PTCL) was transformed into Pakistan telecommunication company limited (PTCL) on January 1st ,1996 under Pakistan telecommunication reorganization act 1996 according to which PTCL  took over all the properties assets rights and obligations of PTCL. Under the PTCL reorganization act, 1996 the telecommunication sectors were split up into four bodies.

·           Pakistan Telecommunication Company limited (ptcl)

·           Pakistan telecommunication authority (PTCL)

·           National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC)

·           Frequency allocation board (FAB)

Pakistan telecommunication authority is a regulatory body responsible for monitoring the telecommunication business in Pakistan. It frames rules and regulation for private telecom companies such as mobile phone companies, internet service providers, paging companies and pay card phone companies. It also issues licenses to the new companies in entering to this business.

National Telecom Corporation (NTC) is responsible to provide the telecommunication services to the various departments of government and armed services.

Pakistan Telecommunication Company limited is the primary provider of telecommunications services in Pakistan. The range of its services includes basic telephone, telegraph, fax, telex, email, digital cross connect, public data network, internet, isdn, and other digital facilities. The total number of installed telephone lines (ali) at June 30, 1998 was 35, 19,877 while the total number of actual lines in service (alis) was 26, 60,898. The difference between ali and alis issue to pending and potential future demands


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      Miraj Gul 4 months ago

      The article is pathetic with reference to its contents and topic. It has to be improved please.

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      Zuhaib 2 years ago

      Pathetic article .. correct your title first

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      Ahsan 5 years ago

      PTA ka abbreviation ghulat lekne pe Pakistan ko shame......very interesting

      I Love Pakistan

    • profile image

      Ali 5 years ago

      PTA ka abrivation b ghalt leka hy shame on pakistan

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      Hasnain 5 years ago


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      Abid Hussain 6 years ago

      who is the author of article? to site it how can we add it in references.........

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      Abid Hussain 6 years ago

      its quite helpful to understand the telecom trends in pakistan

    • Narmi Recherche profile image

      Narmi Recherche 7 years ago from Islamabad

      The title should be history of ptcl rather than history of telecom. Because Telecom includes mobile internet providers too, which are absent from this article.