International data, voice traffic: PTCL earns $320m last fiscal
By Imran Ayub
KARACHI: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has earned $320 million during 2003-04 financial year from international telecom carriers for transmitting their voice and data traffic.
Company officials said last financial year had witnessed a 6.66 percent earning under the head compared to last year’s income of $300 million.
“This year earning is around $320 million,” said Mashkoor Hussain, senior executive vice president PTCL. “We have received almost 80 percent of the amount and remaining is receivable within next few weeks.”
He said telecom carriers of Europe, the United States and Arab states topped among all companies, which used PTCL channel to terminate voice and data traffic.
“The telecom companies of Europe, US and companies from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are the biggest users of our services and pay bigger amount than others,” he added.
The state-owned firm in early 2002 signed agreements with five international telecom companies for terminating additional international incoming traffic to capture the grey market by using voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology from the US and Europe into Pakistan.
The operation was started in November 2002 and in the next eight months, the PTCL received 132.65 million minutes of incoming traffic. “The achievement of growth in international traffic since the start of operations is remarkable and it exceeded set targets,” said Mr Hussain.
More voice circuits: He said in 2003-04 financial year the company had made agreements to add another 2000 voice circuits with international carriers.
Company officials believe the PTCL’s earning under the head would increase in years to come as the operation is just two years old.
“The incoming traffic growth, including VoIP, is 32.11 percent and outgoing traffic grew by 16.48 percent,” said another company official. “Though this year’s growth has yet to be estimated, it may register over 50 percent as aggregate growth for the last year was 30.75 percent,” he said and added last year a total of 1654 international circuits were added in international switches.
“The status of total international circuits as June 30, 2003 was 13,489 circuits including 5201 circuits via satellite, 7075 circuits via undersea fibre link and 1213 circuits via other international transmission links,” he added.
He said the PTCL had set up two new international gateway exchanges (IGEs), one each at Rawalpindi and Karachi, to deal with international traffic.
“These two IGEs meet increasing international voice traffic requirements,” he added. Business managers at the PTCL have already showed optimism about financial results for the year 2003-04 and estimated the profit would touch Rs 27.2 billion mark against Rs 23.08 billion of the last year.
“We are expecting books to close at Rs 27 billion profit or maybe over,” said the PTCL official. “It is all estimation but the announced figures would definitely bring a good message and it is expected in next few weeks.”
Established as a public limited company in 1996, PTCL is 88 percent owned by the government. The company has shown an impressive growth in the past five years and manages a well-developed domestic telecommunications infrastructure of 5 million access lines, nationwide backbone and international communications links.