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Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) to change local codes

By Muhammad Yasir

KARACHI: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) will increase a digit ‘3’ in its numbers of Karachi and Lahore to enhance its capacity to widen subscribers’ network.

The biggest Fixed Local Loop (FLL) of the country will implement its eight-digit numbers migration plan from the next month as per guidelines of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) issued in National Numbering Plan (NNP).

Official sources informed that the plan would increase the capacity of the system by an estimated 10 million, which is enough till 2050.

In this regard, the internal testing its underway throughout the network of the PTCL in the two metropolis of the country, they said and added the PTCL will implement this plan further to other cities after result of this new project.

As per new system, the Karachi and Lahore Numbers are migrated from 7 to 8 digits. Old and new numbers will continue to be operational till June 30, after which only 8 digit numbers can be dialed. There is no change in the area code.

NNP and growing demand for numbers aims to meet the objective of creating a numbering framework which acts as a growth engine for the telecom sector in the country.

The plan is intended to fuel the growth of competitive telecommunications services in Pakistan and prepare ground for the introduction of IP based services in the sector. Last year cellular mobile phone companies had been allotted their codes with the change of digits from seven to eight numbers, which has tremendously facilitated operators for widening the subscriber base.

However, officials said that management is not ready to kick-off this plan as they suggested reactivation of closed connections for the new subscribers in order to save the cost. The numbers of PTCL landline subscribers have been declining all over the country. The company has 4.59 million subscribers in December 2007 as compared with 3.58 million by the end of December 2008, as per PTA report.

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