Telecom Activity Roundup in AJK & NA

This report from Daily Times provides a good activity roundup relating to new Telecommunication initiatives in Azad Jammu Kashmir and Northern Areas. From the report:

In the wake of October 8 earthquake, the PTA granted temporary permission to mobile phone companies operating in Pakistan for provision of services in quake-hit areas. Later on, they were invited to obtain permanent licenses for AJK and NAs against the ILF of $10 million each.

Subsequently four mobile companies Mobilink, Ufone, Warid and Telenor acquired licenses by paying 50 percent of the license fee ($5 million) each upfront as per the terms of the payment. The $20 million (Rs 1.2 billion) collected by PTA from four operators has been deposited with the AJK Council Secretariat and Chief Secretary, NAs in the ratio of 77:23 based on the population of the two areas. Their share was Rs 927.696 million and Rs 277.104 million respectively. In view of special circumstances, PTA has not deducted any fee from the amount.

The fifth mobile license for AJ&K and NAs has recently been issued to CMPak (Paktel) for which the fees would be deposited under the same arrangements. All five mobile companies will pay remaining 50 percent (i.e. $5 million each) in 10 equal annual installments.

It may be mentioned that, with the introduction of mobile phone services people of these areas are getting enhanced communication facilities. So far, cellular operators in AJK and NAs have provided one million mobile connections. Mobile service is available in the following areas of AJK including Bagh, Bhimber, Bharhing, Kotli, Muzzafferabad, Palandri, Rawalakot, Mirpur, Dhirkot, Ghari Duppatta, Hattian Bala, Dhudyal, Barnala, Kakra, Islam Gargh, Dirkot, Chamankot, Baloch, Sehnsa, KhuiRatta, Hajira, Tarar Khel, Abbas Pur, Jaraee, Rajdhani. Thraowchi, Puna, Sumani, Charoi, Fatepur, Barnala, Paniola, etc. In Northern Areas Gilgit, Hunza, Chilas, Skardu, Shigar, Danyor have been provided mobile services.

Moreover, Special Communication Organisation (SCO) which was the major provider of telecom services in the region till very recent is working on its several developmental activities including Rural Telecom Uplift Project Phase-II for provision of 80,000 telephone lines (along with 266 km Optic Fibre), enhancement of GSM capacity by 65,000 lines, laying of 570 km optic fibre, 26 digital exchanges with VSAT connectivity and laying of outside plant (OSP) in NAs.

SCO is also planning to lay optical fibre cable link for international connectivity between China and Pakistan.

SCO has also taken initiatives to provide Internet services to these areas in the form of Dialup, DSL and CDMA 1X services by entering into O&M agreements with existing providers in Pakistan.


39 Responses to “Telecom Activity Roundup in AJK & NA”

  1. Babar Bhatti Says:

    I think this is going to make a big difference in AJK and NA. Will make an interesting case study.

  2. KO Says:

    I spent some time in the northern areas this summer, and wasn’t impressed with either SCO or Telenor, which were the only two cell phone networks operating then. Even in the main cities, standing right under the cell phone towers with a full signal, connectivity was horrible, even calling another number in the same town.

    SCO has laid optical fibre alongside the KKH, so it was suprisingly difficult to call Karachi numbers.

  3. State of Telecom Industry in Pakistan » ERRA: Telecom After the Quake Says:

    […] related development has been the change in policy regarding licencing of services as covered in this post by Tee Emm. Now all major operators are allowed to offer their services in the earthquake impacted areas. […]

  4. amjad ali Says:

    PTCL connections are available in azad kashmir or not. PTCL Phones are working in Azad Kashmir or not

  5. salman Says:

    SCO is an inefficient and corrupt department of pakistan army that is running telecom services in AJK. Normally they are unable to provide even basic services while doing lofty claims. At best it creates obstacles for other carriers trying to provide services in this area.

  6. Babar Ashraf. Says:

    I Think this is a good step for people of Azad Kashmir & Nothern areas if they utilise this facilities for positive purposes and i appreciate and thanks all thos persons they particepate in this worldwide growth of backword areas. Also i requested to all users for utilize this facility to increase thair economic potential and good purpuses.
    Babar Ashraf Rawalakot.

  7. Babar Ashraf. Says:

    I think this is time to people of Azad Kashmir (youngster) they use this facility for compete himself with growing nations and i requested to all authorities to please arrange DSL service in Rawalakot AJK.

  8. Khawaja Rehman Says:

    SCO is the most corrupt department in AJk, if ranked fairly. They are commiting heinous crime by keeping the people of Azad Kashmir out of the modern facility of communication.
    If comapared with India, we can see in the Neelam Valley from Indian side mobile services are available. Even to this side of LOC we can find mobile signals of Reliance, BSNL etc. I have witnessed my self. I am a resident of the Neelam Valley.
    Private Mobile companies are ready to operate in the area but SCO is not allowing on the pretext of security. What security? Has India no security issues related to mobiles. Why is not there any SCO.
    To my knowledge indian Part of Kashmir private companies are providing mob services as they are providing else where in India.

  9. Restless Soul Says:

    Mr. Babar Ashraf,

    DSL Services have been provided by SCO in all major districts of AJ&K. SO you can visit nearest sco office for a dsl connection…

  10. Restless Soul Says:

    Well Mr. Khawaja Rehman

    I do not know whether SCO is corrupt or not but what i can comment is that its not SCO who is restricting other mobile operators, its PTA, Govt. of Pakistan and Pakistan Army who are restricting even SCO from putting its towers over there. Yes india also has security issues thats why they have removed airtel’s mobile towers from indian line of control.

    private mobile companies as well as SCO has some limits and bounds which they have to follow to cope up with the regulations issued by Govt. Of Pakistan.

    If sco is serving the area since 1976, what problem do they be having putting towers of their telecom services near line of control as well. as far as you talk of indian cell signals coming to our place i.e. neelum valley and other areas, signals of pakistan mobiel companies are also travelling to those areas.

    sco is not at all keeping people of AJ&K and NA’s away from modern telecom facilites, rather they are the ones spending the most on telecom infrastructures. they are the ones who have laid optical fiber cables, microwaves, digital exchanges and other latest telecom equipments. the licenses were open to all and those who could pay the bid money won the licenses and providing services to people of AJ&K and NA’s. The back haul being used by all those companies is provided by SCO as sco is the provider of backhaul media in all those areas.

  11. Naeem Says:

    Hi i am from chatroh can some one now about dsl connection how can i get it there ok calle 03455777339

  12. Sadiq Says:

    Its atleast better now in AJK as private mobile companies are providing service. Before it was impossible to call Mirpur on SCO’s land line. Its still very difficult to connect Mirpur land line but now we have atleast alternate mobile numbers to call. SCO’s phone and internet services suck, it would be great if SCO packs up and let PTCL take over the telecom system in AJK. If some one wants to see SCO’s network come and see in Mirpur where lines are hanging all over the trees and houses. Definitely best local loop in the world!!! SCO stands for Substandard Communication Organisation..

  13. Restless Soul Says:

    Dear Mr. Sadiq

    I guess you must be living somewhere in America or United Kingdom…. Your views clearly tell us about the places you must be living in. As far as PTCL is concerned, they also are using the same systems what SCO is. Compalint handling procedured are getting worse than ever before for PTCL. SCO is committed to provide you best services and is trying to build a network of Optical Fiber Cables all around the area so as to provide the subscribers with the best facilities.

    As far as your complaints are concerned you may write SCO at Adress their operations branch or their marketing / public relations branch and your complaints will definitely be entertained.

    They are making their systems more effective day by dya and thus trying to provide their customers with the best facilities ever.

  14. Restless Soul Says:

    Dear Mr. Naeem,

    DSL Connections are currently available in Gilgit and Skardu in Northern Areas and Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Rawalakot, Kotli, Mirpur and Bhimber in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. for further info write to their marketing / operations department at

  15. Rizwan Hamid Says:

    Restless soul, it seems you are on payroll of SCO, otherwise we all know its a useless army department. First of all military should not be running public network and secondly they should not blame their failures on the rough and difficult terrain. We all saw that when the private mobile companies were allowed in AJK after the earthquake, they established their systems in less than two months, a feat SCO could not achieve in more than 10 years.

    I agree with someones comments made earlier that PTCL should be providing telecom services in AJK like rest of Pakistan. I invite everyone to visit the websites of both SCO and PTCL and compare the services both provide. There is no question about that the PTCL offers a lot more and much better value for money and more importantly something that actually works. I hope that we people of AJK get rid of this SCO soon as all it has succeeded is in isolating us from the rest of pakistan and world.

  16. Restless Soul Says:

    Well Mr. Rizwan,

    I am not at all at the payroll of SCO. I am good where i am and i am enjoying my current job and status. Well as far as establishment of systems is concerned, i guess you have never come across any government oranization or you have never gone through any hierarchy where you have to be under any govt institute. As far as the same is concerned, every organization has its own chain of command. Private organizations simply decide and they do it. they do not have to go through financial sanctions and other delay. whereas in army / govt institutes initially a project proposal is put up, then an approval is awaited from inter office board of directors. later the same is forwarded to GHQ / ministry under which the office is working. then an aprooval is waited from their end. Finally when the approval is granted then financial sanctions take another hell lot of time. and after the financial sanction has been made then tendering of the same, selecting the right company, then placing of equipment etc is carried out. where as in private organizations, every director sits in a meeting, a proposal is discussed, pros and cons are highlighted, and at the same point every resource is allotted.

    PTCL currently working in Pakistan even does not enjoy a good reputation now. They impose packages on the subscribers. I have seen many victims of Pakistan Package standing in queues for days and days to get the amount waived off. recently they dropped the call pulse to 2 and 4 minutes from 5 minutes. if this local call pulse continues, PTCL will be earning an additional revenue of Rs. 8.1 Billion additioinal.

    ANother factor that we do not consider between SCO and PTCL is that it was PTCL which backed out in 1976 and it was PTCL Administration who said that we are not able to work in such difficult and mountaneous terrains where we have to face extreme weather conditions and other hazards. Then SCO came into existance and it was SCO who have worked through thick and thin of thee terrains. It was SCO which suffered a lot during the devastating earthquake and it was the same SCO who claimed that the recovered approx 90 % of communicational facilities within 72 hours. Even if they didnt go to the extent of 90 and they even restored 50% of it i guess at that time that should be considered as an achievement.

    Restless Soul

  17. Rashid mahmood shakar Says:

    I am from kotli, and i am glad that SCO is providing the services in AJK
    But there is a big problem which is their SCO CDMA INTERNET is a very expensive one.
    Wullernet gives 512 MB on Rs.300 but SCO CHARGES 300 FOR LESS THEN 100 MB

    and same is the case with sco dsl

    Can any 1 tel when the people of AJK wil be provided the cost effective and of good quality services?????

  18. javed butt Says:

    sco very bad department. i hope other companes start in kashmir. sco rate very high and phone not working.

  19. Naeem Says:

    all peplezzz 4rom Chatroh vist

  20. mirpuria Says:

    Dear Resless Soul,
    SCO should not be operating due to precisely the reasons highlighted by yourself. Obviously, SCO is not an ideal organisation to provide the services if the have so many hurdles to overcome. Ultimately, the people of AJK lose out in terms of value for money and up-to-date services. Telecoms is a fast moving industry and only organisations that can make quick decisions should be allowed to operate.

    I have personal & recent experience of using SCO internet services. Firstly 300 rupees for 100mb is ludicrously expensive, secondly their network was down for more than a week and probaly is still down. I paid 500 rupees for 512kb but was unable to get access to internet due to network problems while I was in the country. i.e 500 rupees down the drain.

  21. FARAN Says:


  22. Rizwan Hamid Says:

    Just check out the website of SCO
    and also check PTCL web site
    and see the difference yourself.
    SCO cant even maintain a decent website, how can it provide reasonable internet services. These subedars and majors cant run a telecom organization. Lets hope we in AJK get liberated from this occupying and corrupt SCO and get either PTCL or private companies in place to run telecom services in AJK

  23. usama Says:

    hi guys,

    i m from mirpur.
    i have just purchase a desktop telephone set of SCO CDMA. I want to use internet but shocked that i cant connect to the server………. now what should i do………..?

  24. Invisible Says:

    Dear Resless Soul,
    I dnt no who are you but one thing is clear that u r blind.
    plz go to sadiq eye hospital.
    This sco is bad department.
    My recent experience is i have paid Rs2300 for monthly DSL bill.
    After submitting there charges i was informed i have a balance of Rs2000/-. But 2 days ago i called at their fone and inquired my current balance they told me that i have credit of Rs400/-

    So Resless Soul tell me whats is this. isn’t it a fraud or not. dnt protect this bad army and also its deptment.

    We do hardword & effort for whole month. And this deptment do job like a mosquito.

    I dnt like ur comments and i dnt like you.
    Allah hafiz

  25. Rizwan Hamid Says:

    Restless Soul is a Subedar Major ……

  26. Sheikh Asfand Nisar Says:

    I dun know how to describe my frustration here SCO is really ruing the common people of teh area even in the capital of Azad kashmir they are unable to provide good internet service and if u look their DSL tarrif its are such hight cost that even the most well knwoned organization cant equire that for example SCO is charging around abt 27000 rupees for the similar package is offered around abt 1200 rupees by PTCL
    so please do something and let us be a part of this 21st Century.

  27. unknown Says:

    Dear all,

    I don;t know where do you live and who have casted such a spell that all of you are fighting whether SCO is a good organization or not?

    its not time to fight but to gather truth and work together for a better future. I have gone through all the posts and its clear that all of you are frustrated by SCO. Well I have been looking at SCO, TELENOR, MOBILINK, ZONG, UFONE, WARID and PTCL.

    SCO is working in AK & NA since 1976. When there was no PTA it was assumed and might be true that SCO was restricting other operators to facilitate the people in AK & NA but now since PTA is in place all the operators must abide by the rules of PTA. who works where is the sole responsibility of PTA and not SCO or any other operator. Like now 26 licenses have been given to many companies incl internet, LL and WLL. So why haven;t you seen anyone of those in the farthest places? Mobilink is a big fish so is UFONE, TELENOR and ZONG but still they are not able to provide communications to the depths of neelum and jehlum valley. SCO is providing the communication facilities in KEL and LEEPA too. Its over 3 years now (almost) and none of the operators has gone to the deepest areas of AK & NA. Its clear they are doing business and not facilitating whereas SCO is FACILITATING the people. Its not a big deal to provide mobile network in Muzaffarabad or Rawalakot or Mirpur. Answer me that why are other operators still not able to provide the communications in these areas? Is SCO is not allowing them. Then how the hell SCO has ever allowed them to work in Muzaffarabad or Mirpur?

    My dear ones its not SCO that is restricting other operators. SCO has offered and is providing media to other operators. If the services of SCO are not good enough then switch to other operator (if there is any in your place) and if there is only SCO then atleast praise them for their work for I know in today’s world nothing is impossible and providing communication to the areas for big and professional companies like mobilink, telenor, ufone, zong it must not be a problem at all.

    Despite all the favor I have given to SCO (actually it was just to clear that we should not blame SCO for others not working) SCO is truly not working as professionals. The lack of funding, technical assistance and manpower clearly shows that its hard , really hard for SCO to outcome other operators. The organizational structure and procedures are too damn clumsy and painful for all.

    At the end brothers, try to think by yourself after getting all the current information about others before pointing at them. Its easy to criticize but try to look on the brighter side and give SCO atleast the favor of the work they have done and are doing. And thank mobilink, ufone, telenore and warid for coming into the area and bringing the competition and also critisize them for their slow pace and business stragegy. (Their business strategy is great but its not helping the most of the nation in AK & NA)

  28. Naeem Says:

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  29. faizan Says:

    I hope this corrupt SCO leaves AJK for good.

  30. mznasim Says:

    a telephone directory may be published every you have any plan of it ?

  31. Naeem Says:

    hello to all

  32. MALIK AHSAN Says:

    I am Malik Ahsan.
    I am doing an online bussiness with my International customers worldwide. I want to opperte my web based bussiness from my home land Neelum Valley AK.
    But the problem is that there isn’t any internet service available in that areas as I know.
    Is any one tell me when we will able to get this facilaty in Neelum Valley.

  33. uma Says:

    hope we are going to welcome SCO office again with stones fucking daft cunts ……………….messin around mirpur and ajk …………useless company …………….send them to kashmir to fight with indian army

  34. Matermind Says:

    Hello Everyone
    Those who are not satisfied with SCO , just switch to some other network if available in their area. And please do not Bark on Pakistan Army as SCO is just the minute portion of Pakistan Army.And if some body out of you has gone through metric education he/she can clearly identify that statistics can not be taken from very minor portion of any population.If that is the case than including me all Kashmiries know what their fore fathers did ….by placing guns in Sunlight and waiting for miracle .. are people saying us goof or coward…no not at all..
    So please contact UFone,Telenor and others service providers for help if they are not satisfied with SCO services.

    More ever…these multinational companies have not taken bath from Milk…people all round the country getting lot of problems from many multinational companies , even in Rawalpindi PTCL is running 20 numbers on 10 numbers DP but no body is telling them.

    I am hope full somebody will write that I am also part of SCO …well no I am not but i dont like if some one say bad about our Army…..

    • farooq Says:

      Mastermind, people and attitude like yours have made army a sacred cow in Pakistan. No one can even criticize them or even name them (hasaas idaara :)). We support the army when it does its professional duty of defending Pakistan but when it start involving in running business, selling plots, collecting tolls, politics etc. Its bound to be criticized and lose respect. Now coming strictly to point, there is no point in turning blind eye to the mess that SCO has created in AJK, they should be brought to task and may be send to fight off the Talibans. Thats what they should be ideally doing and not collecting bribes and threatening people in AJK.

  35. riaz Says:

    now SCO CDMA is not good why.
    befor oman call charge Rs 2 Now Rs 100 per mimtes
    what is this.plz Ans

  36. No Name Says:

    Dear Riaz,

    The previous tariff had been defined on the IN System by mistake. Please corretc yourself. It’s not Rs. 100 its Rs. 18 + Taxes per minute. the previous tariff was a wrong definition on the system…

    Sorry for the inconvinince on behalf of SCO.

  37. Saadat Ayub Says:

    People O people. Whats wrong with all of us..I went through all this and it seems to me that we are discussion openions. A discussion which does not seem to have an end does not need to be discussed.

    As regarding Army SCO is concerned well it is righly said that Army is not an utility provider organization thereby you cannot compare army sco’s with other private telecos. But one thing is for sure when ever some thing drestic occurs in a country it is not the private companies which offer their services but it is army that comes forward.

    Moreover this is exactly what happened so thereby people let us not accept that sco is better but atleast give them a good name. Moreover if you want to make an comparison and discuss who is better and who is not then a good thing would be to change the course of the discussion and discuss the tele operators operating in AJK and Fana. This way doing right criticisam we can all improve..

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