Issue Brief on “Securing Telecommunications Infrastructure”

Improvements in telecommunications infrastructure are a vital component of the Belt and Road Initiative. Communication projects are critical to businesses and economic growth. Pakistan, presently, is connected to world-wide internet traffic via five under-sea fibre optic cables.[1] A submarine cable laid on the sea, connects landing stations along the seaboard in various countries, it is linking to global internet traffic.

Cables connecting Pakistan to world-wide internet also provide a telecommunications link between South East Asia, Middle East, Indian subcontinent and Western Europe.  Three more fibre-optic cables are under construction.[2] Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited. (PTCL) and Transworld Associates Private Limited (TWA) operate Pakistan section of these cables and provide internet and communication services to consumers and businesses across the country.[3] In recent years, with the launch of 3G/4G networks number of internet users in Pakistan have also grown exponentially. These users are generating data traffic which requires setting up of new fibre-optic cables.

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