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Sunday May 26, 2024

Starlink: Economical internet service via satellite on the cards

Starlink has also registered a company with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)

By Israr Khan
February 16, 2022
Talks are underway with Starlink regarding the provision of cheap internet service through satellite in Pakistan. -File photo
Talks are underway with Starlink regarding the provision of cheap internet service through satellite in Pakistan. -File photo 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is holding talks with Starlink owned by Elon Musk for getting cheap internet through satellite. Besides, Islamabad also intends to launch 5G network in the country by next year.

It was stated by Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Maj Gen (r) Amir Azeem Bajwa while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication about the plan of selling new spectrum to telecom companies.

During the briefing, he said that the latest development could revolutionize access to the internet, upending current systems of control that governments used to censor or block internet access.

He added: “the identification of spectrum and related matters is the responsibility of the frequency allocation board. Spectrum has been auctioned five times in the past, which has provided valuable resources to the country.”

To a question on talks with SpaceX and Starlink, the chairman PTA informed the committee that talks were underway with Starlink regarding the provision of cheap internet service through satellite and Starlink had also registered a company in Pakistan with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

He further said as soon as regulatory issues are settled, Starlink will launch its service, which will provide cheap internet access, especially to people living in remote areas. The committee also reviewed the National Information Technology Board Act 2022 which the National Assembly has already approved.

Officials from the information ministry and the National Information Technology Board (NITB) told the committee the purpose of the proposed bill is to make the NITB an autonomous body so that the work of the institution can be further expedited and improved by removing obstacles. The officials said that being a subsidiary, NITB faced financial delays, which was hurting the fast-growing sector, especially IT.