Syed Amin Ul Haque
I like to felicitate National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) management and employees on its “Silver Jubilee”. NTC, being the official ICT service provider of Government of Pakistan (GoP), is providing state of the art ICT services round the clock. With fast development of infrastructure/ network, NTC is now providing GoP the necessary access/ connectivity and hosting important Data besides ensuring its safety.
Under Digital Pakistan Programme, Ministry of IT & Telecom is taking concrete steps to promote the e-education, e-health, e-agriculture, e-commerce, innovation, entrepreneurship, incubators and Startups. For all these, availability of secure and reliable hosting platform is the pre-requisite and NTC is providing it in shape of National Data Center. NTC has established cloud based Tier-III compliant, ISO 27001 certified National Data Centre in a record time of five months. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, NTC National Data Centre acted as the main platform for hosting all the systems/Web/Mobile applications developed for data acquisition and data analysis, which assisted the Government, NCOC and other policy/decision makers. NTC Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is providing continuity of services and minimize loss of data in case of any disaster.
NTC is one of the few Government Organizations, that has earned profit besides managing all its expenses without any financial support from GoP. Nobody predicted COVID-19 in 2020. After the outbreak of COVID-19 in Pakistan in March 2020, various other departments were demanding funds and equipment but NTC was ready and fully prepared to meet the emergent situation. I also appreciate MD NTC for his leadership and management during Covid-19 Pandemic.
It is very encouraging to see that NTC is adopting the latest Telecom/ICT technology being offered in market and ensuring the provisioning of best solutions for its customers. I have confidence that NTC will keep on building its capacity in same way to cope with emerging challenges during the journey to “Digital Pakistan”. I appreciate NTC performance and congratulate NTC Management for the phenomenal development of ICT infrastructure for the Public Sector and wish them all support and success.
Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui
I extend my heartiest congratulations and best wishes to National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) on its “Silver Jubilee”. The journey of corporation embarked from minimal infrastructure inherited from PTC. Now the service portfolio has been improved remarkably including all latest voice and data services for its customers. NTC’s network now exists in all major cities and reaches district and tehsil level also.
Ministry for Information Technology and Tele-communication under the Government’s vision of “Digital Pakistan”, is set to digitalize for enhancing efficiency and transparency being pre-requisite for good governance. NTC is putting in its efforts to achieve this goal.
NTC was created to provide telecommunication services to government organizations under the Telecommunication Re-organization Act 1996. It has been discharging its responsibility effectively and has transformed into a self-reliant organization. During past few years under the leadership of Brig (R) Viqar Rashid Khan, NTC made record growth and has converted 80% of its TDM exchanges into state of the art IP based Next Generation Network (NGN). NTC has recovered from loss making entity to a profitable efficient Organization. NTC through its own resources generates funds for provision of Telecom Services to its subscribers in a cut throat competition besides inherent load of heavy HR cost. Now NTC is recognized as an efficient and forward looking organization.
I commend NTC management and employees for development of IT & Telecom facilities for the Public Sector for achieving digital transformation goal. Futuristic initiatives taken by NTC have diversified its service portfolio and increased its technical capability. This builds up customers’ confidence in the corporation.
NTC has provided all the more necessary services for smooth functioning of initiatives undertaken by the Government to combat COVID-19 Pandemic.
Best wishes and support to Managing Director, NTC and his team for success and achievement of high service quality.
Brig. (R) Viqar Rashid Khan SI (M)
Today is the memorable occasion of “Silver Jubilee” of National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC), completion of 25 years of its journey since its inception on January 1, 1996. On this day, I am extremely proud to announce that NTC being the only official Telecom Service provider of Government of Pakistan has successfully fulfilled its constitutional obligation to provide the secure and reliable Telecom/ICT services to all Federal/Provincial Departments/ Institutions of Government of Pakistan by building its state of the art telecom infrastructure and network all over the country.
The journey of success is not that easy. In 1991, the Government decided to de-regulate Telecommunication Sector, as a first step, converted T&T department into PTC. As a second step PTC was split into five entities i.e. PTCL, NTC, PTA, FAB and PTET through the Pakistan Telecom Re-org Act 1996. Under Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996 (amended in 2006), On behalf of the Federal Government, NTC has been mandated to provide Telecom/ICT services to Federal/Provincial Government Departments and Institutions as the Federal Government may determine. However, the foundation provided to build the organization, was too weak. NTC started its operations with only five old vintage TDM based exchanges and analogue systems including obsolete Microwave and Co-axial cable network/system handed over from T&T/PTC. With these meager resources, it was extremely difficult to provide state of the art Telecom & ICT services to its designated customers. NTC started to concentrate on developing its own network/infrastructure. The early focus of organization was to provide fixed line voice & data services.
As the change in technology in Telecom/ ICT sector has been so rapid that existence of any Telecom/ ICT service provider is linked with timely adoption of new technology. A time came, when due to lacking of timely actions, NTC was going into financial loss and technical growth was stagnant. Due to obsolete network/infrastructure and lack of development activities to modernize exchanges/switches, NTC customers were losing their confidence in NTC. NTC had focused itself to only provision of fixed voice and data services whereas users trend has been shifted from fixed to mobile telephony. Projects were not completed in time. ADP progress was approx. 25-30%. No master plan was prepared and PC- Is were prepared to meet the day to day requirement.
Management and severe discipline problems were on the rise due to lack of capacity building and grooming of officers and the staff. As a result NTC was not only losing its subscribers but the subscribers started shifting their voice and data services on private operators network. As a result ingress of private operators increased in Public Sector.
In 2013, I with my hardworking team took effective measures in technical, operational, administrative and financial fields simultaneously in order to address above mentioned gigantic problems. A policy of “Proactive and Reach out” was adopted instead of waiting for the customer to come to NTC for ICT Services. Performance based KPIs in line with private corporate sector were introduced and was monitored on monthly basis.
The deteriorated quality of ICT services provided through obsolete technology/infrastructure was the main reason of Corporation’s downfall. NTC planned migration of TDM to IP based network almost 04 years back but could not finalize it till November 2013. During this period the dollar prices escalated from Rupees 94 to 111 and vendor was reluctant to sign the agreement at new dollar price. However through hectic efforts, NTC successfully concluded the agreement at the rate of Rs.94/- per USD on 4th November 2013, whereas market price of Dollar at the time of signing contract was Rs.111/-. The successful conclusion of the agreement saved NTC from further financial loss of approximately Rs.250-300 M. TDM to IP Migration took quality of NTC services to next level. The adoption of new technology has enabled NTC to provide quality voice & data services. Specially, immense requirement of data services of government has only been fulfilled due to this timely swap of technology.
After thorough analysis, we aimed at future technology. In 2016, NTC established a Cloud Based Tier-III (International Standards TIE-942) compliant National Data Center (NDC) at Islamabad in a record period of 5 Months. NDC is helping the Government to implement e-governance, e-health, e-commerce and e-education plan in a transparent manner besides ensuring storage of Government data at a secure centralized place. Taking security and availability to the next level, NTC earmarked the roadmap to certify the National Data Center and successfully completed the ISO 27001 certification along with the establishment of a Disaster Recovery Site. This enables NTC to offer business continuity and availability of government data and services in case of any unforeseen eventuality. NTC has also deployed Google Cache Servers to provide fast Google Services to NTC end users and thereby reducing the total bandwidth consumption, better response time and saving huge operational cost.
Telecom policy 2015, for the first time allowed NTC to sign Public Private Partnership on revenue sharing basis. Our agreements with Microsoft and VMware empowered us to become the First in Asia Pacific and Japan Region among only three in the world for On-Perm Air Watch Public Cloud provider. Establishment of (۔ پاکستان) IDN ccTLD for Urdu and local language for promoting local language content is another effort of NTC’s commitment to government’s vision. NTC has signed Public Private Partnerships with all leading Telecos/Mobile operators to provide ICT services to NTC customers all over Pakistan.
Our relentless efforts of last seven years resulted in Record Growth in Exchanges @ 225%, Record Expansion of NTC network to New Districts/ Cities @ 50%, Record ADP completion @ Average 81% annually with 100% completion in FY 2016-17 & 2019-20, Subscribers Growth @ 16% with Broadband Subscribers Growth @ 115% and record profit of Rs.578 Million in last financial year. Now NTC is well aligned with emerging technological advancements by deploying Fiber Optic Systems metro networks (1,395Km) and Long-Haul (4,300Km) with 462 exchanges equipped with IP based Next Generation Network (NGN) technology at 99 Districts/Cities throughout Pakistan.
The most precious outcome of all over efforts is the “Customer’s Satisfaction”. According to the survey conducted by Ministry of IT & Telecom in year 2016-17, 72% customers of the NTC are fully satisfied by NTC services and only 14% are dissatisfied.
Alhamdulillah, now, NTC is probably one of the few Federal level Organizations who have recovered from a loss making entity to a profitable and efficient Organization. No funds are allocated by the Federal Government and NTC through its own resources generates funds for the provision of Telecom Services to its subscribers in a cut throat competition in spite of heavy HR cost (68% of its revenue spent on pay/pension of its employees). It has been only possible through the hard work and dedication/zeal of the employees of the Corporation.
Here I would like to mention the performance of NTC to support the Federal Government to fight against COVID-19 Pandemic. Nobody expected COVID-19 Pandemic during 2020. Special funds were allotted to NDMA and others to meet the emergent situation. Health Department / Hospitals, Education Institutions and various other Ministries / Division were demanding special funds to fight against Pandemic but NTC did not ask the Federal government for allotment of funds. NTC was fully prepared to provide Telecom/ ICT services to all apex offices and government departments. NTC National Data Center has served as emergency National Platform for provision of Digital initiatives of the Federal Government. NTC has successfully conducted the important meeting of PM House, President House, Cabinet, ECC , NCOC and other departments through its video conference system ensuring the secure communication.
NTC in line with the policies of the Government of Pakistan and the vision of “Digital Pakistan” of the Honorable Prime Minister Imran Khan, under the umbrella of MoIT is pursuing its objectives through proactive and reach out strategy to tailor all its networks/adoption of new technology as per specific needs of the Government Departments/Institutions. On this special occasion I would not only congratulate all my team members of NTC but would like to express my gratitude to the Government of Pakistan in general and Honorable Federal Minister (IT & Telecom) Syed Amin ul Haque and Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Federal Secretary (IT & Telecom) in particular for their full support.
NTC will continue to serve Pakistan by providing state of the art Telecom/ICT services to Government of Pakistan.