Pakistan’s privatisation committee has approved the sale of a controlling 26% stake and management rights in fixed line incumbent PTCL to Etisalat of the UAE. Etisalat will purchase its stake via staggered payments. It has already made a USD260 million down payment and a further USD1.14 billion of the USD2.6 billion sale price will be paid imminently, with the remainder due over the next five years. Etisalat agreed to buy the stake in July last year, but failed to meet the initial deadline for payment.
Meanwhile PTCL has announced that it has connected with the iBasis Network for international VoIP services. The interconnection enables PTCL to route international voice traffic over the global VoIP network, and complete calls for iBasis over its own network in Pakistan in return. PTCL has deployed the iBasis DirectVoIP interoperability solution to implement a direct IP connection between its Huawei IP Backbone infrastructure and the iBasis Network, which comprises direct routes to more than 100 countries.