Pakistani mobile network operators Telenor Pakistan, the local unit of Norwegian telecoms group Telenor, and CMPak, a subsidiary of China Mobile, have completed the rollout of 62 solar powered cell sites, across a number of rural regions, according to the Pakistan Observer. Approximately 2.37 million people are expected to benefit from the new infrastructure, installed as part of the Rural Telephony Project headed up by the county’s Universal Service Fund (USF), with 34 sites constructed in Mirpur Khas, 13 in Bahawalpur and 15 in Nasirabad. With traditional power sources not available in a number of the country’s rural regions, Pakistan’s cellular operators have agreed that all future infrastructure in unserved areas should be based on renewable energy solutions.
According to the report, as a result of projects being overseen by the USF, more than 3,500 previously unserved mauzas (villages) have gained access to telecoms services, while around 200 now have access to broadband connections. Further, around 1,000kms of fibre-optic cable has been laid to connect those tehsils (administrative districts) not currently served with fibre connections.