State-backed incumbent Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) will terminate its Vfone wireless in the local loop (WiLL) service from 31 August, Pro Pakistani cites unnamed sources as saying. The operator has reportedly begun informing its Vfone customers of the planned move and is offering to transfer users in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad to fixed line plans. The transfer will not be available for a large number of Vfone users, however, as the WiLL platform was used to extend telephony services to areas where PTCL has not yet installed fixed last-mile infrastructure. The move is intended to free up spectrum currently used for fixed-wireless to boost the telco’s lucrative EV-DO wireless broadband services. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, PTCL had 1.234 million fixed-wireless subscribers at the end of 2013, down from 1.424 million a year earlier and 1.354 million at end-2011.
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