The government of Pakistan has handed over more than 12 projects to few telecom operators in Balochistan, after successful bidding. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has increased the potential of this largely untapped market.

Telecom operators after deployment are ready to unleash the potential of the province, which has the lowest number of mobile phone users.

About 46% of the 12.3mn population has no facility to either mobile, wireless or a fixed line network in the largest geographical province of Pakistan. Universal Service Fund (USF) has set out an aggressive strategy to roll out the basic infrastructure of telecommunication, basic telephone and internet service for people and businesses in the largest province. USF under the Ministry of Information Technology is an autonomous organization.

The current projects of USF include 3G services in CPEC adjoining areas such as Kharan-Washuk, Kalat, Khuzdar, Sibi, Zhob, Kohistan, DI Khan, Khyber and Dera Bugti said spokesperson of USF.

In 2017, to provide mobile broadband services in Awaran-Lasbela, Kharan-Washuk and Dera Bugti Projects have been awarded. He added that computer labs have also been established at Pakistan Baitul Mal centers in Balochistan.

USF is financing for expansion and penetration of ICT services across the province. The synergetic effect ICT to CPEC and attract cellular operators to expand their respective network within the province.

Ufone has priority to expand telecom services in Balochistan along with extensive telecommunication infrastructure. The Ufone official said that this would include providing voice and data services under 3G licenses. Ufone has projects of Rs14.2bn in cities including Sibi, Kalat, Khuzdar, Chagai, Awaran, Kharan-Washuk and Dera Bugti districts.

In the coming years, the competition among telecom operators will increase the demand of the public and overseas and local businessmen in the province.

The competition will increase various infrastructure projects in industrial and social development sectors were being planned and built in the province, including bridge, highways, power generation, banks, Corps, schools and colleges, and hospital and dispensaries.