Pakistan & China sign deal to route internet traffic

Pakistan has solidified its position as a regional hub for digital connectivity through a strategic agreement with China, marking a significant milestone in the country’s digital infrastructure.
Caretaker Federal Minister for IT & Telecommunication, Dr. Umar Saif, announced four pivotal milestones achieved in collaboration with key industry players, underscoring Pakistan’s commitment to advancing its digital landscape.
The cornerstone of this agreement is the establishment of the ‘Pakistan Internet Exchange (PIE) powered by DE-CIX,’ the country’s inaugural carrier-neutral Internet Exchange (IX) situated in Islamabad. This collaboration with DE-CIX, a leading IX operator globally, positions Pakistan to become a central point for regional connectivity, potentially generating substantial revenue from internet transit traffic.
Of particular note is the agreement with China, allowing Pakistan to route internet traffic through the country. Dr. Umar Saif emphasized the transformative impact of this collaboration, highlighting Pakistan’s vast digital market and its potential as a hub for regional connectivity.
Furthermore, the agreement includes the establishment of Pakistan’s first carrier-neutral Internet Exchange Point (IXP) and data center by Etisalat. Operated by PTCL in collaboration with DE-CIX, this data center will facilitate the provision of super-scaling cloud services such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure within Pakistan, while also serving as a local content hub for popular platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Netflix.
Zarrar Hasham Khan, Group Chief Business Solutions Officer at PTCL & Ufone 4G, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, affirming the company’s commitment to advancing Pakistan’s digital infrastructure.
Read more: Elon Musk Takes Back his Decision of Providing Internet to Gaza
The Pakistan Internet Exchange, housed in the PTCL data center in Karachi and operated by DE-CIX, is poised to significantly contribute to the country’s digital economy. With the potential to generate annual revenues ranging from $200-400 million through transit traffic, the initiative aims to enhance the internet experience for users and accelerate the growth of Pakistan’s digital ecosystem.
This strategic collaboration between Pakistan and China underscores a shared vision of fostering digital connectivity and economic growth, positioning Pakistan as a leading player in the global digital landscape.