New Satellite Could Create 20,000 Jobs in Pakistan and Reduce Foreign Exchange Outflow

The launch of Direct To Home (DTH) services in Pakistan has the potential to create around 20,000 jobs in the private sector and prevent millions of dollars from flowing to India. Despite offering mass communication degrees, Pakistan lags in media innovation. Currently, cable operators mediate between broadcasters and TV audiences, but DTH could transmit signals directly from satellites, providing better service coverage, more channels, and superior signal quality.

 

As of 2015, there were approximately 2.5 million DTH users in Pakistan, primarily in major cities. Indian DTH services have been illegally sold in Pakistan, costing millions annually. DTH in Pakistan could generate 1,800 direct jobs and an additional 16,000, saving $200-300 million in foreign exchange. The delay in adopting DTH services has resulted in wasted satellite resources, as seen with the Paksat-1R satellite.

 

The new satellite, set to launch in June 2024, has capabilities for DTH services, but no plans are in sight for its use. Regulatory delays and vested interests are believed to hinder DTH implementation. The writer, Sadaquat Liaquat, emphasizes the need for accountability and action to harness the benefits of DTH technology for Pakistan’s media industry.