On Thursday (21 April), Pakistan will face substantial decline in the internet speed. According to Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), power configuration is scheduled on a section of one of the country’s six submarine cables. As a result, internet users are likely to face complete outage for close to 5 hours or could encounter slow internet speed.
The configuration will begin from 2pm and the work will be in progress till 7pm on Thursday. One of the submarine cables – SMW-4 cable to be precise – will be going through a power configuration which will compromise the bandwidth speed in the country.
However, PTA has affirmed that substitute measures will be taken to meet the bandwidth requirements. Moreover, PTA also made sure to resume internet services in the country as soon as configuration is completed. The notion of this exercise is to provide uninterrupted and smooth internet services across the country.
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Little about SMW4 cable
Remarkably, the South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe (SEA-ME-WE 4 or SMW4) is close to 19,000 KM long submarine cable. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that SMW4 is the main backbone which connects Eastern and Western worlds. The cable connects 14 countries including Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, France, India, Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates. Furthermore, the connectivity is spread with 16 landing stations across Asia, Middle East and Europe besides having extension links in different countries.
Importantly, SMW4 cable system comprises of two fiber pairs. The initial design capacity is recorded at 1.28Tbps which was upgraded to 4.6Tbps some 7 years ago in 2015.
Time and again, Pakistan have faced number of internet outage in the last one year. However, this is probably the first time when PTA has informed about the disruption beforehand.
Internet speed will be back to normal once power configuration is completed. Meanwhile, manage your workload accordingly keeping in mind the outage will last for 5 hours from 2pm till 7pm.