Telecom Timeline in Pakistan
Birth of Telecom
with Postal Services:

Thurn & Taxis Posthorn 1290 Omodo Tasso (1245est - 1309)
starts a courrier service from Cornello in the Italian Alps.
connecting Venice, Milan and Rome.
The Tasso post-runners use post horns to announce their arrival.
See also Museo di /Taxis Postal History Museum in Italy


Francesco Tasso 1490 Francesco Tasso / Franz von Taxis (1459 -,1517)
creates a long distance post route
from the Italian Alps to Brussels.
Over the following centuries more and more Taxis / Thurn & Taxis post relais
are set up about every 30 km so tired post horses can rest and be replaced by fresch ones.

The Thurn & Taxis post network is in the Habsburg controlled territories of the Holy Roman Empire
(many small states in most of central Europe
excluding the Kingdoms of France, Poland and Hungary).

La Poste 1671 In Paris, France two entrepreneurs,
Leon Pajot and Louis Rouille
buy the historic Hotel de Villeroy Bourbon (VB)
a mansion owned by the former teacher of King Louis XIV.
VB is located at 9 rue des Dechargeurs near the Louvre.
The Pajot & Rouillé family
develop "La Poste" the Royal French Postal Services
in the territories of the Bourbons (Louis XIV).

Anselm Franz von Thurn & Taxis 1708 Louis Leon Pajot (1678 - 1754) becomes Postmaster General in Paris.
His International Mail exchange partner is Anselm Franz von Thurn & Taxis (1681 -1740)
based in the Thurn & Taxis Palaces in Brussels (now Belgium) and in Frankfurt (now Germany).
They visit each other by horse.
The horse trip from Brussels to Paris takes 33 hours in the summer, 39 hours in the winter
(1h22 by hi speed Thalys trains today).
Anselm Franz von Thurn & Taxis is the postman in the logo of the Pakistan Whitepages.
See also / 730 years of Telecom History

When a letter is really important Louis XIV, susbicious of his entourage,
insists of giving it to Louis Leon Pajot in person.
If the weather is bad Pajot has to go to Versailles,
if the sun is out, Louis XIV (also called the Sunking) enjoys the ride
to Cremerie de Paris / VB that reminds him of his childhood.

1715 King Louis XIV dies. He is succeded by a child, his great grandson Louis XV (1710-1774).

1738 The next Boiurbon King Louix XV, now 28 years old,
is irritated by the financial succes of the Pajot & Rouille Post.
He wants their revenues for himself.
Mai 21 his Minister of Finance asks the police to close it.
Without any compensation payment the Pajot & Rouille families lose their business.
Spirit of Telecomunications of the old VB mansion falls asleep.

Anselm Franz von Thurn & Taxis
Spirit of Telecommunications of the VB mansion
falls asleep for a long long time
but the mansion survives all changes in central Paris landscape
and 248 later, 1986, it will wake up again
resulting another 24 years later, 2010
in the creation of the Pakistan White Pages.

The man in the
Whitepages Logo
and his Posthorn
are part of a
long long history

1789 With the French Revolution the history of the VB mansion is forgotten in Paris.
The only ones who remember it are the Thurn & Taxis
transmitting it from one generation to another
so that no other King should be able to steal their Telecom empire.

1867 Chancelor Otto von Bismarckoccupies the city of Frankfurt
and forces Maximilian Karl, the 6th Prince von Thurn & Taxis
to hand over the Thurn & Taxis Post to the State of Prussia.
Thurn & Taxis is able to negociate a compensation payment
of 3.000.000 thalers corresponding to about a third of the companies estimated value..

British India / Pakistan and India

Queen Victoria 1838 Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901) becomes Queen of the United Kingdom.

Post Camels 1840s Mail in British India is transported by post camels and post horses

Henry Bartie Frere 1850 Sir Bartle Frere reformed the postal system of Pakistan and India
after the model of the British Postal Service.
He introduces a standard postage rate independent of distance within British India.

Posthorn Pakistan 1851 Posthorns once invented by the Thurn & Taxis
are also used in Pakistan to announce the arrival of the post.

1855 Scinde Railway began taking over mail routes between Karachi and Kotri.

1876 Queen Victoria proclaimed Empress of India.
1886 Establishment of the Northwestern State Railway replacing more mail routes.

Arrival of the phone
with Alexander Graham Bell
The Post becomes state owned PTT
turning into PTCL:

Alexander Graham Bell 1876 Alexander Graham Bell (1847 - 1922) invents the Telephone.
Endless efforts are necessary until one day
his assistan Watson will hear Bells voice over a receiver.

1876 Alexander Graham Bell presents the phone to Don Pedro II of Brazil (1825 - 1891)
at Universal Expo in Philadelphia.

Alexander Graham Bell 1878 Alexander Graham Bell presents the phone to Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901),
ruler of the British Empire (including Pakistan and India)

1881 The phone is introduced to British India
The telephone came under administation of the state owned the Telegraph Department.
In a few cities like Karachi and Ahmedabad local companies got a license to operate telephone networks.

Alexander Graham BellAimee de Heeren, Ben Solms1910 - 1922 Getting old Alexander Graham Bell (1847 - 1922) enjoys his wealth
sponsoring young inventors that live with him, his wife and his animals
at his estate Beinn Bhreagh in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Bell loves to take part of his young friends's inventions.
Some people come to visit, among them a grandson of Don Pedro from Brazil.
In his company a young woman of exceptional beauty.
Aimée de Sotto Mayor (1903 - 2006)
She hardly speaks English but all the inventors are captivated by her singing Brazilian songs.

Alexander Graham Bell gives the young Aimée an advise:

To stay young
You need to have
young friends

Well if one of your older friends had met
a major inventor, someone like
Alexander Graham Bell or Jon Postel
he / she would probably have told you ...

To the editor of this article Aimée mentioned
a "fascinating inventor"
that loved to push young people.

When the editor wanted to know his name
the answer was "I will tell you one day ..."
2006, 20 years after meeting her
and spending all summer vacations at her house in Biarritz
the editor was asked to come to New York.
At the Lenox Hill Hospital
Aimée told him the secret.

The inventor was Alexander Graham Bell
"I could not give you his name because you would have
realised that I'm much older than you always beleived
and my real age would have been a barrier for our frienship"

When Aimée was already over a hundred
everybody believed she was in her 70ies.
When in Biarritz, not one day she would not swim in the Atlantic.
As a Brazilian WW2 Secret Service agent
Aimée had learned to act being much younger.

Joseph Kennedy Jr, the older brother of JFK
who wanted to marry, her had no idea that she
was over a decade older,
something at hthat impossible to accept for his parents.

83 years after meeting Bell
Alexander Graham's advise to have "young friends"
resulted in our Whitepages Project
which started in 2004 with
followed in 2010 by

1924 British India had 12.007 phonelines operated by the state
and 25,222 phonelines operated by private city operators
There was one phone line for 8.500 inhabitants (0.00012 % of the population had a phone).

1947 Foundation of the Dominion of Pakistan,
Pakistan becomes independant from Britain and seperated from India.

Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar 1947 Creation of the Pakistan Ministry of Communications.
Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar is the first Communications Minister

November Pakistan joins the Universal Post Union

1949 Pakistan Posts and Telecommunications department founded.

PTCL1962 Pakistan Telephone and Telegraph Department established.

1964 Pakistan gets the two digit country code +91
part of the World Telecom Zone +9
attibuted to countries in the >Far Easty or the Middle East.
It becomes possible for international phone users
to place direct phonecalls to Pakistan
without the help of an opeator.

The govenrment of Pakistan
wants to do something
to modernize the Telecom market

1990 only 1%
of the population
of Pakistan
had a phone.

1991 Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Act 1991 wishing to end Telecom monopoly.
PTC Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation replaces Pakistan Telephone and Telegraph Department.
Pakistant Government's encourage private Telecom initiatives.

1994 PTC becomes PTCL
Pakistan Government prepares privatisation of PTCL
now Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited

1996 PTCL listed on Pakistan stock market

2003 End of the PTCL Monoply

2006 Etisalat International Pakistan (part of Etisalat)
acquires 26% of PTCL

PTCL History

White Pages in Pakistan
and Cremerie de Paris /
Meeting Telecom Pioneers

1878 The invention of the Phone creates a new need ...
The first Phonebook with 391 subscribers arrives in New Haven, Connecticut USA

1883 / 1887 Phonebooks in the US and in France
start to be called Yellow Pages (Businesses classified by category)
and White Pages (Alphabetical listing of Residential and Business Numbers)

Eiffel Tower - White Pages 1887 / 1889 Construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris,
the tower is used for radio transmission.

Johannes von Thurn & Taxis 1952 Johannes, 11th Prince von Thurn & Taxis
is the heir of what is left from the 3.000.000 thalers compensation payment
for the nationalisation of the Thurn & Taxis Post.

He dreams of rebuilding something in Telecom
but everywhere the PTT (Post Telephone Telegraph) are state monopolies.

Buzz Aldrin by Neil Armstrong 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin land on the Moon
opening space for satellites.
30 years later Buzz Aldrin would also have an impact on Phone Directories.

Johannes von Thurn & Taxis 1986 jan the editor of
at the time a young student has a little PR job during the Paris fashion weeks.
He meets Johannes, 11th Prince von Thurn & Taxis.
The student is facinated by completely crazy and funny storties
of the old Thurn & Taxis postmaster organising - centuries ago -
international mail transport with horses.

1986 mai Thurn & Taxis returns to Paris.
He shows the student the old Postal Mansion (Hotel de la Poste / Hotel de Villeroy Bourbon)
on 9 rue des Dechargeurs / 15 rue des Halles.

Walking around the century old building
Thurn & Taxis feels that
Spirit of Telecommunications is still around.

Across the street there is a small shop with a sign
à ceder (for sale).

Thurn & Taxis calls the number.
He gives the student the equivalent
of about 3 of the thalers
his ancestors had once received for the Thurn & Taxis Post
under to condition to get the shop right away
and the mission to invent someting in Telecom.

"You will see Telecom have been blocked by State Monopolies.
These monopolies will fall
and there will be a lot of opportunities.

The two Postal Mansions of my family
the Palais Tour et Tassis in Brussels
and the Thurn und Taxis Palace in Frankfurt
have both been destroyed.
but in Paris
- like a miracle - everything is still around".

Even the water fountain for the post horses is still in place.

Anselm Franz von Thurn & TaxisAt the old Paris mansion
Thurn & Taxis he had the impression he could run into
his great x 6 grandfather Anselm Franz.

"We need to wake up
Spirit of
sleeping in the walls
of this old VB mansion."

1987 after quite some time to find the right idea
and repainting the shop
a Sony Phone Boutique.
The Sony phone ITA A 600 include an answering machines,
and the cordless phone SPP 110 that can be carried around a appartment,
have features impossible to find in France.

Once in place French PTT stop our shop from selling the iconic Sony phones
We had not realised that special PTT permissions were necessary to sell them.
The PTT took a 21 year old student to court to close the Boutique.
As PTT had a monopoly this could have been the end of our young telecom adventure ...
exept that there was no law forbidding repair service ...

Repairing the iconic phones,
selling their adaptors and batteries was something "hot" in the late 1980ies.
Returning from a trip to New York or Hong Kong
telephone Lovers including movie stars or Lady Diana
rushed to the little Boutique called "Electrica for Sony"
to get phone adaptorss and electric plugs.
Soon there is enough money to buy a second shop on rue des Halles.

1987 - 1990 Thurn & Taxis loved to follow about everything
what happened in the little Repair Boutique.
Soon he wanted to push the project on a higher level,
buy the old Post Mansion, have Thurn & Taxis be part
of the arriving internet revolution
but facing a lot of stress
1990 dec 19 he died from heart problems.

Well would he have imagined that 30 years later
his great-grandfather x 6 would become part of a Pakistan Telecom logo ??

This was only possible because besides his old Thurn & Taxis telecom thalers
he had left us a magical friend ...

Aimee de Heeren, Ben SolmsAimee de Heeren, Ben Solms Aimee de Heeren
at the time of this picture taken in the Thurn & Taxis castle
the student knew nothing about Aimée,
He had no idea about her real age.
never imaginining that she could have met - many many years before when she had his own age -
the inventor of the phone,
Alexander Graham Bell. .

1993 Thanks to the revenues of the Sony phones
and a little jewel left to Aimée by the fashion designer Coco Chanel
the fromer student gets a bank loan to buy the historic Cremerie de Paris
right in the old postal building.

Cremerie de Paris turns into the 3rd Sony Repair Center on rue des Halles.
Akio Morita founder of Sony and inventor of the Walkman is amused
by the age of his companies "youngest independant ambassador".

1994 november 25 Morita steps down as Sony chairman,
shortly later the wind changes.
Sony products "take forever" to arrive at the Boutiques.

1995 Cremerie de Paris, facing more and more difficulties with the local French Sony organisation,
starts selling subsriptions for long distance phone lines.
Thanks to CallBack technology
provided by the Petaluma, California based Operator MTC Callback
subsribers can call Pakistan from France for 70% less than with the local PTT rates.
The editor of this article turned into a phone line service agent
handling complaints about "funny moises" and line turbulences.

From time to time calls from France to Pakistan rerouted through the US via submarine cables
needed to be rerouted through another cable until a cable defect has been repaired.
The most amusing but also complaining phone subscriber was someone called Edouard de Lobkowicz
who had the direct line of Pope John Paul II.

The NCC (Network Control Center) in Petaluma
loved the extravagant trouble tickets issued from Cremerie de Paris.
Funny enough using CallBack calling from Paris to the Vatican
was more complicated than calling to Karachi or Islamabad.

1997 Andre Dunstetter a Sony client, Callback subscriber
and friend of Thurn & Taxis,
suggests to convert Cremerie de Paris into an Internet cafe.
A few computers and a coffee machine are added to the more and more empty Sony store.

The start was more than difficult as Sony continued to decline,
repair customers had nervous breakdowns wait for months and months
to have replacement parts arrive.

1997 august 1 the callback phonecompany MTC went out of business,
a new phonecompany needed to be found to save and then reconnect thousands of phone clients.
The internet cafe had very very few clients.
The only ones that came are American tourists travelling through Paris,
desperately looking for a place to get online.

At the time Paris Hotels were not yet connected.
Suddenly the nearby Hotel Ritz started to send Ritz customers
asking for someting realy exotic:
computer access for "email" or "websearch".

It was as if Coco Chanel had told the concierge
"You need to help my beloved Cremerie de Paris ... so that they can survive ! "

1998 spring revenues of the internet cafe pick up, About 70% of the loyal callback
customers switched to a new US phone company called WorldxChange.
The future looks a little brighter but revenues are not enough to immediately clear
late payments.

1998 A French pension fund doesn't want to wait and comes all the computers of the cafe.
Nothing is left. Again was this the end of our telecom adventure.
Some clients observe what happened, one looking like a hippie from the 70th,
great friend of Electrica the dog of the cafe.
You know I have a technology background and turbulences happen from time to time.

Clients of the internet cafe were an unusual mix of people visiting Paris:
young students with backpacks and
Grand Hotel clients with limousines waiting outside.
They all had in common to be Americans.
For 10 visitors eight were from the US,
one from France, another one from another country.

Buzz Aldrin in Versailles 1999 Astronaute Buzz Aldrin meets the editor of this article
and influences him to think in a global way.

At first he did not realise that Buzz, the man he was talking to
was one of the Apollo 11 astronaute that had been on the first flight to the moon.
but the Aldrins contact him again.

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon
Every time Buzz and Lois Aldrin were coming to Paris
an email ...

"We are coming, we are staying at the Ritz,
do you want to organise something with us ?
We would like to meet you again,
you and your fascinating friend

The man
from the moon
the phone directory

Buzz Aldrin by Neil Armstrong

2000 jan 25 the editor of ths article spends 70 USD to register the domain
Phone Book of the followed by Annuaire du
The credit card stops working but the cybercafe activity of the day allows to fill it up
and the next day can be registered

2000 dec The Pakistan directory publisher
Jamals registers

2001 Waiting lines in front of the Internet Cafe
providing finances for more Internet investments.

2001 august Phone Book of the World integrates Google Searchboxes.

first Whitepages.frfirst 2004 launch of a very simple

Aimee de Heeren in front of the Internet Cafe
Aimée de Heeren coming for internet lessons to the Cybercafe
was kond of amused
that the giant French Phonecompany
had never though about registering the domain
even though their main website were
"Pages" and "Pages"
(French for Yellow Pages and White Pages)

And what about my country Brazil ?
And what about Germanu, Italy, Spain, Portugal ?
And about India, Japan,
, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela ?

What about Pakistan ?

At that time registtrng domain names
was very complicated in many countries.
You needed to have a local adress or company registration number.

In others registration was still more or less impossible
and the day domain liberalized
you had to "wait in line"
going through a landrush application process.

first 2010 launch of a very simple first

2012 The former Internetcafe based in the historic Postal Building
reopens as a Brand Expo Location.
Nike is the first Brand to set up a Pop Up Store called Nike Barbershop.

2014 Even the Pokemon came to Cremerie de Paris,
home of the Whitepages from many countries.

From time to time we run into a Pop Up Store client
that has already been to Cremerie de Paris
with a backpack 25 years ago. At the nobody knew who he was,
maybe he did not know it himself ...

more Brand Expos at Cremerie de Paris

2020 During the Corona Lookdown Cremerie de Paris is closed
time to refresh the Whitepages project. of the Whitepages.
The Belle Epoque writer Caroline von Krockow
and Memo von Sachen, a nephew of Thurn & Taxis
advise to stop watching the news
and to use time for a relaunch of the Whitepages.
A new logo is designed
integrating the old Postmaster Anselm Franz von Thurn & Taxis,
his posthorn and the Eiffel Tower.
India is the first whitepages to be relaunched.

New Mobile Operators
arrive in Pakistan

The Pioneers

Paktel1989 foundation of Paktel
by Cable & Wirteless and Farooq Hasan
later turning into Zong by Mobile China

Instaphone 1989 Instaphone is a pioneer and gets a licences from the Pakistan Gov to become a mobile operator
1990 oct 3 Instaphone mobile service launched
2008 phone license canceled by Pakistan Telecom authority for unpaid license renewal fees totalling $291 million
2009 Instatel lost appeal and had to declare bankruptcy.
1994 Foundation of Mobilink (now Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited)
now as a joint venture between Motorola and Saif Group.
2001 Orascom from Egypt buys Motorolas participation in Mobilink
2005 Launch of Warid as the 7th mobil operator in Pakistan
2007 Orascom buys Saif Groups participation in Mobilink
2010 Veon (formerly Russian based Wimplecom) acquires the assets of Orascom in Mobilink.
2015 Merger of Mobilink and Warid
2017 Company rebranded as Jazz

Jazz is the largest mobile Phone Company of Pakistan

(Pakistan Mobil Communications Limited)
owned by Veon from the Netherlands,
Egypt based Global Telecom Holding
and Ward from the UAE
Veon timeline
1992 foundation of Vimplecom in Russia
2010 acquisition of Jazz Pakistan (ex Mobilink and Ward)
2017 Vimplecom renamed Veon

Telenor Pakistan, founded in 2004
a division of Telenor Group Norway
Telenor Timeline
1855 foundation of Telegrafverket. a state owned Telegraph company.
1867 first Internation Telegraph line between Norway and Denmark.

1878 first telephone cables between cities in Norway.
1893 first international telephone cables between Olslo and Stockholm.

1969 company renamed Norwegian Telecommunications (Televerket)
1994 Norwegian Telecommunications (Televerket) becomes a public company
1994 company renamed Telenor
1998 end of Telecom monopoly in Norway

2004 Foundation of Telenor Pakistan
2013 Foundation of Telenor Myanmar
2019 acquisition of DNA Finland

Telenor Group timeline

Zong 4G (formely Paktel)
1991 Paktel created by Cable & Wireless was the first company in Pakistan to receive a mobile license
2003 Paktel acquired by Millicom
2007 Paktel acquired by China Mobile
2008 company rebranded as Zong

China Mobile
a division of China Mobile
1997 foundation of China Telecom in Hong Kong
2000 company renamed as China Mobile Hong Kong
2000 company renamed as China Mobile Ltd

China Mobile timeline
2001 foundation of Ufone
2006 acquisition by Etisalat

a division of the historic phonecompany
PTCL (Pakistan Telecom Company Limited) and Etisalat

1976 foundation of Emirats Telecommunication Corporation
1982 Launch of the first Middle East Mobil network
1983 40% of Etisalat shares traded publicly
1994 first Middle East GSM network launched in the UAE
2013 Launch of Yellowpages for the UAE,
2004 Etisalat enters Saudi Arabia market
2006 Etisalat enters Pakistan market with Ufone
2008 Participation in Swan Telecom India (Etisalat DB)
2013 Launch of Whitepages for the UAE,

Etisalat timeline

Emirats Telecommunication Group
SCO (Special Communications Organisation)
owned by the State of Pakistan

for missing info please contact
David Aaron from the
email: d "at"

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