Special Communications Organization

Special Communications Organization
Industry Telecommunications corporation
Genre Telecommunication
Founded July 1976 (1976-07)
Headquarters Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Area served
Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan
Products Landline
Owner Pakistan Government
Website www.sco.gov.pk

Special Communications Organization (SCO) is Government Organization operated by Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and maintained by Pakistan Army. SCO is playing major role in providing telecommunication services in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.[1]


SCO was established in 1976 and it remained the single telecommunication network provider in its served areas for about 3 decades having extensive footprint of PSTN, GSM, CDMA and Internet Provision.[2]


SCO is responsible for providing the telecommunication needs to a population of 4.5 Million spread over 85,793 km2 consisting of the mountainous terrains of Azad Jummu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.[3] In addition to the wired landline services, SCO is also providing CDMA services. It is also providing cellular mobile service under the brand name of SCOM. SCOM is the first ever GSM service of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. DSL and Dialup Internet services are provided under the brand name of SNET.


Maintenance services of SCO are provided by Pak Army.


SCO is often criticized for poor performance and creating obstacles for other carriers in providing telecom services in AJK. SCO was given sole monopoly in AJK and the area as a result suffered and lacked in modern telecom services. However after the 2005 quake, significant loss of life was attributed to not having communication facilities in the area.[4] Subsequent protests resulted in government of Pakistan opening up the Pakistan administered Kashmir for mobile operators which has significantly improved mobile services in the area.[5] However AJK still lags behind in broadband services due to strict hold of SCO on the network access.[6] SCO has created major hurdle in opening up 3G/4G in the AJK as it is not able to upgrade its network and is certain to lose whatever market share it has if the other operators are allowed to offer 3G/4G services.[7] The government of Pakistan has now given approval for funding for SCO to upgrade its network which may remove this hurdle for 3G/4G services in AJK.[8]

See also



  1. SCO Website. "SCO is a public sector organization working under Government of Pakistan (Ministry of IT).". Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  2. SCO Website. "Establishment of SCO.". Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  3. AJKLive Website. "Services by SCO.". Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  4. "Human Rights Watch Report".
  5. "Pakistan Telecom Authority News Release".
  6. "News Article".
  7. "Govt to Auction 3G/4G Licenses in AJK Later this Year". 2016-02-15. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
  8. "SCO Given the Approval for Upgradation of its GSM Network". 2016-02-11. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
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