It is a widely recognised reality that broadband infrastructure contributes towards economic growth of a country and significant amount of job creation.
This whole proposition resulted into mere around 3 million broadband connections in last one decade against 129 million cellular subscriptions during the same duration.
The penetration level remains low at 1.52 percent. However, the remarkable growth of wireless technologies is an encouraging sign for the sector as major player
With upcoming 3G spectrum auction a large population will be able to transition towards broadband services through high-speed wireless data networks. This is a trend that is followed in various markets as well.
According to different reports, 3G broadband penetration has exceeded fixed line broadband in almost every market.
A recent report by
achieve at least 10 percent broadband penetration (or 20 million broadband connection) by 2018 if 3G is auction in 2014.
These estimates are based on low-demand forecast while with high demand forecast, broadband penetration in
With regard to positive impact on GDP, economic studies have proven the fact that there is a positive relationship between broadband penetration and GDP growth. This is true for both developed and developing markets.
Different researches have established that impact of a ten percentage point increase in broadband penetration on GDP growth rates range from 0.1-1.5 percentage points, with higher impacts found in lower income countries like
If we carry a conservative estimate of 0.5 percent impact on GDP and assume that impact will last for 3 years then Pakistan’s current GDP will increase by
The estimates suggest next generation networks are expected to add
Not to mention, these figures exclude the auction money that
Regarding increased employment, same report and experts opinion indicate that over 900,000 new jobs will be created if 3G is auctioned right away. These jobs will span around various sectors including telecom, services, advertising, outsourcing and others.
The increased taxes arise as a result of the general stimulus to economic activity i.e. they derive from taxes paid by all sectors of the economy, especially the data services.
The estimates also suggest that government would be able to generate addition taxes of at least
If we talk about socio-economic benefits, Broadband is an enabler which will enhance the provision of education, health and government services in
A senior official at PTA said with access to broadband will entirely change the way we do our business, financial and private transactions, adding that the way ”We interact with each other or the way we find our addresses, everything will be reshaped.“
Moreover, smartphones with increased computing abilities are going to lessen the efforts and hardships we come across in our daily routines.
”From the way we pay our bills to the way we register our complaints with utility companies will all go digital,“ the official added.
The official said in addition, low cost and flexible access to IT resources, such as file storage, software and databases, can be accessed using cloud based services. Assume a system with centralized database and reporting of corruption or registration of complaints from general public will make the lives easier, simpler, efficient and more productive.
Access to broadband technology and the internet would provide specific benefits to women enabling access to education and health resources and ways of generating income within their homes.
Many of the benefits from using broadband to deliver health and education services are not reflected in GDP estimates mentioned above as they occur over a long timescale (e.g. the benefits of better primary and secondary education can take 10 or more years to be realised in labour force productivity) and because they are about improving aspects of quality of life which are not captured by GDP measures.
More outsourcing opportunities will surface. With higher rate of access to broadband will mean more resources available for servicing the world. More services to export and more revenue inflows, just that everything will be reshaped.
A telecom expert said all of the above benefits will be reaped if one condition is met - we do the 3G rightly as a deeper and proper planning is what we require at this point in place.
Only setting the auction price rightly, taxing the services rationally and regulating the operators finely will yield all the benefits that we have mentioned.
Governments naturally would want to make more money with the spectrum auction, which is fine and understandable. But there is a very thin line between getting the maximum out of auction money and going over-priced. The authorities will have to be very accurate in terms of determining the bread limit of telecom companies to make sure they are left with enough resources to enable the consumers will services too. Same goes for taxing on telecom sector.
Telecom sector is going to become the back-bone of national economy and hence a proper attention and rational taxing would be a heroic leap not only to meet the targets but to sustain the development in the sector.
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