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Mobile broadband to enable socio-economic development, spur growth: PTA Chief

June 24, 2014

Chairman, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Dr. Syed Ismail Shah on Monday said priority is being given to use next-generation ICT services particularly mobile broadband to enable socio-economic development and spur growth.

He was speaking at a Nokia conference entitled - Connected Pakistan - 3G, 4G Perspectives” - which brought out excellent insights from various eco-system players on how to achieve further mobile broadband penetration.

The event was well-attended by a cross-section of companies and organizations.

The Chairman reiterated the government’s resolve to support and develop the telecom sector with investor and consumer friendly policies and said “There exists a strong demand for 3G as operators have started providing such services while consumers look excited about the new enabling technologies.”

He said the regulator is also committed to enabling the operators to take mobile broadband subscription base to a new high together with players such as Nokia and its advanced 3G and 4G mobile broadband services.

Member Telecom at Ministry of Information Technology, Mudassar Hussain highlighted that on the policy front, the government had invited industry and public consultants to be partners in its decision making, and in this context a review of telecom policy was also in the offing.

In his address, General Manager, Networks Nokia Pakistan, Danny Atme mentioned a study by Nokia which revealed that Pakistan scored low in mobile broadband infrastructure despite high use by subscribers.

As per the study, the country scored 2.09 out of 10, ranking 25 out of the 26 developing telecom markets in mobile broadband connectivity.

For measuring the score, the study entitled ‘Connectivity Scorecard 2013’ took into account key criteria such as consumer infrastructure and public sector usage and skills, to measure the level of mobile broadband connectivity in Pakistan.

He said the study showed mobile broadband users in Pakistan increasingly demand high-speed mobile broadband and significantly improved network coverage across the country.

As the world’s specialist in mobile broadband, we are committed to providing operators in Pakistan with our advanced 3G and 4G technologies, and comprehensive services to build and run the networks cost efficiently.

The number of WCDMA subscriptions in Pakistan will overtake GSM subscriptions by 2019, and there will be 103.4 million WCDMA subscriptions by the end of 2019, representing about 58% of the mobile market, according to Ovum forecasts.

It also forecasts that the adoption of 4G will be more modest than for 3G for the foreseeable future, with the number of LTE subscriptions in Pakistan reaching about 6.6 million by end of 2019.

Matthew Reed, Practice Leader Middle East and Africa, Ovum, said although Pakistan is a late-comer to mobile broadband, the rollout of 3G services that is now underway in the country following the recent award of new licenses, combined with increasing affordability of 3G-enabled devices as well as demand for Internet access and other data services, means that there is likely to be a substantial shift in Pakistan’s mobile market from 2G to 3G over the coming few years.

Later, a panel discussion was conducted in which telecom experts from Mobilink, Zong, Warid and Nokia determined that a data revolution, connected communities and a digitized ecosystem will define telecom sector in Pakistan.

The experts including Chief Commercial Officers (CCOs) of Mobilink and China Mobile Zong said the telecom sector has performed exceedingly well and lauded the growth in telecom as how it has evolved from a struggling industry to its phenomenal rise today.

The other experts said empowering societies, Internet for all would shape the future of a progressive Pakistan; and the socio-economic impact of 3G will improve education, health, commerce and entrepreneurship.

Later, General Manager, Networks Nokia Pakistan, Danny Atme presented shields to the telecom experts.

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Source: Baluchistan Express, The

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