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ghazi52

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Right of Way policy for telecom sector approved

Kalbe Ali
January 21, 2021


The policy classifies telecom installations as “critical infrastructure”.


ISLAMABAD: The Right of Way (ROW) Policy for the telecom sector — recently approved by the federal cabinet — clears a large number of hurdles faced by telcos and internet service providers in the installation and maintenance of their telecommunication equipment and expansion of systems across the country.

The policy was approved in a cabinet meeting held on Tuesday. A notification will be issued by the Ministry for Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) that will bound all the provinces and their concerned agencies to facilitate ROW for the telecom sector.

The policy classifies telecom installations as “critical infrastructure”. Damaging telecom infrastructure would be considered sabotage. Cases under criminal and anti-terrorism laws could be filed against the culprit.

The policy has undertaken several key issues based on the concerns expressed by the stake holders to the MoITT.

Federal Minister for IT Syed Aminul Haq said that a one-window operation would facilitate the telecom sector regarding infrastructure development. “The policy will play a pivotal role in fulfilling the vision of Digital Pakistan,” he added.

The minister said that the policy would help fast-track processing for the ROW Policy provisions including space on land and in buildings for the installation of telecom infrastructure.

The policy will cover developed land including roads, footpaths and areas where electricity and railway infrastructures have been installed, as well as non- developed areas like grounds etc.

Under the policy, fee structure has been set up to operate in the required areas to prevent overcharging.


Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2021
 

ghazi52

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Pakistan to get 5G by 2022-23

It will accelerate download speed 10 times, widen economic activities significantly


Salman Siddiqui
January 24, 2021

with the expansion of 3g and 4g services an increase of 77 was seen in data usage for fy20 photo file


With the expansion of 3G and 4G services, an increase of 77% was seen in data usage for FY20.


Pakistan has kick-started its journey to make the most advanced 5G internet commercially available to consumers in 2022-23, which would accelerate the download speed 10 times to one gigabit per second (Gbps) and widen economic activities significantly in the country.

The government of Pakistan is developing a comprehensive roadmap for 5G technology readiness in the country. It is aimed at auctioning “spectrum for…5G services in fiscal year 2023,” the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said in its annual report 2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic proved a blessing in disguise as the digital economy widened multi-fold during these testing times in Pakistan. The crisis has prompted regulators and stakeholders to improve digital infrastructure.

Earlier, mobile phone service providing firms successfully conducted a test trial of 5G services under limited environment and on non-commercial basis in 2019 and 2020. Pakistan stands the first country in South Asia to test 5G “with a recorded download speed of more than one Gbps.”

The tested speeds stands 10 times high compared to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) on 4G internet in the world, it was learnt.

Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Aminul Haque said the government has planned to launch 5G technology by December 2022 but experts in different fields are still sceptical, believing the country will take a much longer time (5-7 years) to roll out the next-generation technology.

Haque made a test video call through 5G to China and said it was a wonderful experience. The voice was loud and clear, and the video quality was also wonderful, according to an international media outlet.

The modern technology would make great economic progress when it comes to Pakistan, Haque added.
GSM Association estimates the economic contribution of the mobile industry in Pakistan will reach $24 billion, contributing 6.6% to total gross domestic product (GDP) by 2023.

The telecommunication authority said it, along with the government, would publish a Spectrum Master Plan and a Spectrum Rolling Strategy to enable operators to plan their investments in a more efficient manner. Together, they will need to create an environment that encourages creativity and innovation so that large and small businesses can explore the possibilities created by 5G.

In Pakistan, 98% of the households own a mobile phone whereas penetration of mobile services reached 81.1% at the end of October 2020, with 172.3 million mobile subscriptions. Broadband subscriptions showed impressive growth trends of 17% during FY20, crossing the 90.1 million mark in October 2020, whereas 4G subscriptions registered an exponential 60% growth in FY20. Resultantly, total broadband penetration in Pakistan reached 42.4% by the end of October 2020. With the expansion of 3G and 4G services, an increase of 77% was seen in data usage for FY20.


3G/4G spectrum

PTA has geared up to hire international consultants for market valuation and auction of spectrum in 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz in Pakistan including AJK and G-B. “The availability of additional spectrum in 1,800 MHz will also enable operators to expand their existing 4G operations and transition to advance technologies.”

It is aimed at auctioning “the spectrum for the proliferation of LTE and VoLTE Services in FY21 and 5G services in FY23. Furthermore, it has also planned for re-farming of spectrum allocated to WLL operators, which will also make additional spectrum available for 5G services.”

It was learnt that the government has estimated to raise Rs27 billion through the auction of the spectrum in FY21.

Earlier, the authority had directed mobile phone service providing firms to refund Rs9.2 billion to consumers following the Supreme Court debarred the firms from the imposition of service and maintenance charges in 2019. However, they have so far refunded only Rs6.9 billion.


Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th, 2021.
 

ghazi52

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How 5G will accelerate Pakistan’s digital journey


Aqeel Sarfraz
24 Jan 2021






The fifth-generation connectivity for data networks across the world promises to make all connectivity problems that we routinely face a thing of the past. 5G has also been highlighted as a path towards a truly wireless future where data speeds will be faster than ever and latency will be reduced remarkably. With faster data speeds will come better business opportunities.

Just as 4G made development and use of essential everyday services like ride-sharing and hailing, meal delivery, and more possible – which would have struggled with 3G speeds – 5G is set to open doors to a host of new opportunities for the socio-economic uplift of the people and hence the country. Incredible data speeds might spur a whole new type of businesses or business models that may be unheard of today.

One major change, however, that 5G will bring is a proliferation of data-intensive technologies like artificial intelligence, internet of things (IoT), among others. IoT, especially, will see its heyday with 5G becoming more common as so far its heavy implementation is limited to the industrial level.

On a personal scale, such as in smart homes, this technology hasn’t seen equal traction around the world as the low-powered Wi-Fi networks still common in many parts of the world struggle with connecting multiple devices at the same time.

While 5G solves this issue, it will be making way for a larger impact by enabling smart cities and global connectivity. Areas that were denied connectivity in the past could finally be brought into the fold of digital inclusion with the advent of 5G, which would bring employment opportunities to the remotest parts of the world.

5G technology would also allow better control of devices such as drones, industrial robots, self-driven cars, and safety systems. With such technology accessible to the general public, even remote medical procedures and treatments will become possible, and the healthcare sector will be revolutionized.

Smart cities could get a whole new meaning with 5G, enabling cities to manage and track their workings like never before. Smart, AI-based solutions for traffic management, infrastructure maintenance, and the management of resources, besides countless other things, will see the light of the day in the 5G era. With its potential to be faster than any wired Wi-Fi network, the connected IoT systems of smart cities will function anywhere without being constrained to local wireless networks.

This is just a tiny picture of how 5G will transform life as we know it, definitely for the better. A technology like this can be a true game-changer for a developing country like Pakistan that has steep digitalization goals and aims for an IT-based knowledge economy in the near future. With a dynamic young population and a thriving and committed ICT sector with passionate players like Zong, the dream of Digital Pakistan might not be much far from becoming a reality.

In November 2020, Zong 4G made national headlines by placing the first international 5G video call with Beijing mobile.

The pioneering 5G NSA call between Beijing and Islamabad was witnessed, in person, by Pakistan’s Minister of IT & Telecom Syed Amin Ul Haque, among many others. The event was momentous and historic.

Besides being a mammoth milestone in Zong’s network transformation journey, it showed the company’s unfaltering commitment to advancing Pakistan into the digital future through future technology. Just the way it became the first mover of 4G in the Pakistani telecommunications market, Zong’s industry-leading 5G testing brought Pakistan closer to the 5G era that is set to transform lives.

While 5G Mobile networks hold great promise and potential to boost digital development in Pakistan, the World Bank fears that delays in its deployment would delay a revolutionary leap in capacity from 4G to 5G. Proving its 5G readiness, Zong has shown the nation that the 5G era is beckoning with all its advantages and opportunities, and is set to change lives and livelihoods forever.

A country like Pakistan with immense growth potential but longstanding socio-economic challenges, especially, has great reason to celebrate the onset of 5G.

(The writer is a Communications Consultant. The views expressed in this article
are not necessarily those of the newspaper)


Copyright Business Recorder, 2021
 

ghazi52

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Executive Committee of National Economic Council approved Rs 37.9 billion worth Pak China Optical Fibre Cable Phase II under CPEC. The project will provide an alternate path for international connectivity and transform Pakistan as a Digital Gateway of regional connectivity.



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ghazi52

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Scaling IT exports

BR Research
27 Jan 2021


While Pakistan’s telecom and IT-related services exports have done well in recent months, there is room for more growth. As per the latest SBP data, during the period Jul-Dec 2020, exports relating to “telecommunications, computer and information services” jumped 40 percent year-on-year to reach $958 million.

This fetched the country about $275 million in incremental forex on this count. Not bad, but it could have been even more if exporters choose to bring back the bulk of their earnings to Pakistan.

Within the overall digital services exports, the purely IT-related exports stood at $753 million in 1HFY21 – a yearly growth of 44 percent. This may or may not be a sign of resilience of the digital side of things during the global pandemic, but the recent performance surely lends credence to the argument that the policymakers need to put on top of their list such “non-traditional” export sectors. IT exports stood at $1.1 billion in FY20, as per SBP data. Market sources say there is potential to triple this “official” number.

Also take into account that Pakistan also has sizable ICT-services imports. These imports jumped more than exports did, growing 57 percent year-on-year to reach $309 million in the first half of the fiscal. In the end, for the period under review, net ICT exports (exports less imports) came in at $650 million, up 33 percent year-on-year. That’s a decent incremental forex inflow of $162 million over same period last year.

The ICT-related imports – which are mostly related to software purchases, IT consultancy, and telecom services – are necessary for the digital economy and non-digital counterparts to avail latest IT services and upgrades and to remain connected with businesses abroad. This is thankfully recognized by the banking regulator.

Back in August 2020, the SBP had allowed local firms to pay a maximum of $200,000 per annum against services availed from 62 foreign digital service providers, without SBP approval.

The current government’s IT-promotion strategy seems to revolve around setting up more software technology parks. Last month, it established a Special Technology Zone Authority (STZA) with much fanfare; the first large-scale zone is to be reportedly launched in Islamabad. However, there is skepticism on whether this is the right approach for a sector that doesn’t need much real estate to function or grow. (Read more: “On special technology zones,” published by BR Research January 12, 2021). IT is a skills-based industry, and Pakistan will do well to convince IT majors such as Microsoft, Google, or Apple to train people here.

The ruling party is in its third year but it has so far not acted on its pre-election Digital Policy. Among its key promises in the digital domain were to establish a Knowledge Economy Authority, which was to centralize all public-sector IT procurement to efficiently meet the government’s digital needs through private sector Pakistani firms.

In addition, it had promised to spend $2 billion over five years on e-governance and citizen public services. There were also promises to set up five tech-based SEZs, three IT universities, providing IT scholarship to top 50,000 students, and launch teacher certification programs.

While IT exporters enjoy a number of fiscal incentives, more needs to be done. Reportedly, the federal government is considering to approve a policy that will help Pakistani firms, including IT companies, to make investments abroad without seeking regulatory approvals.

This kind of freedom will assist serious software exporters in setting up foreign offices that are instrumental in building relationships and securing export orders, making strategic investments when opportunity strikes, and even raise capital overseas. This freedom to move money in and out, however, is just one aspect of helping IT exporters build scale.
 

ghazi52

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Chinese tech giant Vivo 📱 has officially started producing Smartphones in Pakistan

While we aren’t sure about the models that are produced locally in Pakistan, but if sources are to be believed then “Made in Pakistan” smartphones from vivo are ready to hit the stores in the country.

Situated in M-3 Industrial Estate in Faisalabad and built with a USD 10 million investment, vivo will cater the Smartphone needs of the country where more than 1.5 million to 2.5 million devices are sold every month.


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ghazi52

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IT minister invites Germany’s Telecom companies for investment in Pakistan


APP
03 Feb 2021






ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin-Ul-Haque Wednesday invited Germany IT and Telecom companies to invest in Pakistan.

“IT and Telecom companies of Germany must invest in Pakistan as environment for investment in Pakistan is conducive” the minister expressed these views during a meeting with German Ambassador to Pakistan Bernhard Schlagheck, said a news release.

Federal Secretary Ministry of IT and Telecommunication Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui was also present in the meeting.

The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in IT and Telecommunication sector. The minister said Pakistan greatly values its relations with Germany and wanted to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the field of IT and Telecom. He said that steps are underway for fulfilling Digital Pakistan Vision.

He said that Ministry of IT & Telecom was taking strong initiatives for the development of IT and Telecom sector, adding that IT & Telecom sector of Pakistan has great potential.

The minister said that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) export remittances surged to US $958 million at growth rate of 40 % during July –December of FY 2020-21 in comparison to same period of last financial year.

Ambassador of Germany appreciated the role of Minister of IT & Telecom regarding digitalization and for the development of IT and telecom sector of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque held virtual meeting with Director International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-BDT Doreen Bogdan-Martin
During meeting they discussed about connectivity and telecommunication services.

While talking to ITU Director, the minister said that his ministry was fully committed to end the digital divide between urban and rural areas of the country.

Steps are being taken through Universal Service Fund (USF) for the provision of broadband services in unserved and underserved areas of the country.

He said that the empowerment of women and youth is the motto of the Ministry of IT & Telecom.

He said that Ministry of IT & Telecom fully support ITU’s proposed agenda to launch initiatives like Giga and Smart Villages in Pakistan. Ministry of IT is committed to play its due role as a focal ministry to engage with all the stakeholders to spearhead the implementation of ITU’s initiatives in Pakistan.
 

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I Remember The Good Old Days Of Shaukat Aziz and Musharraf When Nokia Offered To Build A Factory in Pakistan

https://www.dawn.com/news/402053/investment-treaty-with-finland-in-final-stages


Even LG Showed Interest

 

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I Remember The Good Old Days Of Shaukat Aziz and Musharraf When Nokia Offered To Build A Factory in Pakistan

https://www.dawn.com/news/402053/investment-treaty-with-finland-in-final-stages


Even LG Showed Interest

Dr. Atta Ur Rehman mentioned that Musharraf government was working on proposals to set up 8-10 foreign universities in Pakistan. He mentioned that Siemens offered to build a large R&D center in Lahore along with a German university.


All the plans went down the gutter when democracy hit and it started taking its revenge.


It's unimaginable how far back we have gone in these 10 years. Actually you can imagine it in 2007 Pakistan had higher per capita income than India and BD but now we are lower than both. Not sure when dumb Pakistani nation will realize how bad these two parties have been for Pakistan. Heck now their next generations are lining up to do their share of loot and plunder. Pakistan ka Allah hi malik hai.
 

ghazi52

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Pakistan Telecom and IT updates

Three mobile phone companies to set up manufacturing plants in Pakistan


As the government has introduced tax incentives for assembling/manufacturing of mobile phones through the recently issued presidential order, at least three new mobile phone companies have shown interest in setting up their plants in Pakistan.

The government had recently promulgated an ordinance abolishing withholding tax on locally manufactured mobile sets. The step was taken to encourage the assembling and manufacturing of mobile phone parts in the country.

“Three new entrants have submitted applications for establishment of manufacturing units in the country,” said an official of the Engineering Development Board (EDB), which is an attached department of the Ministry of Industries and Production. “Vivo plans to set up its unit in Faisalabad; Airlink has applied for a unit in Lahore; whereas Advance Telecom wants to establish one in Karachi
 

ghazi52

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TPL Properties Limited to establish a state-of-the-art technology park in #Sindh. According to the company, “The Technology Park will be the first of its kind of such scale in the province of Sindh, with high end technology facilities.
Such a platform with high end IT infrastructure shall provide a platform to several IT sector companies across Pakistan.” TPL Properties estimates the project will be completed in two years, including planning and designing.
PL Properties issued a notice to the Pakistan Stock Exchange, that through its wholly owned Subsidiary, has entered into an ‘Agreement to Sell’. This is for the purchase of plot number 25-B, which measures 10,002 square yards, situated at Sector 30, Korangi Industrial Area, Karachi. Once the due diligence is carried out, the plot will be possessed by the company within three months
 

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Pakistan IT Exports Cross $1 Billion Taking Clients From Indian Companies


Pakistan’s IT exports maintained a tremendous momentum in the current financial year, crossing a mark of $1 billion merely in seven months of the financial year 2020-21.

According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan, remittances under IT and IT-enabled services surged to $1.119 billion from July 2020 to January 2021 compared to $812 million recorded in the corresponding period of the last financial year, showing a handsome growth of 37 percent year-on-year.

Industry players forecast the exports could touch a mark of $2 billion for the first time in the country’s history if the pace of exports of services continues in the coming months.


The growth in IT exports was driven by the increasing automation, and digitized services in different countries after new ways of doing business emerged following the outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide.

Different foreign companies, mainly from the USA and EU markets, prefer placing their orders to Pakistani companies rather than Indian and the Philippines.

© ProPakistani

No photo description available.
 

ghazi52

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Elon Musk's Starlink Internet may soon be Coming to Pakistan

Starlink, the satellite-based internet set up by SpaceX for global internet access will also be available in Pakistan.

This constellation will consist of thousands of small satellites that will go around the planet in low Earth Orbit, working in combination with transceivers on the ground. Some of these satellites will be sold off for military, scientific, and exploratory purposes as well.

Since these satellites are very small and modernized compared to other satellite internet providers, the promised connectivity and speeds are much higher. Starlink aims to provide connection speeds of a whopping 1Gbps, average speeds of 900Mbps, and much better reliability than other ISPs.



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