As per the reports, the growth rate of Pakistan’s telecommunication sector has been impressively fast-paced during the last four years. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has indeed contributed a lot by bringing Mobile Broadband services – 3G, 4G, LTE, to the country.
Anusha Rehman, Pakistan’s IT&T Minister reportedly stated that, to bring the country’s IT sector to the next level, the IT&T Ministry has been acting with firm determination for three years and even to this date the ministry is working hard as it is believed that the next stage is only achievable with a strong infrastructure.
She added that the computers and smartphones are of no significant use if there is no internet available. Hence, for that, the IT&T Ministry has been working aggressively to provide the telecom services to the unserved Mauzas of Pakistan since the issuance of the 3G/4G licenses. She mentioned that the process is being done through the Broadband for Sustainable Development Programme, an initiative of Universal Service Funds (USF).
Coming to the telecom sector’s progress in the last four years. In 2014, 3G licenses were awarded to Jazz, Telenor, Ufone, and Zong while the last one was also given the license of the 4G service. Later on, in 2016, Telenor received the 4G license and after that Jazz was awarded the same license in 2017.
Moreover, the ministry official told that the Telecom Policy 2015 has been taken as a standard of reviewing and integration of numerous telecom sector policies into one National Telecom Policy and Abolishment of ICH regime, the latter of which is to control the grey traffic – the use of illegal gateways through the SIM cards and more, to avoid the taxes.
Not just that, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)’s campaign of the biometric verification of the SIM cards resulted in the blocking of 98.3 million SIMs in which the 26.1 million SIMs were the active ones. PTA is also working on Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRB) to fight the grey market smartphones in Pakistan.
Furthermore, back in 2015, at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), the telecom sector obtained 100 MHz for the Mobile Broadband and 300 MHz for the fixed-satellite service.
The ministry is also in efforts to spread the telecom services to every corner of Pakistan, as the contracts for setting up 10 Telecenters – A community resource center providing broadband internet and e-services access to citizens in underserved areas – has also been signed with Jazz, as reportedly.
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