STAFF REPORT ISB: Pakistan is set to experience the high speed broadband that would help in expediting socio-economic progress of the country as the successful mobile companies have been awarded 3G, 4G spectrum licences.

The licenses have been awarded to four mobile companies including Mobilink, Telenor, Ufone and Zong at a recently held special ceremony in Islamabad.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was the chief guest on the occasion, claimed that Rs260 billion will be collected in the treasury every year mainly due to the new technology in addition to creating millions of jobs in the service sector.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Chairperson Dr Ismail Shah were also present at the ceremony.

Commenting on the progress of the country, Nawaz said, “todays Pakistan has developed a lot as compared to the Pakistan on June 5 last year.”

The Prime Minister added that telecom operators would provide quality services through these technologies. He further said that it is important that the reach of the broadband has been extended and made affordable; however, he stressed the need for having a set of guidelines for provision of quality services while providing a level playing field to all stakeholders.

He said that the theme of this years World Telecom and Information Society Day is “Broadband for Sustainable Development” which closely matches the vision of government.

“Pakistan today is way ahead from where it was on June 5, 2013,” said the Prime Minister, adding that various government measures have been taken to manage a shattered economy, lay foundation of new development projects, restore confidence of the local and foreign investors and improve efficiency of various departments.

In his remarks for the occasion, PTA Chairman Dr Ismail Shah said that in the continuous wave of development and globalisation the role of telecommunication technologies is getting crucial day by day.

“The pivotal role of telecommunication is changing lifestyles of people at both micro and macro levels. Peoples access to basic information and modern technologies is the utmost challenge in this era of globalization,” he said.

He said that such a phenomenal growth of mobile broadband portrays strong consumer confidence in the mobile broadband services. The immense development and growth observed in the telecommunication sector has been acknowledged and appreciated worldwide.

He also said that PTA, as a telecom regulator, is fully alive to its obligations and will leave no effort in providing an even playing field to all stakeholders and protecting their interests. It will ensure that the industry makes great strides for overall growth and development of the national economy.

Federal Secretary Information Technology and Telecom was of the view that his ministry is fully determined to transform the socio-economic landscape of Pakistan into a knowledge based society capable of competing with developing nations.

“Pakistan has a huge potential to introduce ICT and its applications in areas like e-agriculture, c-health and e-education for benefit of its citizens. Policy intervention of the ministry created a transparent environment for successful auction of 3G/4G licenses.

Broadband penetration is closely linked to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Pakistan is already paving the way for sustainable development through broadband, the secretary mentioned.

He also said that his ministry will keep serving the nation through implementation of the governments vision and agenda to take forward this nation in acquiring next generation technological skills and knowledge.

It is to be mentioned here that the 3G, 4G spectrum auction was earlier scheduled to be carried out a couple of years back but this process was delayed repeatedly due to certain reasons and also created doubts about transparency of the whole process.

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