ISLAMABAD ( ABRAR MUSTAFA )Rashid Khan Ceo Mobilink congratulated Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and other minsters on successful license auction of 3G/4G spectrum. With the launch of high-speed internet services Pakistan has entered into an era of modern technology that is sure to place us at par with the global market.
He was speaking in function held last day. He said that more than 20 years in Pakistan the telecom industry has weathered numerous challenges and has come out as one of the most dynamic industries globally. We have seen massive growth during the last decade in all disciplines of the trade. With subscribers exceeding 136 million and a mobile tele-density of 75% the cellular sector alone has invested USD 5.5 billion in Pakistan during the last 6 years.
He said that our contribution to the economy in Pakistan signifies the commitment with which the cellular industry continues to invest in the future of the country. I would also like to mention here, ladies and gentlemen that the recent NGMS auction generated USD 1.1 billion for the government of Pakistan. The industry, currently, employs more than 25,000 direct employees, and provide close to one million indirect employment opportunities. According to a report, more than 900,000 jobs will be created as the NGMS continues to roll out across Pakistan. I take great pride in stating that the regulatory regime and government policies have provided the telecom industry with a conducive environment to grow and contribute at every level. We are hopeful and would request Mr. Prime Minister and Mohtarima Anusha Rehman to continue with policies that enable the telecom sector to extend the maximum benefit of voice and data services to all Pakistanis. With a downward revision of taxation on the telecom services and import of equipment the operators will be able to increase investments on fronts that ensure better outreach and improved quality of services in every nook and corner of the country.
Rashid khan representing all cellular sector said that he would specially like to emphasize on the revolutionary role that hi-speed internet will play in changing the E-learning, E-commerce and E-health segments. As we bridge the digital divide among various cities, towns and villages of Pakistan distant learning trends will increase among the under and uneducated population. Similarly, information about the latest medical trends and world best practices will be accessible in the rural areas of Pakistan as the 3G footprint expands. As E-Health makes its way through hi-speed internet, we will see better and quick transfer of information between esatblished medical institutions and remote areas which will help improve the medical conditions of those who do not have direct access to health services.
He said that I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the entire industry to assure that we will make the most out of the oppurtuinties and will work together as one towards the single vision of taking Pakistan into a new era of success. Having said that, there are several challenges that we will encounter during our journey. The most critical challenge at hand is to increase the penetration of NGMS enabled devices in the market. With only 7 million 3G enabled handsets in a market of 136 Million subscribers we have a huge opportunity to take high-speed internet to those who currently rely on EDGE services or have no access to internet at all. We are also working closely with smartphones manufacturers to ensure that NGMS enabled smartphones and devices are available in the market at affordable rates and better functionality.