Telecom sector grows at rapid pace in four years

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ISLAMABAD: Growth momentum of the telecommunications sector in the country has grown at a rapid pace and undergone an impressive transformation over the last four years.

Introduction of Mobile Broadband Services (3G / 4G/LTE) in Pakistan is one of the biggest achievements of Information Technology and Telecommunications ministry.

While talking to APP, Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman said, in the first three years of its tenure, the ministry of IT has been determinately working on IT infrastructure and still working on it as only a strong infrastructure could take the IT sector to the next level.

She said computers and smartphones could do nothing with the internet, so for that, through the Sustainable Development Programme, Ministry of IT and Telecom has been aggressively working to provide telecom services to the unserved areas across the country after the issuance of 3G/4G licenses.

In 2014, four 3G licenses were awarded to Jazz (Mobilink), Telenor, Ufone, and Zong, and one 4G license was awarded to Zong. In 2016, the award of 4G license was awarded to Telenor and in 2017, to Jazz.

According to officials of the ministry, Telecom Policy 2015 has been under review and the integration of multiple telecom sector policies into one National Telecom Policy and the abolishment of ICH regime has taken place as a measure to curb grey traffic.

In the campaign lunched by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) biometric verification of SIMs and re-verification of existing sims, total 114.9 million SIM’s were verified against 44.7 million CNICs, 98.3 million SIMs were blocked (including 26.1 million active SIMs).

An incentive package has also been provided to promote the local manufacturing of smartphones.

The telecom sector has secured 100 MHz for mobile broadband and 300 MHz for fixed satellite service at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 for the country.