The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) organised a Broadband Forum in collaboration with CISCO systems at a local hotel in Islamabad on Thursday.
The theme of the forum was to find out ways and means to truly capitalise on the huge potential of broadband services in Pakistan in the wake of rapidly growing wireless broadband subscriptions. PTA Chairman Dr Syed Ismail Shah was the chief guest. Member (Finance) PTA Tariq Sultan, Member (Compliance & Enforcement) PTA Abdul Samad, Member (Telecom), Ministry of IT, Mr Mudasar Hussain, were also present on the occasion. The IT & telecom industry experts, representatives of telecom companies and academia attended the seminar.
Speaking on the occasion, PTA Chairman Dr Syed Ismail Shah highlighted the role of PTA as enabler and facilitator and said that the availability of mobile broadband had opened many doors of opportunities for Pakistan. The high speed internet will revolutionise all other industries in the country in the coming years. Mobile broadband has been introduced in Pakistan through successful auction of 3G and 4G spectrum last year. He said it was imperative that the benefits of broadband should reach to the grass root-level in the form of e-services, e-health, e-education, e-commerce, e-governance etc.
Member (Finance) PTA shared his views on the potential of mobile broadband as enabler for digital financial inclusion. He said the government had made national financial inclusion policy which aimed at 50 per cent population of the country would have their digital accounts by 2020. He said the technical regulation for mobile banking was being worked upon by PTA and State Bank. Currently, 327 million revenue is coming from mobile segment and it is expected to cross 800 million in future, he added.
Member (Compliance & Enforcement) PTA chaired the first session on “Capitalising on the potential of broadband”. The session was participated by Wahaj us Siraz, CEO NayaTel, Mr David Hovey, Specialist, CISCO Systems and Mr Niaz A Malik, Chief Corporate Sales, Zong. The panellists discussed the ways and means as to how to capitalise on the potential of broadband in Pakistan. The panellists showed concern over the tax levied by the Punjab government on the broadband services that will affect their growth. The Member (Compliance & Enforcement) highlighted the role of broadband technologies in improving socio-economic condition of the people of Pakistan.
Second session on “Maximising the Socio-economic Impact of Broadband was chaired by Mudassaur Hussain, Member (Telecom) Ministry of IT. The panellists included Muhammad Aslam Hayat, Chief Corporate Affairs and Strategy Officer, Telenor, Kanwal Bokharey, Senior Economic Growth Advisor, USAID/Pakistan, Dr Amir Mateen, Grants International. The session was focussed on use of broadband technologies for the uplift of different segments of the society. At the end the PTA chairman presented memento to the participants of the forum.