The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has decided to take a giant leap forward as the organization has decided to launch 3G/4G services in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan. By February 2018, these areas will receive 3G/4G services, said an official.
This move is seen as a means to break the socio-economic barrier in these areas as they currently lack such services, and hence many avenues of advancement. It will also benefit people living around the CPEC routes in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan.
PTA is now looking for local consultants or agencies that will help study the base price and design of the auction process for 3G/4G services in these areas.
To this date, Pakistan has 44.4 million 3G/4G subscribers. Essentially, with the introduction of these services in areas like AJK and G-B, the numbers are expected to rise swiftly. This move will also empower people from these regions in connecting to the rest of the world.
One more advantage of introducing these services is that it will further boost tourism in those areas while creating more job opportunities for the people living there. Transportation in such areas is quite difficult. While the whole country depends on ride hailing services like Uber and Careem, the absence of 3G/4G services in these areas makes it difficult to arrange transportation for oneself. However, with better connectivity, these problems will fade away quickly.
According to IT expert Parvez Iftikhar, broadband technology in these areas will give a boost to the economy. He said:
“Next generation mobile services (NGMS) in these areas will bring an investment of more than $100 million over the next two to three years”
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Locals of these areas are heavily dependent on foreign remittances. Although the people are quite interested in using IT technologies, online avenues of earning are something they are not quite aware of. Broadband services in these areas will promote online marketing and create more and more opportunities for the general public.
Aslam Javed, a resident of Faisalabad stated:
“I saw appetite for this modern technology when I visited Kashmir last year, not only the locals will avail themselves of this service, but it will also benefit a huge number of tourists who visit these areas every year”
The policy for introducing 3G/4G services has been already approved by the AJK and G-B governments. PTA is now looking for a consultant who will approach cellular service providers of the relevant areas to further carry out the plan. A base price will be calculated after deeply studying the telecom markets of these areas.
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NGMS spectrum auction is not something you see every day and finding a consultant for such services is quite rare, as per the experts. However, if PTA is unsuccessful in finding a consultant, it will still go ahead with the plan. By February 2017, 3G/4G services are going to hit AJK and Gilgit Baltistan. Consequently, we might see a rise in Pakistan’s economy.