Digital Inclusion for All: Promoting the Growth and Development of Pakistan
Pakistani Telecom operator Zong today organized a conference, “Digital inclusion for all: Promoting the growth and development of Pakistan” at Islamabad Club in which GSMA presented its findings regarding the telecom sector of Pakistan. Special focus was given to the regulatory environment and taxation issues of the industry. This session focused on ‘digital inclusion’, or how best to extend the benefits of ICT and Technology to as many people as possible in Pakistan through expanding access to the mobile internet. The discussion was intended to highlight both the ‘demand-side’ issues that affect this growth access, including the affordability of devices (such as smartphones and mobile service subscription costs) for those on low incomes, and the need for additional network investment and spectrum to boost 3G and 4G coverage. Special discussion session was held on ‘supply-side’ issues- such as content in local languages, or the fact that some lack the necessary digital skills to access the benefits of ICT.
Chairman PTA Dr. Ismail Shah also attended the conference and presented Government policies for the telecom sector and the progress made so far in the industry. A panel discussion was also a part of the conference that was moderated by Gabriel Solomon, the GSMA’s Vice President for Public Policy. After brief introductions by each of the panelists, Mr. Solomon invited panelists to share their perspectives on how to ensure mobile enabled services can be extended in Pakistan in order to bring the benefits of mobile and mobile internet connectivity to as many people as possible.
In particular, panelists were invited to give their impressions of the key barriers that digital inclusion through mobile faces in Pakistan and what policies are being, or should be, introduced by the Government to address such issues. The panel included dignified personalities from the telecom industry of Pakistan:
- Mr. Aslam Hayat (Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Telenor Pakistan)
- Mr. Henry Parker (GSMA)
- Mr. Mohammed Sulaiman
- Dr. Shoab A Khan, Chairman, ([email protected])
- Mr. Mohamed Bilal Khan (Senior Manager, Taxation and Fixed Assets, CM Pakistan)
- Mr. Mudassar Husain (Member, Telecom, Ministry of Information & Technology)