Future Prospects of Cellular Industry in Pakistan
This is a Guest Post by Malik Mirza, a professional chartered accountant working as senior manager finance in one of the telecommunication companies in Pakistan. Mirza regularly blogs at http://wisdomfrombooks.com
My father tells me that when they used to watch James Bond movies in cinema whereby the hero talked over a phone without wires, they used to discuss with each other: ‘Look at that – these western people are trying to make fool out of us. How can a person drive a car and talk’? That was around 35 – 40 years back. Now, as per PTA statistics, there were 107 million mobile phone subscribers in a country of around 165 million men, women and children!
To put it short, Pakistan has seen dramatic progress when it comes to mobile phones and telecommunications. Now the question is: What about the future? Where will we go from here?
No one has seen the future and any idea can be a ‘guess-timate’ only. However, being a professional working in telecommunication industry, here are a few guesses and prospects:
Broad band hungry applications
Mobile penetration is quite high and Teledensity is 64.8%. Hence, in order for mobile companies to make money, they need to ‘add value’ and go for ‘product differentiation’.
Video on demand and video conferencing are two products which are yet to be tested on high bandwidth. With Facebook integrating video chat with skype, it is expected that sooner or later, video on demand, TV streaming and video chatting will be ‘in’.
Companies may opt for ‘video conferencing’ between the cities to reduce travelling costs and bosses might love to see their employees while talking to them. All of this will result in increase in bandwidth consumption. In future, we will see ‘value added – bandwidth hungry’ products penetrating in the market.
Mobile Banking and cellular phones
Is your mobile phone just a mobile phone?
You might have watched some advertisements on television portraying that mobile phone is more than mobile phone – it’s a bank now! People are being made aware to transfer money from one place to another, pay their utility bills and credit card bills etc – all through mobile.
In developed countries, Apple is testing smart phones to act as credit cards. Hence, mobile phones won’t be mobile phones only. They will be more than just the mobile phones.
Penetration of Mobile Banking will increase and once other telecommunication companies will enter into the banking sector, people will start using phones for money transactions.
Increase in use of smart phone
With 53 million youth mobile users, it is expected that use of smart phones will increase.
Once the young population enters into the earning bracket with disposable income at their discretion, smart phone penetration is expected to have a direct correlation with such an increase.
Smart phones offer variety of different applications including books, social networking, weather, entertainment and other educational options. Youngsters being more ‘tech savvy’ are most likely to use those applications to their advantage. No wonder if one day our youth will be using smart phones as credit cards!
While preparing this article, when I was doing research, I also learnt that certain applications are being developed to use I-phone act as ECG machine.
It may happen that instead of wallets, people will use their smart phones!. This may also result in decrease in prices of smart phones too.
Communicating with ‘non-mobile’ devices
Here comes the James Bond idea: We would be able to open doors with mobile phones, control air conditioners with mobile phones and would be able to use mobile phones as remote controls for surfing television!.
More communication does not necessarily mean more cooperation. Technology provides us with tools. It is upto humans how to use those tools for maximum productivity and efficiency.
No one has yet seen the future and hence, future remains wrapped in the mysteries. We can observe trends and developments in science and technology and predict the future to a limited extent only.
There are people who work to make things happen and when those things happen, we adopt to those changes which are unheard of. Hence, let’s accept those changes which result in better communication and better cooperation!
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