How 3G Will Impact IT Industry?

3G Or 4G

By Hasan Saleem of

The question isn’t what 3G will change – it’s, what won’t 3G change?

The potential of high-speed Internet carries within it the inherent possibilities for social and economic change. Especially for a country like Pakistan where the government is unable to provide its citizens with adequate resources and infrastructure, internet-based technologies born out of both necessity and innovation will play a greater role in solving social problems and addressing gaps in service provision.

Manifold Benefits

Where once people got stuck on roads due to bad weather, accidents and road works, now they will be able to track their journeys and delays with their smartphones applications that can assist us with road-conditions, maps and much more in real time.

Doctors and hospitals will be able to make better use of faster Internet through the transmission of scans and reports, especially when transporting patients. For a country dependent on sporadic and insufficient electricity, wireless connections give them a chance to work, connect, learn and play. Not to mention, it will also boost the telecom industry and avert the crisis it is facing.

Nowhere will this change be more apparent than in the IT industry. High-speed Internet forms the backbone of new blood entering this sector, and in supporting existing enterprises grow bigger and better. Much of the focus these past few years has been on supporting a growing number of startups springing up all over Pakistan. As Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA, explained in an interview to MORE magazine, “These next generation services will encourage such innovators and play their role in the overall development of the IT and Telecom industry.”

These are young and talented techies and entrepreneurs who are losing out due to issues with electricity, slow Internet and in some areas of Pakistan, even access to Internet. Such services will increase the access of people living in areas where this is not available, as Syed Ismail Shah went on to explain: “Without such wireless technology, broadband penetration in the far flung areas is difficult”

Pakistan Context

However, these potential developments are not to be mistaken for viewing 3G as some sort of boundless opportunity, and not understanding that there are certain limits to what 3G can establish on its own.

According to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTS) figures as of March 2014, the percentage of Annual Cellular Mobile Teledensity in Pakistan is 74.9 percent. But according to a Pew Research study, the figure is somewhat different. It states that 53 percent of Pakistanis own cell phones, and out of these 3 percent own smartphones. This is a dismal figure, given the opportunities people with this facility can avail.

Given that emerging startups in Pakistan, especially those developing new apps, need public interest and support to grow, this small percentage of smartphone users poses a problem.

The provision of 3G services has created the opportunity for the public to connect with these budding entrepreneurs in what can be a mutually beneficial relationship, where entrepreneurs come up with ideas that solve existing problems in our society, and the public responds by adopting these and increasing their business potential.

However, the scope of this process is likely to remain limited unless more people get involved in using these services.

3G Will Pave The Way

It is expected that the long wait and hype around new packages and faster internet services will get more people excited about getting on board with smartphones and faster 3G speeds, and this will spur a new generation of techies catering to the needs and interests of millions of new users.

While 3G alone is not sufficient to guarantee a boost in the IT industry, it is a necessary component of the process, and this sector cannot move forward without this facility being available to new and old movers and shakers.

This is not to say there aren’t many economic benefits accruing solely to the introduction of 3G services in Pakistan. The development of infrastructure, the increased connectivity, the increase in job creation and many other benefits factor into the increase in GDP that will result for the country.

A feature in the Economist stated: “A recent study by a British consulting firm, commissioned by the Pakistani government, predicted that by increasing economic activity it could help create up to 900,000 jobs over the next four years, and bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year of new tax revenues.”

Writer is an accomplished business leader with expertise in affiliate marketing, social media, and business development and SEO.  His latest venture is called, a site focused on business, technology, and the startup culture in Pakistan.

  • “900,000 jobs over the next four years”

    I think Economist deliberately ignored the PML-N factor. We [including they all] know that it just can’t happen in “Sher Ki Party” time period.

        • Do you need my address to beat me? ;) You will be beat me for not supporting PTI and you call yourself “Democratic” party. Dear Inquiliabis, Remember one thing, Pakistan can’t be changed by Revolution. It can only be changed by evolution. Let it evolve by elections and don’t try to develop the Marshal law environment . On the lighter note, Wese ap ka leader IK kitna bewaqof hai ap log phir b usai leader kehtai hain, Musharaf ko samajnai main ghalti hui us se, Ifthikhar Ch. ko samajnai main ghalti, Chief election commissioner main samajnai main ghalti, aur to aur Geo News ko samajnai main bhi. Wese mind na kerna aur marna na mujhe “Lanat hai aisai dumb leader pe”. Ask him to leave politics or join some academy. :-) and hey, I voted for PTI in 2013 elections and am still not a PML-N supporter but it doesn’t mean I will support IK or PTI blindly.

      • Nigga please. You need to STFU for being a hyprocrite. You “knowingly” elect these tax chors and corrupt politicians and then be their “jiyalas” … and for what? Because “ROADS” ban rahi hain?

        Please do us all a favor. Go to a cliff. JUMP OFF AND DIE.

      • And boasted it would bring $2 Billion…

        Really,anyone who thinks anything can give us 900,000 in 4 years…you’re already ignorant about statistics. 9 LACS — where will you find that many qualified and competent people in this country?

        • failed/rejected pmln’s cronies, got prison-ed for thr “quaid”, wandering ppl on footpath with Sher;s badge on the chest and so many more…

      • Transparency ka malab pata hay aap ko? I mean “real meaning” and not just “dictionary meaning”?

        Rule of Transparency also states to disclose whatever “private profits” made or any “personal conflict of interest” to be made public. But it’d be most ironic to use the word Transparency for PMLN which gives all of its “family members” jobs at highest levels … “BECAUSE THEY CAN”.

      • Do we need 3g? In this country people die of hunger, highways and roads are not in proper condition, most of all we dont meet the need of electricity. Tumharay sher ne konsa teer mara hai. Is se sasta auction zardari karwa raha tha 3g ka us se packages rates bho cheap hotay aur isi ganjay sher ne us ke khilaf court main appeal karkay stay le lia tha.

  • Every thing has some drawbacks, you have only present one side of the picture, you haven’t show the other side of the picture which could be worst, because this is Pakistan man and I think so many people are not going to use 3g the way you are talking about.

    • I totally agree with you. Actually no one is going to use it to ites fullest because we in Pakistan dont have those equipments. For traffic we need special equipments on roads to track traffic and show it on maps and for health agriculture so on.

        • Not separate bidding but a separate License. It depends whether they set a fee or not.

      • AJK is an independent state which has its own president and prime minister. As far as I know Special Communication Organisation is responsible for AJK comission matters.

      • AJK is an independent state having its own president and prime minister. As far as I know AJK is under SCO (Special Communication Organisation) which is responsible for all communication matters.

        • SCO is not responsible to provide 3G or 4G from other companies. Its separate organization and allowed only to operate in that region.
          Soon companies will be issued separate licenses for AJK and GB.

          • SCO is responsible for communication services in AJK. Thats why they are offering mobile services in AJK.

            • Brother SCO is separate Identity, they are not responsible to provide Zong, Ufone,Telenor, Mobilink, Warid, PTCL or any other services we have in all other Pakistan.
              SCO has their own network in AJK and GB. They provide GSM, Telephony, Wireless, Broadband and many other services in the region.
              If you ask that SCOM which provides GSM, is going to launch 3G or 4G there than I guess No.
              It’s better if you visit their website.

  • I m on no ones side, PML or PTI, nor any other party. But this govt did get the auction through; no matter who set the foundation, it true business spirit, the govt gets the medal for that. Now the 900k jobs sounds hypothetical, but I am even happy with couple of 100K jobs. About resourcing this, it shouldn’t be an issue, there are hundreds of Universities in Pakistan and each puke out thousands every 6 months.
    what the govt is expected to do is build on the infra that have provisioned, and build this country.
    Any good thing for Pakistan is good for us. All parties do mostly bad stuff, but all do some good as well to survive.

    • I have interviewed some fresh graduates recently. In my experience (and in experience of my co-workers who also did interviewing), we have to reject 90% of them, at least 90%.

      And this is in a field where all people need are: 1. electricity, 2. computer, 3. internet, 4. understanding of the field (data structures, OOP things like that) 5. IMAGINATION.

      Their university gives them labs and time and space for 1-3 so that is taken care of. But they themselves are responsible for 4-5. Maybe 30% have 4. Fewer than 10% have 5.

      Really, you can churn out hundreds of excellent students with a CGPA of 3.5 out of 4 or higher but even out of those hundreds only a handful are the Great Ones that you want working for you or alongside you. Only they can be leaders.

  • By doing such things, PML-N or PTI or whatever do not favor us… it is every citizen of the any country;s right that his govt do such things… problem is that our minds are now set to the lower level and can’t think beyond this… in a developed country very few bother to discuss such things… bcz they are developed… with a mature “leadership”

  • 900,000 jobs ? how come?

    Company will prefer to train there existing employees for future technology instead of hiring new ones. Else what will the old tech. guys will do?

  • kya kahoo .. best answer is for current govt and for future govts . they need A OR more RINGMASTERS . werna yay sher .yay zardari . aur typical parties kha jayengi mulk aur awam ko .

  • It needs 50 more years to implement all this in Pakistan.
    We dont actually need 3g and 4g in Pakistan, more than 70% of population doesnt has money to buy food to fill their stomachs. They hardly eat something to survive, will these people use 3g?

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