Pakistan to Get 100% 3G Coverage By Year End: Anusha

Anusha Rehman Khan, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecom, has claimed that 100% of the country will enjoy 3G coverage at least by year end.

She was briefing the media at the World Economic Forum in a press conference that was attended by the Pakistani delegation headed by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Anusha said that currently the coverage of wireless broadband in Pakistan is at around 80%. She said that this figure is expected to go higher so that all of Pakistan is with-in the coverage area by December 2018

Not to mention, as per standards, only populated areas are accounted for while measuring the percentage of the cellular coverage area.

The IT Minister said that once the infrastructure will be in place to achieve 100 percent 3G coverage, Pakistan will be ready to focus on the demand side of the technology; such as providing training for the masses who want to attain the best of digital skills.

Anusha told the media that Pakistan is on its way to prepare 1 million freelancers in the country who will be trained with basic and advanced digital skills.

Pakistan’s IT exports grew from $300 million in 2013 to $3.3 billion in 2017

She also unveiled the plan for the establishment of e-commerce platform, a full value chain, and bringing about 50,000 artisans’ work online.

This government backed e-commerce store is likely to follow the footprints of Ali Baba, as the aim is to bring Pakistan’s home industry online and accessible for local and global markets.

Ms. Rehman also highlighted that Pakistan is giving special attention to empower girls. She told that more than 146,000 girls in Islamabad, Bait-ul-maals and women empowerment centers are currently learning how to code while using the latest state of the art technologies.

Anusha said that Pakistan has setup government-backed incubation centers in three major cities of the country. She mentioned that these over 100,000 square feet facilities are to help entrepreneurs and startups. While there are more such centers in queue, the ITMinister said that the youth of Pakistan are on a trajectory of building world-class solutions for people at home and abroad.

She emphasized that Pakistan is now fully focused towards building the skill-set of Pakistani masses to adopt technology for enhancing the productivity of people in the country.

She briefed that there are specialized training programs being provided for development of skilled human resource and as a result more than 20,000 skilled IT professions are produced by Pakistan every year.

Average per hour price of Pakistani freelancers is $15, as compared to $30 average global freelancing price

She said that due to all these new projects, new IT parks and special attention to the IT sector, the country’s IT exports have grown from a mere $300 million in 2013 to around $3.3 billion in just four years.

Anusha Rehman stressed that with 1 million freelancers set to join the ranks, Pakistan is going to become number one freelance market in the world.

She told the global media that Pakistan has set the target to attain $20 billion in IT exports by 2020.

She emphasized that Pakistan is a tremendous market with massive potential, and that too at almost half the price of the global average.

  • Please also inform the Wirld Economic Forum leaders that unlike in the USA where internet service is tax exempt your government has instituted tax at a whopping 33 percent. You can can cover all of Pakistan in a decade and a half old technology (ie 3G) but individuals cannot use it much because of the hefty taxes.

    • V.v.v.very valid point . Good observation. The writer of this article should have included this in .

      • How much income Tax do Pakistani’s pay compared to the US…… tax is paid .. one way or another… end of the day……… Pakistan has indirect taxation and others have direct ……..

        • Yeah its all so jumbled up to ensure hardly anyone apart from accountants get to understand the exact magnitude of what Pakistani’s end up paying . Include the fact that most of its not used for the public welfare anyway . We are for the rulers and not the other way around .

  • 100% coverage doesnt mean anything if only 25% of the population (50 million) is using broadband. Broadband has to be affordable also for the masses. 33% taxes do not help it.
    And what about violation of govt rules and regulations which is happening at IT Ministry where many senior officials such as Members continue to work at the ministry even after their contracts have expired and have not been renewed yet. An inquiry needs to be conducted in this regards.

    • Yes and these same Ministry officials are sitting on ptcl board. They claim that they are govt representatives for the percentage the Govt still owns. But do ministry of it officials need to sit on the board? Talk about conflict of interest.

      Minister of IT has no background in IT and is a lawyer but doesn’t even what understand conflict of interest means.

      Why does this happen to us Pakistanis only?

    • The above violations of contract expirations and double salary being drawn by Joint Secretary Abrar Husain has been recently reported by PakistanToday also. Such matters should be investigated by concerned authorities.

  • Tell ’em that we’re the only country in Asia that doesn’t have DTH services & cheap broadband as well. Also taking credit for Freelancers when you can’t even let them open Bank accounts or avail credit card facilities. typical grand standing Politicking.

  • The current govt has not constructed a single new IT park over the last 4-5 years. Also, economic data section of trade in goods and services on state bank’s website shows that IT exports in nov and dec 2017 were $60 and $65 million respectively. So if annualized, IT exports can be between $720-$780 million/year but not $3.3 billion like the IT minister is claiming. It’s just a pack of lies as usual!

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