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ICT convergence revolution in Pakistan

Published on 30th Mar, Edition 13, 2015

 

Over the years Pakistan has witnessed boom in information technology and telecommunication. The successive governments kept the lowest possible import duty on computers, which increased number of users of computer manifold. This was followed by induction of cellular telephony, the latest being introduction of 3G and 4G technology. With smart phones also being available at affordable cost now the users can receive/send e-mail, complete bank transactions, pay their utility bills with the help of a cellular phone. This has even reduced the importance of laptop and desktop computers. Use of debit and credit cards has also proliferated. It may not be wrong to say that now Pakistan is at par with most of the developed countries.

Around the world innovation are coming at the fastest rate and availability of internet even in the rural areas, mainly due to DSL technology has encouraged service providers to go for convergence of ICT technologies. In fact Pakistan is benefiting from technology revolution. The paradigm shift has been driven by commercial banks and cellular companies. Banks in an attempt to overcome their limited outreach deployed technology. The first move was introduction of ATMs offering facility to the accountholders to withdraw cash round-the-clock and irrespective of their location. This was fully supported by growing use of credit cards, freeing people from the inadequacy of cash. The other extensions are online banking system and electronic wallets.

People become technology savvy

These technologies are developing at a very fast pace, which often create serious problems for the service prodders as well as the users. Both of these have to keep on upgrading their systems, which requires additional funds. Banks have found it easier to deploy technology rather than expanding networks of brick and mortar branches. This also frees from handling one of the most difficult resource ‘human beings’. In the developed countries it has been felt that quality of service can be improved through deployment of technology, prime reason being high cost of human resource.

This often leads to very interesting debate that technology may be available in Pakistan but is the right quality of human resource available in the country? The deployment of newer technologies and growing use suggests that reasonably good quality of human resource is available, particularly in the urban areas. However, hike in number of computers, Internet connections, cellular population, online and mobile banking substantiate the belief that people have become technology savvy, irrespective of their location in urban or rural areas.

 

Initially there was perception that deployment of new technologies may result in unemployment in the country. Many cynics still believe this because they completely overlook the other side of story.

Does low level of literacy also affect technology savviness in the country?

Do you also share the perception that computer education in Pakistan is far fellow the standards being followed in our neighboring countries?

Do prolonged outages of electricity affect growth of ICT in Pakistan?

Why Pakistan has not been able to achieve any significant share in the global software export market?

What is your message for the future generation with regards to ICT?

One of the Has this not created cyber security problem? If the reply is in yes, what steps are being taken to overcome this issue?

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