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Telecom policy-2015 implementation to act as catalyst towards achieving knowledge based society: Anusha.

ISLAMABAD -- Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunications, Anusha Rahman on Tuesday said implementation of telecom policy-2015 would boost the sector and act as a catalyst towards achieving knowledge based society.

The telecom policy review was due in 2008 which was not done during term of the previous regime but present government after taking office took up the review and integration of policies on priority basis, she said.

The Minister was addressing the launching ceremony of Telenor Pakistan report which elucidates nation's potential of adopting digital solutions. The report entitled Realizing Digital Pakistan has been prepared by Telenor Group with consultative collaboration from TechPolis.

SVP Telenor Group and Chairman Telenor Pakistan, Tore Johnsen, Chairman, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Dr. Syed Ismail Shah, Executive Director of Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) CEO Telenor and Heads of Telecom Companies, senior officials of MoIT, PTA, FAB, academia and media attended the ceremony.

Anusha Rahman said when the present government took office there many challenges but pending matters of national importance such as 3G/4G auction, Grey Traffic and Telecommunications Policy were taken up.

Since then, she said the Ministry of IT has achieved several milestones such as policy intervention to curb grey traffic, which resulted in increase of incoming traffic from less than 400 million minutes to over 1.5 billion minutes per month.

Also, Pakistan re-emerged at the international fora by winning the ITU Council seat last year and has been very active on all associated and related fora, auction of spectrum for 3G/4G and many other steps for underserved and unserved areas of Pakistan.

The Minister appreciated efforts of Telenor Pakistan in realizing the digital competence of Pakistan and staying committed to developing a digital innovation ecosystem in the country.

The comprehensive report launched by Telenor Pakistan reflects how the country proceeds when it comes to utilizing digital technology in various walks of life, and the immense potential it carries for securing a better future for its people.

She also lauded some of other Telenor Pakistan's pioneering initiatives towards expanding overall internet ecosystem in the country including launch of Pakistan's first secure online payment solution Easypay by Easypaisa among others.

In his address, Chairman Telenor Pakistan, Tore Johnsen said Pakistan has an immense potential of piloting a sustainable digital turnaround and added as shown in the report, this is achieved by embracing innovative digital solutions in areas such as education, health and governance.

He said with the ambition of delivering Internet for All, Telenor Group strives to be a long-term partner in realizing a Digital Pakistan, together with the government, the private sector, academia and civil society, he said.

The report states that in five years or less, Pakistan can attain digital connectivity indicators similar to Malaysia. Five pillars have been identified to secure a better future for the people of Pakistan via ample utilization of digital technologies.

The report also contributes to the vision laid out by the Planning Ministry in their document Pakistan 2025 -One Nation, One Vision.

The five pillars are further supported with targets which specifically mark different areas for collaboration between the government and the private sector. These targets include providing internet access to schools and hospitals and mobile access for farmers, tripling the e-commerce value in Pakistan by 2020, providing added transparency and access to government policies, budgets and services.

Additionally, it also charts out a pathway for Pakistan to leverage technology by establishing modern IT incubators.

Chairman PTA, Dr. Ismail Shah expressed satisfaction to see the country is now embracing digital technology as a powerful tool that is not just a means of communication, but a life-changing catalyst.

Alongwith other cellular operators, Telenor Pakistan has played an important role in making digital technology accessible to the people of Pakistan, he said and hoped the company continues its pursuit of a digital Pakistan where common people have access to better healthcare, education and governance at their fingertips.

Delivering the welcome note, Michael P. Foley, CEO Telenor Pakistan said Pakistan has a plethora of digital opportunities and we at Telenor, envision a future where those opportunities can be utilized to enable widespread digitalization.

He said with the launch of this report, we are putting countrywide digital access at the center and attaching utmost priority to offering cutting-edge technological solutions to facilitate digital connectivity.

Introducing the report, Ricardo Tavares, CEO TechPolis, said Pakistan can leverage the expansion of broadband access to reform public services and the economy and unleash a new era of job creation, quality-of-life improvement and economic growth.

The country can utilize its ample repertoire of technological talent and innovative solutions to revolutionize public services in the domains of education, healthcare, and agricultural assistance. This report presents a comprehensive view on how Pakistan can truly usher in an era of innovation and progress that can improve the lives of ordinary people.

He said to realize a digital Pakistan, close coordination is required between government, the private sector, academia and civil society and added together they can expand connectivity and build innovation centers to support Pakistan's transition to the digital economy.
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jan 20, 2016
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