President chairs meeting on upgradation of telecom sector

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan was lagging behind in broad band service and the wireless broadband solutions with latest technology especially 3G could fill this gap. It was told in a briefing meeting on the upgradation of the country’s telecom sector, chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Monday. The meeting was attended among others by Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar, Secretary General to the President M. Salman Faruqui, Federal Secretaries of Finance and IT Divisions, Chairman PEMRA Dr. Abdul Jabbar, Chairman PTA Muhammad Yasin, Chairman NTC Brig ® M. Younas and other senior officials.Briefing the meeting Secretary IT and Telecom Saeed Ahmed Khan informed that around 40% of the total international minutes terminated in Pakistan were coming into the country through grey channels causing significant loss to the telecom sector revenue.It was also informed that the existing mobile phone services were based on second generation technology and Pakistan was lagging behind in broad band service.Wireless broadband solutions with latest technology especially 3G could fill this gap, it was told. It was informed that more than 85% of the operators in the world have deployed 3G technologies due to its better coverage and faster data transfer abilities.

President Zardari directed that a committee comprising Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar and the representatives of the private sector to go through the proposal prepared in this regard by the IT Ministry and submit their recommendations to the Government at the earliest.The President also directed that another meeting to discuss this issue further be convened soon. – APP