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Pursuit of Global 3G deployments versus Pakistan

By Gulraiz Khalid

For the past few years cellular companies have been deploying 3G technology around the globe. After removal of the initial glitches, roll outs are going on like clock-work. According to a report more than 190 3G systems are in operation. Although they are in a launching stage, another twenty carriers have purchased the 3G infrastructure and will implement them soon. European countries are ahead of America in the deployment of 3G technology. Proponents of 3G argue that the expenses incurred will be overlooked by the users due to demand for mobile multimedia services, internet applications and improved voice quality.
Two thirds of the total license holders for WCDMA have initiated services. There are approximately a hundred and five WCDMA networks that have been established in 47 countries. WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) is being accepted as the latest 3G standard. These have been launched by 38 suppliers.
According to data by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Korea, Italy and Japan rank top on the list of countries that have successfully deployed the 3G technology. Countries are readily adapting to 3G technologies day by day except Pakistan that has been left behind in this race.
The cellular subscribers, vendors and authorities in Pakistan are enthusiastic about the launch of 3G in Pakistan with smooth up gradation, yet the incapability of the operators is a serious blockage in the way for the implementation of 3G networks. 3G having its high license price is one of the main reasons. Telecommunication companies are reluctant to invest such huge amounts.
Other challenges faced by the telecommunications companies in Pakistan, as per PTA official, are low average revenue per user, heavy taxation, import duties and low tele-density in remote areas of the countries.
IT sector of Pakistan should provide methods to educate common masses about the benefits of data usage and the available methods ready to be used in rural and urban areas. Even with the low literacy rate and low progress there is hope from the growing middle class. This sector comprises approximately 8-10% of the population but even that is not enough to implement a positive change. Demand for latest technology can already be seen in the working and education sector of Pakistan. How and when the transition takes place is yet to be seen. The basis formed for better data usage can certainly channelize the revenues when 3G is formerly deployed in Pakistan.

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