Moving up to 3G
3G ( Third Generation) technology is being considered as the gateway for an augmented bandwidth, multiple mobile application and clarity of digital signals. As the basic feature of 3G technology is faster data transfer rates, a new era awaits the country’s millions of mobile phone users, with a faster and more robust Internet and better access to data services including e- commerce, social networking and telemedicine.
The government of Pakistan has decided in principle to move from 2G to 3G telecom technology to upgrade its status in the IT sector. The approval of the 3G policy for Pakistan has come in principle from Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who nodded to the Ministry of Information Technology ( IT) to take appropriate measures to introduce the technology in the country. The IT Ministry is engaged in directing the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority ( PTA) to invite potential investors for bringing 3G technology into the country.
A federal cabinet subcommittee has been formed to forward recommendations to the Prime Minister to introduce 3G technology in Pakistan. Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh heads the Committee, while Petroleum Minister Dr. Asim Hussain, Water and Power Minister Naveed Qamar and Privatization Minister Ghaus Bux Mehar are members of the committee.
The recommendations forwarded by the Committee endorse the huge opportunity for foreign investors in Pakistan’s IT sector. With an effective economic impact, 3G technology will be vital for creating employment opportunities for youth qualified in the field of IT. More importantly, the technology will strengthen government’s networking through speeding up e- governance projects.
The benefits of high- speed mobile data services available to over 300 million subscribers in over 125 countries, significantly around the Americas, Europe, and South East Asian countries.
Currently, 2.5G services have limitations of speed in terms of bandwidth to needing applications and services. As a large number of people are experiencing broadband on fixed line, they have similar expectations for wireless broadband access also.
Launch of 3G bandwidth offers intensive services like video streaming, etc. which will enhance overall user experience. People will use their phones for entertainment rather than just making calls. As a result, value added services (VAS) revenues are expected to increase dramatically.
3G offers applications such as MMS, video conferencing, gaming, GPS, m- Commerce, online shopping, calendar synchronization and white board applications that can recognize several languages in handwritten form. Remote home monitoring systems would be commonplace in a few years and there will be a huge demand for mobile number portability and instant messaging, mobile TV and convergent communication which would be consumer- centric.
From a technological point of view, in areas where no fixed- line infrastructure exists, deploying a mobile network is much cheaper and it can be rolled out a lot faster than wired infrastructure