How Will 3G Im­pact IT In­dus­try

Enterprise - - Contents -

The ques­tion isn’t what 3G will change – it’s what 3G won’t change?

The po­ten­tial of high-speed In­ter­net car­ries within it the in­her­ent pos­si­bil­i­ties for so­cial and economic change. Es­pe­cially for a coun­try like Pak­istan where the gov­ern­ment is un­able to pro­vide its cit­i­zens with ad­e­quate re­sources and in­fra­struc­ture, in­ter­net-based tech­nolo­gies born out of both and in­suf­fi­cient elec­tric­ity, wire­less con­nec­tions give them a chance to work, con­nect, learn and play. Not to men­tion, it will also boost the tele­com in­dus­try and avert the cri­sis it is fac­ing.

Nowhere will this change be more ap­par­ent than in the IT in­dus­try. High­speed In­ter­net forms the back­bone of new blood en­ter­ing this sec­tor and in sup­port­ing ex­ist­ing en­ter­prises grow big­ger and bet­ter. Much of

ac­cess to In­ter­net.

Pak­istan Con­text

How­ever, th­ese po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ments are not to be mis­taken for view­ing 3G as some sort of bound­less op­por­tu­nity, and not un­der­stand­ing that there are cer­tain lim­its to what 3G can es­tab­lish on its own.

Ac­cord­ing to Pak­istan Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Au­thor­ity fig­ures as of March 2014, the per­cent­age of ne­ces­sity and in­no­va­tion will play a greater role in solv­ing so­cial prob­lems and ad­dress­ing gaps in ser­vice pro­vi­sion.

Man­i­fold Ben­e­fits

Peo­ple used to get stuck on roads due to bad weather, ac­ci­dents and road works. Now they will be able to track their jour­ney and de­lays with their smart­phones ap­pli­ca­tions which will as­sist them in know­ing ad­vance about road­con­di­tions, maps and much more in real time.

Doc­tors and hos­pi­tals will be able to make bet­ter use of faster In­ter­net through the trans­mis­sion of scans and re­ports, es­pe­cially when trans­port­ing pa­tients. For a coun­try de­pen­dent on spo­radic the fo­cus th­ese past few years has been on sup­port­ing a grow­ing num­ber of star­tups spring­ing up all over Pak­istan. As Syed Is­mail Shah, Chair­man PTA, says, “Th­ese next gen­er­a­tion ser­vices will en­cour­age such in­no­va­tors and play their role in the over­all devel­op­ment of the IT and Tele­com in­dus­try.”

Young and talented techies and en­trepreneurs are los­ing out due to is­sues with elec­tric­ity, slow In­ter­net and in some ar­eas of Pak­istan, even An­nual Cellular Mo­bile Tele­den­sity in Pak­istan is 74.9 per­cent. But ac­cord­ing to a Pew Re­search study, the fig­ure is some­what dif­fer­ent. It states that 53 per­cent of Pak­ista­nis own cell phones, and out of th­ese 3 per­cent own smart­phones. This is a dis­mal fig­ure, given the op­por­tu­ni­ties peo­ple with this fa­cil­ity can avail.

Given that emerg­ing star­tups in Pak­istan, es­pe­cially those de­vel­op­ing new apps, need public in­ter­est and sup­port to grow, this small per­cent­age of smart­phone users poses a prob­lem.

The pro­vi­sion of 3G ser­vices has cre­ated the op­por­tu­nity for the public to con­nect with th­ese bud­ding en­trepreneurs in what can be a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial re­la­tion­ship,

where en­trepreneurs come up with ideas that solve ex­ist­ing prob­lems in our so­ci­ety, and the public re­sponds by adopt­ing th­ese and in­creas­ing their busi­ness po­ten­tial.

How­ever, the scope of this process is likely to re­main limited un­less more peo­ple get in­volved in us­ing th­ese ser­vices.

3G Will Pave the Way

It is ex­pected that the long wait and hype around new pack­ages and faster in­ter­net ser­vices will get more peo­ple ex­cited about get­ting on board with smart­phones and faster 3G speeds, and this will spur a new gen­er­a­tion of techies cater­ing to the needs and in­ter­ests of mil­lions of new users.

While 3G alone is not suf­fi­cient to guar­an­tee a boost in the IT in­dus­try, it is a nec­es­sary com­po­nent of the process, and this sec­tor can­not move for­ward with­out this fa­cil­ity be­ing avail­able to new and old movers and shak­ers.

This is not to say there aren’t many economic ben­e­fits ac­cru­ing solely to the in­tro­duc­tion of 3G ser­vices in Pak­istan. The devel­op­ment of in­fra­struc­ture, the in­creased con­nec­tiv­ity, the in­crease in job cre­ation and many other ben­e­fits fac­tor into the in­crease in GDP that will re­sult for the coun­try.

A fea­ture in the Econ­o­mist stated: “A re­cent study by a Bri­tish con­sult­ing firm, com­mis­sioned by the Pak­istani gov­ern­ment, pre­dicted that by in­creas­ing economic ac­tiv­ity it could help cre­ate up to 900,000 jobs over the next four years, and bring in hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars a year of new tax rev­enues.”

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