The government is encouraging cellular companies to manufacture and assemble mobile phones in the country aimed at bringing down the increased prices of cell phones, said Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque.
During the inauguration of Software Technology Park at Hyderabad Institute of Arts, Science and Technology, he said, “We want our people to be able to buy a good quality mobile phone from Rs8,000 to Rs12, 000 instead of paying Rs50, 000 to Rs100, 000.”
He said that had previous governments planned the same much earlier, the prices of cell phones would have been low in addition to creation of more job opportunities in the country. He also witnessed the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) and Hyderabad Institute of Arts, Science and Technology (HIAST).
Terming the MoU a ‘major achievement’, he said it covered multifaceted cooperation in terms of establishing a software technology park at the university campus, capacity building, online training, developing linkages between academia and the industry besides facilitating the IT start-ups and freelancers.
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He said that currently as many as 16 software technology parks across the country with 1,169,500 square feet of space were offering state-of-the-art facilities to the technology companies. He noted that the country’s IT industry had achieved significant expansion and growth in exports but it remained focused in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore only. Haque informed the audience, “We have to increase 4G penetration to 50% before launching the 5G while 4G internet users now constituted 41% of the mobile internet users.”
The minister said that the government was trying to provide 3G and 4G internet services in the areas where the service was not available.
Meanwhile, on a separate occasion, the IT minister said remarked that consumers should know their rights and the appropriate forum to get their issues resolved. While speaking at the 4th Consumer IT and Telecom Conference on Saturday, Haque said the world is changing rapidly and new applications of smart phones are being introduced every day.
“We need to ponder over the changes and also need to make for moving along the world,” he added. He said that the IT ministry was closely monitoring the new trends and technologies.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2021.
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