Transition: Concrete framework required with 3G arrival

Published: April 13, 2014
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The consultancy centre will be located on the proposed PTA platform for developing innovative communication policies and services for carriers and carriage service providers. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

The consultancy centre will be located on the proposed PTA platform for developing innovative communication policies and services for carriers and carriage service providers. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

MELBOURNE: The Pakistan Telecommuni­cation Authority (PTA) is taking the next step towards high-speed internet and long-term evolution (LTE) networks.

However, it needs to be aware of the importance of value-added applications in 3G services, regarding rural telephony, as it is now focusing on improving and spreading telephone services in far-flung areas.

Former PTA chairman Dr Muhammad Yasin has already taken an initiative to introduce the concept of consultancy. A new division – Strategy and Development – would work as a think tank and advise the authority on dealing with future telecom infrastructure constraints.

The consultancy centre will be located on the proposed PTA platform for developing innovative communication policies and services for carriers, carriage service providers and content service providers. It will be a true incubation centre open to anyone with an idea of telecom services.

To be relevant, such services must respond to local needs and remove the constraints imposed by IT agencies. PTA should closely consider the recommendations in collaboration with the IT boards in all provinces, especially the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).

The role of PITB has to be widened, most importantly, in order of priority, in relation to the relevance of the innovative idea in terms of 3G/4G services, the credibility of IT recommendations, and the technical and methodological competences.

People at the IT board of each province should be trained for a certain period in the use of products pertaining to high speed, methodologies and support while implementing the main codes, rules and guidelines governing particular aspects of telecommunications, developed by PTA and IT boards of provinces.

It is important to mention here that standard rules or guidelines similar to content ownership and industry codes, should be determined jointly by the PITB and PTA.

Technical standards should cover technical parameters of customer equipment, such as cables and networks. In the end, PTA should certify the operators.

Objectives

Much of the South Asian region is enjoying high levels of telecom growth. But in Pakistan, infrastructure and subscriber growth patterns seem unrivalled with the telecom sector experiencing unusually high growth.

It is Pakistan’s mobile market that is driving the vibrancy and in turn it is high level of competition and investment as well as low tariffs and strong consumer demand that are powering mobile growth.

The main objective of the 3G/4G project is to develop and enrich the portfolio of services and applications that can be delivered through the telecommunication wire-line and 3G wireless networks.

No doubt the future 3G licensing will not only attract hefty revenue, but will also lead to network upgrade that will assist local and foreign operators to materialise their dreams and transform them into an industrial reality.

PTA should issue policy guidelines and strategies to ISPs, cellular mobile, and LDI, LL and WLL operators to address illegal call termination/origination and the ownership of digital mobile content.

While approving a licence to upgrade the overall network from 2.5G to 3G, there must be guidelines and a few approaches to resolve certain issues such as illegal commercial/anti-state usage of high-speed data.

The result will be a win-win situation where all stakeholders will benefit from the large dissemination of such services.

These are core issues, although the problem looks hard to tackle due to certain reasons:

First, telecommunication fraud has always been difficult to control and as technology advances, it is often the bad guys who exploit it first. Second, there was no comprehensive thought plan for tackling this at the moment either with PTA/PITB and IT agencies of other provinces.

Background and justification

In the spirit of the MDG and its eighth goal (in collaboration with the private sector, make available the benefit of new technologies – especially information and communication technologies), the UN convened a World Summit on Information Society with the agenda “Bridging the digital divide”.

Bridging the digital divide is a tremendous challenge that can only be overcome through a mixture of technological innovation, international collaboration and innovative approaches and strong ties between IT and telecom sectors to simulate and formulate ICT concept.

Therefore, rolling out of 3G/LTE project is a good illustration of innovation but it must be in collaboration with PITB where ICT leader teams would be monitoring the public and private stakeholders in order to facilitate innovative approaches to bridge the digital divide and wherever necessary acting as a task force to identify the issues and regulations.

The writer is manager of ICT services CFA Victoria, Australia

Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Above
    Apr 13, 2014 - 11:43PM

    We don’t need more regulation. The author points out the high growth in the telecoms sector. That came about because of deregulation and free enterprise. Please, please spare us your think tanks and other government bodies. We don’t need them. They will only hold us back. You’ve already held us back by delaying 3G licenses. No more!

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  • Ahmad
    Apr 30, 2014 - 10:30PM

    @Above: Just to add a bit more my friend it is not the regulation or dergulation which hold the policy or rule but the state of the mind. I am the whistle blower and vocal of deregulation since it promotes competition and thhings gets better in service and quality..

    propper regulations and strict implementation thereafter makes usage and protect the rights of the consumers and the people who are happy to use the product but do not know what is running this product. So since they are our people and ripping of the innocnet people by announcing Junggle Laws such as Sender of an offensive SMS will be hanged or put behind 14 years of imprisonment is not sane.

    My main emphasis is yes 3G / 4G and Hi-Speed technology is need of time but there should be ownership laws may be defined whom should be responsible.

    I believe you should be agree with me now>>>
    Regards
    Ahmad Rizwan

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  • Faryal
    May 3, 2014 - 7:27PM

    @Ahmad:Ahmad Rizwan firstly I would like to thank for blowing whistle on ownership of digital mobile content. I also thanks Express tribune for bringing this critical issue in public.In our country the remedies are suggested after disaster happens.They never put ears on articles from think tank such as the one Ahmad wrote. Please see below and read carefully how cvilised nations thinks
    “Although the problem is statistically small at present, the issues raised by it will continue to grow in significance as the technology develops. If an attempt is not made to come to grips with it at this point, the difficulty of doing so at a later date can only be expected to increase. Further, to do nothing at all at this time may be interpreted by the segment of the community which abuses, or may abuse, the technology as an admission of impotence by government (Commonwealth of Australia, Attorney General’s Department and Department of Communication and the Arts “

    This is how we should think instead running after the easy way to plug & play the system without knowing prone & corns of the usage procedure. Once again this very important to fix responsibility of content ownership before the hi-speed transfer of internet streaming videos become handy for people who dislike regulations and hust desire to acquire such technology

    Faryal
    Islamabad.

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  • Alli
    May 3, 2014 - 7:39PM

    @Above:Hi I would second Mr Ahmad point as he very timely raised issue of mobile content. Thanks for the Express Tribune for this valuable article as we must find out first the who should be fixed responsibility in case of transferring an offensive content within a flash of second ? the country like Pakistan we can only think Oh! fine if some one caught sending offensive sms will be put behind bar for 14 years or will liable to be capital punishment amazing.
    We are yet not civilized and just wanted run after things overnight. Never think before hand and later start crying on TV talk shows.
    Please please always try to think thousand time before playing with the technology remember technology is blessing if used properly and within the framework of rule as Mr Ahmad suggested I would once again thanks Ahmad for highlighting these point.

    Further Service providers wanted to Maximize profit and only profit they do not care of rules

    Regards

    Alli
    Ottawa

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  • Nay Sayako
    May 4, 2014 - 11:30AM

    @Alli:
    I would only say the the person who can well understand the Mobile content ownership can understand what Mr Ahmad desired to explain. Very well said at very right time. Pkaistan in future getting high density of mobile users and if they are unaware of 3G/4G speed of streaming video transfer they might be playing dangerously with the technology. Lawfull usage of realtime streaming can end up with results which might be not in favour of innocent people.

    Technology is blessing as well as dangerous for the people who disregard frameworks of rules

    Thanks express tribune for this issue to bring online

    Thanks
    Sayako
    Tokyo

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  • Sayako
    May 4, 2014 - 12:42PM

    @Nay Sayako:
    Please this line <> as Unlawful usage of ………>> sorry it is typo

    Thanks
    Sayako
    Tokyo

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  • Thomas Kepler
    May 4, 2014 - 1:33PM

    @Above:
    I would second Mr Ahmad Yes Rapid changes in technology generate opportunities for theft that can be exploited by criminals for financial gain. Only after thieves experience some success does the government, or private industry, take steps to reduce the opportunities for theft. This improvement in detection and / or prevention technology must then be matched, or surpassed, by criminals if they are to avoid apprehension.

    Thmas Kepler
    New York

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  • Javeed
    May 4, 2014 - 4:58PM

    @Nay Sayako:
    Yes if we go to the market and buying some $2 item we look arround different shops, read operation mannual and procedure how to use the item. But when we go for million of million dollars technology to buy we just wanted to plug & start playing. This is ridiculas please be aware of certain rules and regulations before you jump on new technology

    Javeed
    karachi

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  • Naveed Asharaf
    May 4, 2014 - 6:59PM

    @Above:
    I think you believe on Proverb ” haste makes waste”. Please be passion let the telecom providers show them-self. Until we keep on accepting what they offer and later if we go back to them for redresses of our grievousness they seldom care. Rules keep them tight and behaved . Keep on Ahmad I believe you are the one we should keep on reading thanks once again and Mr accepting all without rules just like other Pakistani please be passion

    Thanks
    Naveed
    U A E

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  • Thomas Kepler
    May 5, 2014 - 11:55AM

    @Ahmad:
    When I will be reading your next input???? I am at the moment working very close with Asian Telecom activities and recording implementation processes of 3G/4G accordingly. Definitely I collect and gather any input if I go through related artcle like the one you wrote and your efforts are spectacular in this regards

    Thanks
    Thommy
    New York

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  • Ahmad
    May 6, 2014 - 8:59PM

    @Thomas Kepler:
    Hi Thomas I have one article already with express tribune waiting on its turn. That relates how we can prevent mobile crime. What factors constitute and motivate for offending ? and what sort of regulatory respones requires to nip them. Mobile telephony like other developments in telecommunications technology could be seen as a double-edged sword.

    Thanks for keeping me in touch
    Cheers
    Ahmad Rizwan

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  • Ajay Lal
    May 12, 2014 - 1:43PM

    @Ahmad:
    It is wise enough to get yourself well prepared before say “YES” to new thing. Wise people always cross the road after careful watch on right then left and again on right. I would only say no matter you get things after some minoe delay but that is much better then you get things early and start facing issues to handle and sustain it for next generation in an accurate manner

    Regards
    Ajay
    Fiji

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