KARACHI (Hassan Jawwad) – The 3G technology can enable citizens to communicate each other with fast, easy and more clarity, said Intel Pakistan Country Manager Naveed Siraj.

In an exclusive interview to The Nation, he said the introduction of 3G will benefit masses with better access to information, faster data interchange and multimedia services through mobile phones. Although 3G is no longer a new technology, Pakistan lags behind in terms of availability of high-performance mobile broadband services. The mobile market is reaching saturation point, and operators are keen to launch 3G in order to increase service revenues. Therefore, it’s a massive step forward for mobile phones in Pakistan, he added. The auction has been pending for a long time but with all good things. The new 3G spectrum will enable companies to tap more revenue from fast-growing data services and reduce regulatory costs under a new licencing regime.

Pakistan faces significant economic, governance and security challenges to achieve durable development outcomes. It is an emerging market and challenges we face, offer a wealth of opportunities to us. We have huge untapped potential and we are determined to support sustainable growth in the IT sector. For example, there is still a large segment of the Pakistani population that doesn’t have access to technology. Keeping in mind this, I feel there is immense potential for Pakistan’s progress in these areas. There are also challenges in the education sector as do all other developing countries. Although, as a nation, potential human resources are available in abundance, Pakistan has not been able to prepare its workforce fully to face today’s knowledge about economy. These are areas where effective strategies are needed to integrate technology.

The government, towards promoting IT and application in business, has definitely invested in the sector. The government with its agencies such as PTA and USF has been supporting the company wholeheartedly in the promotion of computer literacy and technology application in under-served and un-served areas. They have created favourable IT policies to encourage the industry to adopt the IT in a faster fashion. As far as infrastructure and policy is concerned; more needs to be done which could ensure that IT is affordable for the man on the street. We are trying to build awareness of ICT and the need for infrastructure investment by both public and private sector. There is tremendous scope for growth in the IT industry in Pakistan, together with connectivity and content especially for our rural population, it will greatly enhance the quality of peoples’ lives, he said. SMEs are the backbone of our economy and at Intel, we are proud to be facilitating their digital environment, which would not only boost their productivity and efficiency but also impact the economy on a macro level.

Improving digital literacy in Pakistan is also critical to developing local commerce, enabling it to keep pace with the world’s ever evolving economy. In this regard, we launched the Intel Easy Steps programme and held Intel SMB Technology Days in collaboration with KCCI and LCCI to showcase latest technology solutions for this sector.

The programme gives adult learners the opportunity to improve their social and economic self-sufficiency through digital literacy.