Though the number of mobile users in Pakistan has increased exponentially, the sad reality is that most of these users still have a voice-only device. The biggest hurdle that inhibits people from switching to a smartphone is its skyrocketing price, which pushes them further and further away, from the grasp of the lower socio-economic group. Internet accessibility has become the backbone of education these days. How are students expected to pursue and progress in their studies if they can’t even afford a basic smartphone? Is education restricted only for the affluent? Or is it the path one takes to achieve prosperity? If so, then why have the authorities turned a blind eye towards this and added to their misery, by levying an assortment of taxes on smart-phones. A report by the international GSM Association stated that taxes on mobile consumers and operators in Pakistan are the highest in developing Asia.

Thus, it is requested that the authorities take this matter into attention and slash these heavy taxes. Another way of shrinking the coverage gap is for cellular companies to launch instalment payment packages so that it trims off the up-front cost. If this is a viable option in countries like China, then why not here? In the event of a customer defaulting payment to one service provider, the user is prohibited to purchase any other connection. Consequently, a smartphone becomes an affordable commodity, thereby increasing internet penetration in the country.

BUSHRA AHMED,

Multan.