World telecommunication day observed in Pakistan

08:07, May 18, 2010      

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Information and communication technologies (ICT) companies in Pakistan, like all over the world, observed the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day throughout the country on Monday.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) as a major partner has joined hands with the International Telecommunication Union ( ITU) to celebrate the day with a theme of "Better City, Better Life with ICTs."

Billions of people living in cities around the world have become defendant on ICT-based facilities for their daily life activities and in Pakistan about 33 percent of the total population lives in urban centers.

The day was initiated as "World Telecommunication Day" in 1973 and later in 2006 the International Telecommunications Union with the approval of United Nations Assembly officially declared that May 17 as the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD).

This day mainly aims to raise awareness of the benefits of ICT tools and societal changes brought about by the television, radio, mobile phones, the Internet and new technologies while aiming to reduce digital divide.

This year's WTISD activities in Pakistan are to ensure that ICTs will also contribute to improve quality of life for the rapidly increasing global urban population in the country.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari appreciated the ITU and said that denying or making it difficult to access the latest telecom technologies will deprive the people's the right to end poverty.

"Realizing the importance of modern telecom for better life, the government of Pakistan has taken measures to further develop the telecom sector and also press it into service of the people," Zardari said in his official message.

Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in his message also recognized the importance of telecommunications during the reconstruction phase after the earthquake in Pakistan.

"This year's observance is a reminder that there is a need to take initiatives aimed at achieving greener, safer, healthier, prosperous, inclusive and well-managed cities," said Gilani.

Muhammad Latif Khosa, Minister for IT and Telecom said that convergence of telecommunication and IT services has created a global telecommunication and information society infrastructure, connected to information networks across the world.

"Our telecommunication systems are interlinked, online transactions, e-commerce, banking, telemedicine, e-government and other e-initiatives are extensively being deployed throughout Pakistan," Khosa said.

It is hoped that the day will generate awareness among masses to change and improve their quality of life with the ICT revolution for "Green Telecom" in Pakistan.

"After achieving considerable success in providing better telecommunication facilities in the cities, we are also targeting the remote and underserved areas of the country to bring them at par with technologically developed cities," said Dr. Muhammad Yasin, Chairman PTA.

Because the majority of Pakistani population is illiterate and less familiar with the use of English language, the government is now focusing on the development of local contents and applications.

According to PTA, out of 100 persons 58 use mobile phones, 2.1 use fixed phones, 10.50 use internet and 1.6 persons are using wire phones. Pakistan is at the 128th number in the list of 158 countries who have access to and capability of the information communication technology in the world.

According to experts of both social and information sector in Pakistan the condition of nation's health and efficiency in agriculture can be improved with the introduction of information technology in these departments.

Currently in Pakistan the number of fixed phones is 3.5 million and that of wireless phones is more than 2.5 million. According to PTA data, 96 million people are using mobile phones in Pakistan.

Source: Xinhua
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