Archive for April, 2010

PTA has published a comprehensive quarterly telecom review for Pakistan. The report, available at PTA website, is full of useful information, charts and numbers on various economic and business aspects of Pakistan telecom. For instance, the chart below (taken from the report) shows the revenue trend for Pakistan Telecom from 2007 to end of 2009.

telecom-revenue-growth-pakistan

The team which produced this deserves credit for producing a very informative and professional report. Here is a brief overview of the report content.

Page 1-12 Regulator Measures
Page 13-17 Telecom Economy
Page 18-24 Cellular Mobile Services
Page 25-34 Basic Services
Page 35-38 Broadband Services
Page 39-41 Telecoms in AJK and NA
Page 42-44 Complaint Cells

[Source: http://telecompk.net]

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  • Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Muhammad Yaseen, has said that the mobile banking regulatory framework would be introduced soon to facilitate the untraditional banking in the country.
    Speaking as chief guest at the inaugural session of the third international mobile conference, “MCB Mobile Commerce 2010″, which was organised jointly by PTA and TOTAL Communications here on Thursday in collaboration with State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) at a local hotel, he said PTA and SBP are jointly working to introduce a single framework for mobile banking sector in next quarter.
    He pointed out that the global mobile money industry has shown a phenomenal growth in size and scope with several modes of credit transactions, which can be made through bank branches, call centres, ATMs etc. Expressing astonishment over the lowest cost of money transaction through mobile banking, he said that a single transaction through such a mode costs only $0.08.
    He added that it provides convenience to the customers at a cheap transaction cost. According to World Bank, Pakistan was amongst the top 20 countries, which had received remittances of $6.1 billion in 2007, he said. Yaseen said that there is consensus that the mobile banking regulation should be introduced gradually.
    He added that PTA also wants to protect consumers and retain their trust in the regulators system. Later talking to reporters, Chairman PTA said that the 668 initiative was successful as the authority received some 7,48,290 complaints.
    The number of irregular SIMs was 1.4 million and 847,389 SIMs were regularised through the 668 inquiry service. PTA blocked 4,26,473 SIMs, while 1.02 million SIMs are yet to be regularised. He said that PTA plans to undertake another four phases of the 668 inquiry service to completely weed out the irregular SIMs from the cellular companies list. He added that PTA has cancelled no SIMs during the process.
    About the revenue growth in the telecom sector, Yaseen said that it has been 15 percent, while investment remained $1.6 million in 2008-09. He said that this sector attracted about $815 million of foreign direct investment, which is 22percent of the total FDI that the country received.
    He said that during the second phase of 668 inquiry service, PTA would change the status of SIMs issued for NIC in the past with CNIC to streamline the whole data. He said that with spread of a new cable, the broadband tariff would further decline, while use of wireless broadband has increased.
    Deputy Governor SBP, Yaseen Anwar, while speaking on the occasion as guest of honour, urged the commercial banks to focus on improving access to finance and promote financial inclusion without compromising on the safety of the overall banking system.
    He said that as a regulator, the State Bank would always facilitate the banking sector by providing various options to smoothly conduct its operation of financial intermediation. He said the SBP is also considering the non bank-led and Telco-led model of branchless banking. This would help in regulation, which extends beyond the direct supervisory role of the central bank. He said: “We may need to establish, as in some countries, a National Payments Council that will include other stakeholders to regulate this rapidly expanding business sector.”
    SBP Deputy Governor said that the central bank has issued guidelines for branchless banking as part of a broader strategy to create an enabling regulatory environment with the objectives of promoting financial inclusion. Anwar said that branchless banking is a significantly cheaper alternative to conventional branch-based banking, as it allows banks to offer financial services outside traditional bank premises.
    One inherent power of branchless banking is that it can be used to substantially increase the financial services outreach to the un-banked communities and in a broader perspective provides ways and means for promotion of financial inclusion in the country,” he added.
    He pointed out that the transactional volume and value of e-payments during a single quarter of October- December 2009 reached 46.4 million and Rs 4.1 trillion, respectively. Anwar said that branchless banking is no exception and its associated risks should be carefully identified and addressed.
    “Our guidelines address the agent related risks, wireless and technology risks, wireless network risks, user awareness risks, data & network security risks etc. We are confident our guidelines cover the ways and means to manage these risks,” he added.
    He said the SBP believes in encouraging innovative products and services in the financial sector. Giving the welcome address, President MCB Bank, Atif Aslam Bajwa urged that the longstanding social needs should be addressed for paving way for branchless banking system and its growth.
    He said that there should be an enabling regulatory framework. He observed that banks in Pakistan and in the developing world have failed to fulfil the social needs of the society, saying that only 15 percent people are connected to the banks in the country and one billion globally. He hoped that the mobile banking sector would grow.

    Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Muhammad Yaseen, has said that the mobile banking regulatory framework would be introduced soon to facilitate the untraditional banking in the country.
    Speaking as chief guest at the inaugural session of the third international mobile conference, “MCB Mobile Commerce 2010″, which was organised jointly by PTA and TOTAL Communications here on Thursday in collaboration with State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) at a local hotel, he said PTA and SBP are jointly working to introduce a single framework for mobile banking sector in next quarter.

    He pointed out that the global mobile money industry has shown a phenomenal growth in size and scope with several modes of credit transactions, which can be made through bank branches, call centres, ATMs etc. Expressing astonishment over the lowest cost of money transaction through mobile banking, he said that a single transaction through such a mode costs only $0.08.
    He added that it provides convenience to the customers at a cheap transaction cost. According to World Bank, Pakistan was amongst the top 20 countries, which had received remittances of $6.1 billion in 2007, he said. Yaseen said that there is consensus that the mobile banking regulation should be introduced gradually.
    He added that PTA also wants to protect consumers and retain their trust in the regulators system. Later talking to reporters, Chairman PTA said that the 668 initiative was successful as the authority received some 7,48,290 complaints.
    The number of irregular SIMs was 1.4 million and 847,389 SIMs were regularised through the 668 inquiry service. PTA blocked 4,26,473 SIMs, while 1.02 million SIMs are yet to be regularised. He said that PTA plans to undertake another four phases of the 668 inquiry service to completely weed out the irregular SIMs from the cellular companies list. He added that PTA has cancelled no SIMs during the process.
    About the revenue growth in the telecom sector, Yaseen said that it has been 15 percent, while investment remained $1.6 million in 2008-09. He said that this sector attracted about $815 million of foreign direct investment, which is 22percent of the total FDI that the country received.
    He said that during the second phase of 668 inquiry service, PTA would change the status of SIMs issued for NIC in the past with CNIC to streamline the whole data. He said that with spread of a new cable, the broadband tariff would further decline, while use of wireless broadband has increased.
    Deputy Governor SBP, Yaseen Anwar, while speaking on the occasion as guest of honour, urged the commercial banks to focus on improving access to finance and promote financial inclusion without compromising on the safety of the overall banking system.
    He said that as a regulator, the State Bank would always facilitate the banking sector by providing various options to smoothly conduct its operation of financial intermediation. He said the SBP is also considering the non bank-led and Telco-led model of branchless banking. This would help in regulation, which extends beyond the direct supervisory role of the central bank. He said: “We may need to establish, as in some countries, a National Payments Council that will include other stakeholders to regulate this rapidly expanding business sector.”
    SBP Deputy Governor said that the central bank has issued guidelines for branchless banking as part of a broader strategy to create an enabling regulatory environment with the objectives of promoting financial inclusion. Anwar said that branchless banking is a significantly cheaper alternative to conventional branch-based banking, as it allows banks to offer financial services outside traditional bank premises.
    One inherent power of branchless banking is that it can be used to substantially increase the financial services outreach to the un-banked communities and in a broader perspective provides ways and means for promotion of financial inclusion in the country,” he added.
    He pointed out that the transactional volume and value of e-payments during a single quarter of October- December 2009 reached 46.4 million and Rs 4.1 trillion, respectively. Anwar said that branchless banking is no exception and its associated risks should be carefully identified and addressed.
    “Our guidelines address the agent related risks, wireless and technology risks, wireless network risks, user awareness risks, data & network security risks etc. We are confident our guidelines cover the ways and means to manage these risks,” he added.
    He said the SBP believes in encouraging innovative products and services in the financial sector. Giving the welcome address, President MCB Bank, Atif Aslam Bajwa urged that the longstanding social needs should be addressed for paving way for branchless banking system and its growth.
    He said that there should be an enabling regulatory framework. He observed that banks in Pakistan and in the developing world have failed to fulfil the social needs of the society, saying that only 15 percent people are connected to the banks in the country and one billion globally. He hoped that the mobile banking sector would grow.

    Source: http://telecomnewspk.com/2010/03/mobile-banking-regulatory-framework-to-be-introduced-soon-pta/

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  • Mozilla goes Maemo

    11 Nov 2009 Mozilla Mobile team announced the release of Firefox for mobile beta 5, available for the Maemo OS2008 and Maemo 5 software platforms running on the Nokia N810 and N900 Internet Tablets.

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  • Mobilink, the country’s market leader in cellular communications and part of the Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) registered an increase in subscriber base and revenues for Q4 2009 as compared to previous quarter of the same year.

    Mobilink demonstrated positive trends in the fourth quarter of 2009 as the company’s revenues as per local currency showed an increase of 5.3% as compared to Q3, 2009. EBITDA for the same period rose by 16.2% and the EBITDA margin improved by 3.4%. ARPU for Q4 of 2009 as compared to the previous quarter was also up by 3.3%. The company’s net base increased approximately by 0.76 million subscribers in this period.

    Mobilink’s subscriber base has reached 30.8 million as of December 2009. Earning PKR 86.8 billion for the full year 2009, Mobilink managed to stabilize revenues in local currency despite a tough year for the country in terms of the law and order situation, continued inflation and currency devaluation as well as slow GDP growth and electricity load shedding that remained major constraints. The company’s average revenue per user (ARPU) also remained stable during 2009 in rupee terms.

    Commenting on the results, Rashid Khan, President and CEO, Mobilink, shared that the aggressive stance taken by the company in the wake of an overall stressful environment, backed byMobilink’s distinct advantages of coverage and quality, has paid off. We have retained market share, increased subscriber base and stabilized revenues in rupee terms, he said.

    With 31.5% market share as of December 2009 (as reported by PTAMobilink continues to bePakistan’s favorite cellular family.

    Source: http://telecomnewspk.com/2010/03/mobilink-revenues-grow-base-expands/

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  • Developers, here’s your chance to EARN a million rupees. Nokia’s 2010 Calling All Innovators contest has a special prize for developers who submit locally relevant applications (in Urdu or English) and content for use on Nokia devices by consumers living in Pakistan. Pakistan is one of the 11 countries where Nokia is offering the award for local content/apps.

    1. The best entry by a developer based in Pakistan will receive a special prize of 1,000,000/- PKR in cash.
    2. Additionally, two runners-up will get 500,000/- PKR in cash and 300,000/- PKR in cash respectively.
    3. This is an additional incentive – you could still be a global winner in one of the four categories!

      Source: http://telecompk.net/

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    3. The prestigious Gold Rating for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) is the first for a building in Romania, and recognizes the major investment in innovative environmental features made by Nokia.since its construction in 2007.

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    6. It is shown experimentally that impairments induced by dispersion and Kerr nonlinearity can be compensated digitally for polarization-division multiplexed wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) transmission. The method of digital backward propagation based on solving the Manakov equation can be used to efficiently compensate for the nonlinear interactions between orthogonally polarized channels.

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    9. The phenomenon of fast-light pulse propagation has seen renewed interest in recent years, but its relationship to the speed of information transfer is still being debated. In this paper, we define the speed of information transfer as the propagation speed of a point of constant signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on the leading edge of a signal pulse. We use standard telecommunication analysis to include the effects of noise so that the bit-error rate (BER) can be calculated as a function of a variable decision time. We introduce the concept of a time-dependent Q-factor so that pulse arrival times can be compared at equivalent BERs. We show that when receiver noise is included in a gain-assisted fast-light system, the measured speed of information transfer can exceed the speed of light for an equivalent pulse travelling through a vacuum.

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    12. We report the design and fabrication of high-performance 650-nm lasers using a novel wafer structure that offers substantially independent control of the vertical far field and of the optical confinement factor. By incorporating a graded V-shaped layer into the epitaxial structure, a low divergence can be realized while retaining high optical overlap with the quantum wells and, therefore, a low threshold current. Broad-area lasers (BALs) were fabricated for a range of designs, and close agreement was obtained between the modeling and the experiment.

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    15. Silicon photonics: On-chip OPOs

      Optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) have now been realized in a CMOS-style process by exploiting nonlinear four-wave mixing. Such multiwavelength sources bring the prospect of ultrafast chip-to-chip optical data communications a step closer.

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