By Waleed Tariq:
What is 3G technology?
If you want increased bandwidth, multiple mobile applications and clarity of digital signals, then 3G (Third Generation Technology) is your gateway. It is an advanced mobile telephony technology, superseding 2G. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) defines 3G as a ‘tool to facilitate growth, increase bandwidth, and support more diverse applications’.
3G comes with enhancements over previous wireless technologies, like high-speed data transmission, global roaming and advanced multimedia access. It is mostly used with mobile handsets as a means to connect to the Internet in order to make voice and video calls, browsing, and to download and upload data.
3G in Pakistan
This much awaited technology was to be introduced in 2008 in Pakistan, but took a long time due to the government’s lack of decision in this matter. However, as the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has given it a green signal, the government now wants to launch the 3G technology in the current fiscal year so as to give boost to the IT sector in Pakistan. For this purpose, it will invite bids from foreign and local players, which is expected in the coming month.
But, will 3G affect our economy and our behaviors?
It is estimated that by licensing to telecom companies, PTA will generate revenue of almost $1 billion at the start which will be quite beneficial for PTA.
Moreover, greater access to broadband services will help accelerate achievement of development targets like the universally-accepted Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
3G will also have many effects on different sectors of the economy. Education, health, governance, commerce, agriculture, women empowerment, all can find their way.
Doctors will be able to diagnose their patients from afar without any expensive network infrastructure. It will also be beneficial to small hospitals in improving service delivery.
The internet facility is not available in the rural areas of Pakistan at present and currently, broadband is accessible in no more than 300 towns and cities of different regions. But with 3G, it will be available wherever there is cellular network coverage. Thus, the availability of 3G will enhance IT operations throughout the country in both urban and rural areas. Users can save time and TV and other media will be easily on hand.