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Senate Committee recognizes contribution of Telecom Sector Highlights need for rationalized taxation

Senate Committee recognizes contribution of Telecom Sector Highlights need for rationalized taxation

The Senate Standing Committee for Information Technology and Telecommunication has recently recognized the contribution of cellular sector of Pakistan and appreciated the investment in the country and job creation opportunities provided by the sector. The committee also raised concerns over high levels of consumer taxation with special reference on giving relief to the masses who are below a certain annual income level, which is not taxable as per prevailing tax laws. The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology expressed its concerns on high tax deduction on mobile recharge particularly on deduction of advance income tax from majority of subscribers who do not fall under tax net and have no way of claiming the refund.  Senate Committee has directed the FBR and cellular mobile operators to present the recommendations towards a more rationalized tax regime. Mobile penetration and services uptake has already hit the glass ceiling and wouldn’t be able to break this barrier until substantial tax relief is introduced. The taxes inhibit growth, discourage investment and stall services uptake among the masses, and this directly impacts the people of Pakistan to adapt the modern and latest technology. The Telecom Sector suggests abolishment of Advance Income Tax for that majority of telecom subscribers, who do not fall under the tax net and yet have to pay Withholding Tax which that they cannot claim back. In addition the sector recommends harmonization of FED/GST across Federation and all provinces and its rationalization to 16% in line with GST/FED rates applicable on other sectors of the economy. Moreover, sector believes that data tax will not only hamper economic growth in the country but will also adversely impact Government’s initiatives for the proliferation of mobile broadband in Pakistan. Telecom sector strongly recommends abolishment of GST on data services by the provinces. The sector has time and again called for rationalized reduction in taxes that will help ensure affordable services for the masses, which in turn will increase mobile penetration, bring further socioeconomic benefits to Pakistan and will go a long way towards realization of the Government’s ambition of a Digital Pakistan. Pakistan’s cellular sector, since its deregulation, has been at the forefront of introducing innovative services for enabling and empowering people and has played a key role in social and economic advancement. It has made substantial contributions to the welfare of the society and is amongst the largest contributors to the country’s exchequer in terms of direct and indirect taxes. The sector has invested over USD 15B in the economy since deregulation in 2003 and has created over 14,000 direct and hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs. The sector is recognized as an enabler for society, bringing greater financial and digital...

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Telenor collaborates with Ministry of IT on “DigiSkills Training Project”

Telenor collaborates with Ministry of IT on  “DigiSkills Training Project”

Telenor Pakistan, country’s leading digital services provider, has partnered with the Virtual University of Pakistan to launch a nationwide digital skill-building program aptly named ‘DigiSkills Training Project’. Under auspices of Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom through IGNITE – National Technology Fund (formerly National ICT R&D Fund), the 2 year mega-program aims to train 1 million people in Digital Skills for Freelancing and entrepreneurship using ICTs. The agreement signing took place at the Prime Minister Secretariat in the presence of Prime Minister Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Minister of State for IT & Telecommunication Ms. Anusha Rahman – with Telenor Pakistan and Virtual University top management finalizing a memorandum of understanding (MoU). Thoughts were shared on how leveraging the emerging ICT technologies in Pakistan could create a virtual cloud of aspiring workers who are ready to take up online assignments to make a living besides promoting Pakistan as a go-to market for outsourcing of diversified freelance projects. Pakistan is the world’s 4th largest provider of online freelance services with an estimated registered number of freelancers ranging in several hundreds of thousands. Most of the work done is for international clients; therefore the money earned by them is brought into the country mainly in the form of foreign remittances. Pakistan has the potential to increase its share in the freelance industry by folds and resultantly bring in valuable foreign exchange into the country and reduce unemployment. Addressing the event here at the PM Office, the prime minister said his government was committed to support the private sector in its ventures of introducing cutting edge technology and taking the country forward. Prime Minister Abbasi said the government would ensure availability of the broadband across the country and facilitate e-commerce He stressed the need to further work on it and said the entrepreneurship was a unique skill and only the private sector has the ability to take it forward. The Prime Minister said the Digiskills program would equip the youth to get online jobs and earn money in a non-traditional way. He said he has great faith in the youth of the country and expressed confidence that the women would lead in these areas. We have taken major strides toward digital transformation in the country with our ICT partners and this major development widens our scope to optimize new technologies to upskill our youth, “ said Ms. Anusha Rahman, Minister of State for IT and Telecommunication.  “DigiSkills combines an ideal mix of partnership between Ignite and Virtual University’s expansive and advanced eLearning platform to further Ministry of IT’s digitization and empowerment goals.  The online freelance market offers a myriad of opportunities to thousands of jobseekers whom we...

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Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke calls on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Davos

Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke calls on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Davos

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met Mr. Sigve Brekke, CEO Telenor Group at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos today. Special Assistant to PM Mr. Ali Jehangir Siddiqui and senior government officials were also present. During the meeting, the Prime Minister appreciated that Telenor has created jobs for around 130,000 Pakistanis, directly and indirectly. He acknowledged Telenor’s investment in the training and development of its workforce and thanked Mr. Brekke for providing many Pakistanis the opportunity to work in a progressive environment. While recalling the inauguration of Telenor’s new Headquarter in Islamabad, the Prime Minister stated that he was pleased to observe the state-of-the-art facility that has set new standards for workplace environment in Pakistan. Sigve Brekke, CEO Telenor Group thanked the Prime Minister for facilitating Telenor’s operation in Pakistan and said that based on our commitment to empower societies, we remain dedicated to bringing the benefits of telecommunications to everyone in the markets where we operate. Our team in Telenor Pakistan is working continually towards this objective and through innovative products that connect people, help them make informed decisions, and bring them into the folds of the economy through digital and financial inclusion. We appreciate the efforts undertaken by the Government of Pakistan to ensure a transparent and predictable business environment that encourages further investments Telenor has been operating in Pakistan since 2005 and has also launched convenient mobile financial transaction mechanism namely ‘Easypaisa’. Telenor has so far invested over US$3.5 Billion in...

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Telenor Pakistan nominated for GSMA Global Mobile Awards for Digital Birth Registration (DBR) project

Telenor Pakistan nominated for GSMA Global Mobile Awards for Digital Birth Registration (DBR) project

The Digital Birth Registration (DBR) project from Telenor Pakistan has been nominated for the prestigious GSMA Global Mobile Awards (GLOMO) 2018 in the ‘Outstanding Mobile Contribution to the UN SDGs’ category. DBR aims to provide the fundamental right to identity and to millions of children across Pakistan, lack of which is a critical impediment in provision of basic services to citizens by the governments. Often dubbed as the ‘Oscars’ of worldwide telecommunications industry, GSMA Global Mobile Awards recognize and celebrate the phenomenal successes and contributions registered by mobile operators across the world. Telenor Pakistan’s Digital Birth Registration initiative, launched in partnership with provincial governments and UNICEF Pakistan, has proved to be a ground-breaking effort towards mediating child’s right to identity by augmenting birth registration process in Pakistan. In Pakistan, the process of birth registration has been marred by a host of socioeconomic and cultural hindrances including time, cost, travel, processing complexities, and a general lack of awareness among the masses limiting registrations to only one-third of all children in the country. However, the ubiquitous prevalence of telecommunication services in Pakistan opened up new ways to address the issue in an effective manner. DBR was designed to create an enabling environment by making the process of birth registration user-friendly, efficient and transparent and providing facilitation to citizens and other stakeholders through not only infrastructure and capacity building but also through innovative use of digital technologies. The availability of timely and accurate data will also enable better planning and decision making at policy level. Besides giving the Pakistani children the right to identity and thus access to basic amenities, the initiative also sensitized the masses about the efficacy of mobile technology as a means to access public services.  Since its inception, the service has registered impressive impacts in rural and urban areas of the country. “I am very proud that Telenor Pakistan’s DBR project has been nominated for the prestigious award”, said Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO, Telenor Pakistan. “The initiative is an extension of Telenor Pakistan’s commitment to empowering societies and this nomination is a recognition of the robust partnerships that we have developed with the government and social sector in Pakistan in order to help reduce inequalities.  I am positive that the platform we have established through DBR will continue to evolve and contribute towards sustainable development of our society.” Telenor Pakistan runs comprehensive sustainability portfolio including a vast array of programs ranging from education, health, emergency relief and environment and...

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Telenor furthers network transformation with launch of Pakistan’s first Virtual Mobile Switching Station (vMSS)

Telenor furthers network transformation with launch of Pakistan’s first Virtual Mobile Switching Station (vMSS)

Getting closer to its network virtualization goals, Telenor Pakistan has launched the country’s first Virtual Mobile Switching Station (vMSS) on its newly launched in-house hybrid Cloud platform. In addition to significantly enhancing the overall user experience, the Virtual MSS will give the company better control over network allocation and distribution, making smart traffic management possible with least third-party dependency and in-turn providing virtually seamless connectivity during high-volume periods. The move is a historic achievement in Telenor Pakistan’s network virtualization journey, making it the first cellular operator in Pakistan to have live virtual MSS Traffic on its Cloud platform enabling digitization of its primary network function. This key achievement is a result of strong synergies among Telenor, ZTE and Nokia in a multi-vendor environment. “The virtualization of our Mobile Switching Station will give us the freedom to build better and more customer-centric solutions, in addition to bringing efficacy, scalability, and automation to Telenor’s core network,” said Khurrum Ashfaque, Chief Technology Officer, Telenor Pakistan. “Although it’s a historic achievement for us, we have a long way to go in our network digitization journey and the vMSS will be followed by the introduction of data core virtualized functions within the first quarter of this new year,” he added. In September 2017, Telenor Pakistan initiated its network transformation by launching the first in-house Cloud platform by any cellular company in Pakistan and successfully testing the first 3G voice call and LTE data call over it. The move would drastically improve response time to customer requests and provide more liberty in building user-friendly solutions, also resulting in the addition of new revenue streams by means of public Cloud offering. The launch of Virtual Mobile Switching Station (vMSS) will take Telenor Pakistan towards its digital journey to lead market by opting new technologies, reducing time to market and coping up with market disruptive challenges. Telenor Pakistan has been in the process of evolving voice and data networks to Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) hosting on Cloud network in an effort to become more competitive by becoming more agile and faster in delivering new service and improving the operational...

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Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro globally acclaimed by top tech media at CES 2018

Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro globally acclaimed by top tech media at CES 2018

Huawei is an early winner at CES® 2018, earning awards from global technology media titles following the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro’s introduction to the U.S. market and the unveiling of the HUAWEI WiFi Q2 Series. Highlighting the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro’s mobile AI processor, New Leica Dual Camera and long-lasting battery, among other features, media presented Huawei four awards – including ‘Smartphone of the Year’ from Android Authority. The HUAWEI WiFi Q2 Series was recognized for its full-coverage wireless connectivity. At the CES® 2018, HUAWEI Consumer Business Group (CBG) revealed that its breakthrough HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro will be available in the U.S. through major electronics retailers, including Best Buy, Amazon, Microsoft, Newegg and B&H beginning on February 18, with pre-orders beginning February 04. Huawei also unveiled the world’s first hybrid smart home network solution. The HUAWEI WiFi Q2 series is a true plug-and-play Wi-Fi system designed for the entire house. With its impeccable design, smart functionality, long lasting battery power, and New Leica Dual Camera, the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro will be available unlocked for USD 799/- in Midnight Blue, Titanium Grey and Mocha Brown and will be on display at select Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com. The unlocked HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro will operate on GSM networks in the U.S. including AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, MetroPCS, Simple Mobile, and Tracfone, giving consumers the flexibility to choose their carrier and contract. Following are the five awards Huawei has won at CES 2018 to-date: Android Authority awarded the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro the ‘2017 Smartphone of the Year’ award for having consistent quality across the board. According to the publication’s editor, it is a “pound-for-pound champion,” with the device progressing year over year. Android Authority is a global blog dedicated to providing expert tips, news, reviews, and more. Its website receives 32.2 million unique monthly visits. TechRadar named the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro the ‘Best Smartphone’ at the show, acknowledging the device’s Kirin 970 AI chip, HUAWEI FullView Display, the world’s largest dual f/1.6 aperture, and the world’s first end-to-end safety certified charging technology. TechRadar is a global online publication focused on technology, with news and reviews of tech products, especially gadgets. The website receives over 77.5 million unique monthly visits. T3 gave the HUAWEI WiFi Q2 Series one if its ‘Loves’ award for being a true plug-and-play Wi-Fi system designed for the entire house. The publication appreciated the device’s end-user benefits, bringing consumers faster, and more reliable connectivity. T3 provides the latest gadget and technology news, reviews, buyer’s guides and features to a global audience. The website receives over 2.3 million unique monthly visits. Android Police recognized the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro as a ‘Best of CES 2018’ for its Kirin 970 processor, intelligent New Leica Dual Camera, and long-lasting...

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