The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced that internet service providers are adding additional bandwidth as an alternative arrangement for internet issues being faced by users across the country. Internet connectivity was disrupted due to a fault in an international submarine cable. The telecom authority said Trans World Associates (TWA) had communicated to them that there was a service degradation in the international connectivity towards Europe on the SMW5 cable system due to a subsea fault near Abu Talat, Egypt. “Work is underway to rectify the fault however it may take some time until the fault is removed completely,” said the PTA in a tweet. It assured internet users that it was monitoring the situation and will continue to update internet users in Pakistan. A day earlier, PTA had informed users about problems that Pakistanis may face in internet connectivity due to the fault. The telecom regulator did not mention a timeline regarding the restoration of services.
Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque chaired the 12th meeting of Prime Minister’s Taskforce on IT & Telecom. Secretary IT Dr. Sohail Rajput, Chairman P@SHA Barkan Saeed, and MD Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) Osman Nasir were also present in the meeting. The meeting discussed matters related to spectrum auction, connectivity, and fibrization. Addressing the meeting, Federal Minister for IT Syed Amin Ul Haque said that strong directions are being issued for bringing improvements in mobile network and Internet services in the country. More steps will be taken for skill development and branding Pakistan in the world, he said. He said positive results are coming following the implementation of Taskforce proposals. Earlier, the participants of the meeting expressed complete satisfaction with all the initiatives of the Ministry of IT & Telecom. The meeting was also given a detailed briefing on steps for the development of the IT and Telecom sector besides different policies. The meeting was attended by senior officers of MOITT.
The Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) and Rapidev DMCC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a Technology Park in Pakistan’s first Special Technology Zone (STZ) in Islamabad,
a state-of-the-art development that will facilitate a high-tech business environment. The signing ceremony was held in Islamabad and attended by members of both the organizations, technology sector professionals, and government officials. According to the MoU, both the organizations will work together to achieve high-tech industrial growth, create job opportunities, upskill the youth, and attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) through development of a knowledge ecosystem driven by research, innovation and collaboration. Mr. Amer Hashmi, Chairman STZA, stated that the Technology Park in the Islamabad STZ will encourage innovative solutions and provide futuristic entrepreneurship opportunities for the youth of Pakistan. The STZA team also addressed how the Special Technology Zones (STZs) have the potential to change the economic outlook of Pakistan by enhancing IT exports and encouraging technology and knowledge transfer from global technology hubs. The signing of the MoU between the organisations means that the groundwork is in place for STZA’s flagship project, the Islamabad STZ, to break ground soon. The 3 Pol (People, Purpose, Passion) Technology Park by Rapidev, will spread over an area of 650,000 sq. ft. which will offer a complete ecosystem including all the necessary facilities to foster innovation. The facilities offered to resident companies will include technology towers, cutting edge R&D labs, production and manufacturing plants, certified testing centres, wellness facilities and a Centre of Excellence. . With an investment US$ 100 million, the project is expected to create more than 5000 highly skilled jobs and generate over US$ 200 million of revenue in the coming few years. By the addition of a Research and Training academy at the Park, Mr. Wajid Gulistan, Chief Executive Officer of Rapidev, also envisions to equip the youth of Pakistan with high-tech knowledge and skills. While addressing the gathering, Mr. Gulistan stated that the Park will be a one-of-its-kind in Pakistan – a hub of research, innovation, and technology. He mentioned that the aim will be to provide all resident companies, including start-ups, SMES and multi-nationals with access to all available facilities. He concluded by stating that “Our mission is to make Pakistan the fastest growing exporting country in the world and make ‘Made in Pakistan’ a symbol of quality”. The MoU with Rapidev DMCC on 3 Pol Technology Park is STZA’s second recent one after the former MoU was signed with iEngineering Corporation. It is envisioned that a cluster of Technology Parks will form within the Islamabad STZ as the Zone materializes over the years.
Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has said that the information technology in Pakistan is growing and rising and it has the potential to expand even more in future. The Federal Minister was addressing “Huawei Mobile Summit 2019”. He appreciated Huawei for organizing Mobile Summit and said that this Summit will provide wonderful opportunity to experts of ICT spectrum to interact and promote further development of the sector. He said that IT and telecommunication sector in Pakistan evolved impressively. He said that today is the age of information technology and it is through information technology that we can transform our population into an asset. He said that we have to take Pakistan towards development through information technology. The Federal Minister said the dynamically evolving Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector hold crucial importance globally as one of the key sectors in terms of powering economies and driving efficiencies. The Federal Minister said that ICT entrepreneurs, start-ups and small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) are our future. Later, talking to media, Federal Minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that Cyber Security Policy has been devised and an authority will be formulated under Cyber Security Policy. He said that a regulatory authority on IT education will also be set up. The Federal Minister said that the government is committed for the penetration of broadband in the country so that every Pakistani could get benefit from it. He also emphasized the need of the manufacturing of mobile phones in Pakistan.
Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has said that the present government is determined for the betterment and development of youth of the country. The Federal Minister was addressing a award ceremony held regarding NGIRI (National Grassroots ICT Research Initiative) Championship & Launch of Portal by Ignite. He said that Ministry of IT and Telecommunication is working day in and day out spurring academic and entrepreneurial growth of youth as we believe that youth can bring laurels for the country. Addressing the students, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that while looking at their final year projects he must say that their tech acumen is not only commendable but will surely bring homegrown solution to the local and international problems that will accrue benefits for humanity. He congratulated winners of NGIRI Championship and said that winning is important but the journey does not stop here. Winning students must take their prototypes to next level and those who could not make this time should improve upon their ideas and prototypes, he said. The Federal Minister also congratulated Ignite for holding this healthy event. Earlier speaking on the occasion, CEO Ignite Yusuf Hussain said the work force of the future will need creativity, programming and other practical skills, and soft skills like team work. NGIRI funding and showcasing of final year projects builds all these capabilities. Cash prize of Rs.400,000 was awarded to 1st position holder from Usman Institute of Technology, Karachi for their project: White Coal Machine. Second position was won by University of Management of Technology , Lahore with cash prize of Rs. 300, 000 for project: Control & Operation of Micro-Grid whereas the 3rd position with cash prize of Rs.200,000 was won by GIKI for their project: Crypto Currency Predictor.