Wireless revolution for the rural community
Wireless revolution for the rural communityLove it or hate it, mobile technology is here to stay. Take Pakistan as a prime example,everywhere you look you will see people with cell phones. Watching T.V on the go, browsing the Internet or simply staying connected, it seems that there is nothing this little hand held devices cannot do! There used to be a time when cell phones were a luxury, carried by the wealthy and a status symbol akin to owning a Louis Vuitton or Patek Philippe. However, now the cell phone has come to symbolise a reality of every day living, heralding an age of on-the-go convenience, which is also rapidly being adopted in full force by the lower income groups of society, world over.
With one of the fastest growing telecom markets in the region, it is important for Pakistan to broaden its horizons and continue to explore how this multi-functional device (cell phone) can be used to facilitate the people of Pakistan and make their lives convenient and accessible to resources that eluded them before
By Our Correspondent
With more than 80 million cell phone subscriptions till 2008, and facilitated through expanding networks of all major telecom operators, the phenomenon of increasing cell phone penetration is catching up with the poorer rural class of the nation. With one of the fastest growing telecom markets in the region, it is important for Pakistan to broaden its horizons and continue to explore how this multi-functional device (cell phone) can be used to facilitate the people of Pakistan and make their lives convenient and accessible to resources that eluded them before.
As a developing nation, we have a great advantage that we can draw inspiration from tried and tested models in other countries and adapt them to work effectively at home. Take for example the revolutionary concept called "G-Cash" that has been introduced in rural areas of the Philippines, where individuals and small business owners are now able to make payments and deposit or transfer money through SMS. All transactions are instantaneous and hassle free. This initiative has capitalised on the popularity and ease of text messaging and transforms a mobile phone into a virtual wallet for secure, fast, and convenient money transfers countrywide!
Looking at this example it is evident that a successful business model is dependent upon fulfilling a need or connecting the unconnected in a way they never imagined possible. With success stories like G-Cash, telecommunications solution providers in Pakistan now have only one overriding challenge; to keep abreast of the changing times and successfully adapt those concepts in Pakistan. Clearly, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, but there is a need to introduce concepts which have benefited the rural poor in other countries, and thus help take Pakistan into a period where there are fewer barriers to seamless communication and the nation as a whole can benefit through this "wireless revolution".
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