Connectivity the bedrock of Digital Pakistan

Shahnawaz AkhterWeb Editor

11th Aug, 2021. 03:24 pm

Ericsson is one of the leading providers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to service providers. It enables the full value of connectivity by creating game-changing technology, and services that are easy to use, adopt, and scale, making the customers successful in a fully connected world.

The main purpose of the company is to empower an intelligent, sustainable and connected world. For more than a century, it has been putting smart tools in the hands of the people in every sector of the society, creating intelligent technologies that drive positive change. The company remains committed to this effort, leaving no one behind.

Waqas Naeem is currently serving as the country manager of Ericsson Pakistan. He is a senior enterprise sales professional, telecom, mobile, Cloud, IT, OTT and IOT specialist.

In this question-answer session, Waqas Naeem, country manager of Ericsson Pakistan, discussed the objectives and future plans of his company.

Tell us about your operations in Pakistan?

A: Ericsson’s association with Pakistan dates back to the late 50s. We have been involved in the formulation of the first telecom policy in the country to the introduction of digital wire-line exchanges and mobile telephony. Currently, we have offices in Karachi, Lahore, and our corporate office in Islamabad. We have a strong team of approximately 400 telecom professionals engaged in serving our valued partners across the country.

Who are the major clients of Ericsson in Pakistan and what kind of services are you offering?

A: Mobile service providers are our primary business partners. We are also supporting certain mobile financial service providers. In terms of our services, we are actively involved in providing mobile backhaul infrastructure, network design, optimisation services and information technology/business support systems (IT/BSS) services, including application development and modernisation (ADM) and automation.

What role Ericsson plays in the telecom sector of Pakistan?

A: We are an active ecosystem player in the country. We are playing our part in enabling the mobile service providers to provide better services and user experience in the market. In this pursuit, we continue to work together to design and build mobile telephony infrastructure along with associated services. In addition, we also have been working on mobile financial service projects that help spread financial inclusion for the masses. In parallel, we are consistently aligning and working with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication on relevant interest areas to share insights and learnings from our industry-leading research and development and global expertise.

What’s the future of 5G in Pakistan?

A: Pakistan is a young and vibrant market. Mobile users have proven to be tech-savvy leading to a great demand in data services, resulting in traffic doubling every year. This increase in traffic has also given rise to the 4G handset penetration every quarter. These are all healthy signs of demand exponentially going up in future. To address data uptake, mobile service providers will require access to more spectrum to densify 4G networks along with a plan to introduce 5G.

Is 5G a reality for Pakistan in near future?

A: The ongoing pandemic has amplified the volume of data traffic. Education, freelancing, social media, and online gaming are some of the already employed use cases that require fast and reliable connectivity. 5G is not all about high data rates but also about how it provides low latency, reliability, and efficient use of spectrum resources. With this being said, it has the potential to transform the entire society around us. This makes the introduction of 5G crucial to continuing the economic growth, increasing our competitiveness globally. We are already seeing efforts made by the relevant stakeholders to plan for the introduction of 5G proactively. These continued efforts to make spectrum strategy for all bands, including early availability of 2600MHz and 3,300-3,800MHz are key factors. We view 5G as a near- to medium-term possibility for Pakistan, given the ongoing efforts and associated benefits.

What are the growth areas Ericsson is focusing on in Pakistan?

A: Connectivity is the bedrock of the Digital Pakistan initiative. We are focused on being a prime player in this area by being committed to providing our services and expertise in the proliferation of 4G networks, as well as their evolution to 5G and future innovations.

What are the future plans for Pakistani market?

A: We are committed to the Pakistani market. There is also a competent resource base available in the country. We plan to increase our visibility in the country by further engaging the wider industry, startups, and academia. We also have plans for increasing employment in the market by opening offshore delivery centres. All in all, we want to upscale our local presence.

Anything new or exciting Ericsson would like to share with readers in Pakistan?

A: Ericsson possesses an industry-leading end-to-end 5G portfolio. All our existing radio network products are also 5G-ready. We are excited to introduce these products in the local market and pave the way for digital transformation and eminent data revolution.

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