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Pakistan Digital Gig Economy Growth Among World's Fastest

Pakistan's digital gig economy growth is the fastest in Asia and fourth fastest in the world, according to digital payments platform Payoneer.

Gig Economy Growth in Q2/2019. Source: Payoneer

United States led gig economy growth of 78% followed by the United Kingdom 59%, Brazil 48%, Pakistan 47% and Ukraine 36%. Asia growth was led by Pakistan followed by Philippines (35%) , India  (29%) and Bangladesh (27%).

The rapid gig economy expansion of 47% in Pakistan  was fueled by several factors including the country's very young population 70% of which is under 30 years of age coupled with improvements in science and technical education and expansion of high-speed broadband access.  Pakistani freelancers under the age of 35 generated 77% of the revenue in second quarter of 2019.

Mohsin Muzaffar, head of business development at Payoneer in Pakistan, has said as follows: "Government investment in enhancing digital skills has helped create a skilled freelancer workforce while blanket 4G coverage across Pakistan has given freelancers unprecedented access to

international jobs".

Global Freelance Revenue By Age. Source: Payoneer. 

In Q2/2019, Asia cemented its status as a freelancer hub.  Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, Philippines made it to the  top 10 list, collectively recording 238% increase from Q2/2018.

Online Labor Index. Source: Oxford Internet Institute

As of 2017, Pakistan freelancers ranked fourth in the world and accounted for 8.5% of the global online workforce, according to Online Labor Index compiled by Oxford Internet Institute. India led with 24% share followed by Bangladesh 16%, US 12%, Pakistan 8.5% and Philippines 6.5%.

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Comment by Riaz Haq on August 24, 2019 at 9:19pm

'Pakistan on short list of 5G-ready countries with Zong's successful trial'. #China #Mobile #Pakistan (CMPak, popularly known as Zong) on Thursday successfully conducted #5G trials in Pakistan https://www.dawn.com/news/1501031

China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak, popularly known as Zong) on Thursday successfully conducted 5G trials in Pakistan, a press release issued by the company said.

By doing so, Zong has become "the first and only operator to officially test 5G services in the country", the statement added.

An official from Zong while speaking to DawnNewsTV explained that while 4G speeds cover a bandwidth of 50-100mb/s, 5G will deliver at least 1GB/s. He said that in today's trials, a speed of 1.14 GB/s was achieved.

"This success marks an important milestone in Pakistan's telecom sector," said Zong CEO Wang Hua at an event in Islamabad held to conduct the test.

"5G will herald a new era in Pakistan's social and economic sectors," he added.

According to the company's handout, "Zong believes that 5G will bring more profound and long-term changes to Pakistan's economic transformation, social progress, and people's livelihood improvement in future. It is expected that 5G will have an impact on health care, agriculture and education."

The Zong CEO also announced that the company will establish a 5G innovation centre in Pakistan in collaboration with Huawei, for which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed at the event.

He reminded the audience that five years ago, it was CMPak that had first brought 4G technology to Pakistan. Hua said that the introduction of 5G services is an important pillar to meet future technological needs.

PTA chairman retired Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa also spoke on the occasion. "The country will soon be able to enjoy 5G services which will be introduced for commercial purposes," he said.

He said that the Authority was making efforts in this regard and recognises that the introduction of 5G services would bring in a technological revolution.

Information Technology and Telecommunication Division Secretary Shoaib Siddiqui lauded the efforts by PTA and congratulated CMPak on becoming the first to have the achievement under their belt.

“I would like to take this moment in congratulating Zong for becoming the first Pakistani telecommunications operator to have successfully conducted the 5G trial and putting Pakistan on a short-list of countries which are 5G ready,” he said.

"Zong is an important part of the ties that bind the two countries together," added Siddiqui.

The IT secretary said that the government aims to bring in other major developments via the Information Technology sector as well. "It is the right of every Pakistani to be able to compete in terms of technology with the developed countries of the world," he added.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 26, 2019 at 8:16am

#Telenor gets ready to bring #5G to #Pakistan. It took the first step towards 5G enablement last year by beginning the evolution of its network core from legacy architecture to state-of-the-art virtualized hybrid core, taking the lead towards 5G readiness. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2031097/8-telenor-gets-ready-to-bring-...

Taking another stride towards network transformation and digitalisation, Telenor Pakistan and its network partners have geared up to make the network 5G ready to pass on the benefits of this transformative technology to the people of Pakistan in the coming years.

5G is the fifth-generation cellular network technology that offers faster data transfer speeds and enables advanced solutions such as smart homes, smart cities, autonomous driving, automated emergency services, remote medical diagnosis, smart manufacturing, cloud gaming, and enhanced content & media experiences to name a few.

The development cements and once again demonstrates Telenor Pakistan’s position as the frontrunner of innovation and digital transformation in the country. Today, the company has the country’s first and only 4.5G network and takes the lead with such industry-first initiatives as IoT, Cloud Services, and overall digital ecosystem development comprising innovative solutions for gaming, entertainment, and 3G/4G devices portfolio, etc.


Telenor Pakistan took the first step towards 5G enablement last year by beginning the evolution of its network core from legacy architecture to state-of-the-art virtualised hybrid core, taking the lead towards 5G readiness. The latest development takes Telenor Pakistan one step closer to a successful launch of end-to-end 5G trials to demonstrate the potential of futuristic technologies and solutions for socioeconomic advancement.

“As Pakistan gears up for future technologies that will be integrated into governance, businesses and people’s lives, the role of 5G becomes imperative,” said Irfan Wahab Khan, Chief Executive Officer Telenor Pakistan and Head of Telenor Emerging Asia Cluster, while sharing his thoughts on the development. “With this latest step towards digitalisation and network transformation, Telenor Pakistan is opening up new possibilities for millions of Pakistanis who will be the actual winners in the development. We look forward to continued government support as a digitalisation partner for adequate spectrum allocation for adoption and penetration of 5G over the next few years.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 27, 2019 at 5:56pm

PTA releases number of #3G, #4G users in #Pakistan. The number of 3G and 4G users in Pakistan reached 69.64 million by end July 2019 compared to 68.93 million by end June 2019, said Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). #mobile #broadband https://www.brecorder.com/2019/08/27/520005/pta-releases-number-of-...

Number of mobile phone users in Pakistan reached 161.24 million by end July compared to 161.02 million by end June, which registered an increase of 0.22 million during the period under review.

Jazz’s total count for 3G users stood at 12.912 million by end July compared to 13.105 million by end June, registering a decrease of 0.193 million. Jazz 4G user numbers jumped from 11.116 million by end June to 11.782 million by end July 2019.

Zong 3G subscribers decreased from 8.513 million by end June to 8.270 million by end July while the number of 4G users jumped from 12.658 million by end June to 12.794 million by end July.

The number of 3G users of Telenor network decreased from 8.174 million by end June to 8.128 million by end July i.e. registering a decline of 0.046 million. The number of 4G users jumped from 6.461 million by end June to 6.766 million by end July 2019.

Ufone 3G users decreased from 7.015 million by end June to 6.968 million, registering a decline of 0.047 million. The number of 4G users of Ufone increased from 1.886 million to 2.016 million during this period.

Teledensity for cellular mobile remained at 76.56 percent and broadband subscribers reached 71.71 million by end July compared to 71.241 million by end June.

PTA received 7403 complaints from telecom consumers against different telecom operators including (cellular operators, PTCL, LDIs, WLL operators and ISPs) as of July 2019.

According to PTA data Jazz (Mobilink + Warid) leads the chart with 2359 complaints and Telenor stands at second position as the most complained telecom operator with 1583 complaints.

PTA said that it was able to get 7396 complaints resolved i.e. 99.91 percent.

Cellular mobile subscribers constitute major part of overall telecom subscriber base, therefore, maximum number of complaints belong to this segment. Total number of complaints against CMOs by July stood at 5852.

In terms of the segregation of complaints on operator basis, a total of 2359 complaints were received against Jazz which is 40.31% of the total CMO related complaints.

Telenor, which has the second largest number of consumers, was also second with 1583 i.e. 27.05 percent complaints were received against it.

Zong stood third with 977 complaints i.e. 16.69 percent of total complaints.

Ufone had 933 complaints against its various services which make up 15.94 percent of the total CMO related complaints.

PTA also received 560 complaints against basic telephony where 577 were addressed during July 2019. Further 983 complaints were received against ISPs where 979 were addressed.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 29, 2019 at 7:36am

Zong Fiber – The Latest Technology In Town!
By Usama Muneer

https://www.streetbuzz.pk/zong-fiber-latest-technology/

Zong, one of Pakistan’s most popular telecom companies, has introduced the latest technology in town: High-speed fiber optic internet. By doing this, Zong has become the first and only mobile network operator in the country which is offering this advanced and much-anticipated connectivity service. If you’re frustrated by low internet speeds and poor connections, then you can breathe a sigh of relief because this Zong fiber optic technology is the answer to all your prayers!

Previously, Zong has been the pioneer of 4G technology in Pakistan and has since been a popular choice among customers nationwide as provider of quality internet services. Zong has been reported to be the most preferred 4G network with more than 12 million subscribers. Not only this, but the network has more than 11,000 operational 4G sites and thus, has facilitated its users in enhancing their digital experience with speed, efficiency and style.


Recently, The Consumers Association of Pakistan has selected Zong for the “Best in 4G Services” award. Needless to say, this is living proof that Zong has been leading the Pakistani market and is loved by internet users across the country. Furthermore, Zong is committed to continue investing for the expansion of the 4G ecosystem and promises to deliver state of the art services to offer unparalleled connectivity to its uses.

Taking their mission forward, the telecom company has now come up with direct-to-home fiber optic internet which is a step forward towards reinventing internet services in Pakistan. Through this Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Broadband technology, Zong 4G has committed to deliver top-of-the-line services and the fastest internet speed to its valued customers across the nation.

To launch Zong Fiber, a two-day event will be held in Karachi. To begin with, the service will only be available to select areas in Karachi. The company has also announced that the first 100 connections will enjoy the added benefit of no installation charges. Introducing these latest services, Wang Hua, Zong 4G Chairman and CEO has said,

“Zong Fiber allows us to directly deliver the fastest internet to our valued customers’ homes. We have always endeavored to bring new digital experiences to the lives of our customers. Our objective of people empowerment only strengthens our commitment to provide sustainable and top-of-the-line internet technology to the people of Pakistan.”

Wang Hua has also called the development of Zong Fiber a “tremendous milestone” for the telecom company. It remains to be seen how well customers respond to Zong’s latest advancement and how successful this service is, but with all this in front of us, it’s hard not to have high expectations from Zong’s latest venture.

If the service is as good as it looks, it’s a no-brainer that this will be the future of technology in Pakistan. The tech junkies are buzzing with excitement, and it’s for a good reason!

We absolutely can NOT wait to hear all the reviews from those who get to experience Zong Fiber firsthand, and hopefully try it ourselves soon! The future of internet sure looks bright, and for that, we’re counting on you, Zong!

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 30, 2019 at 8:56am

#Pakistan IT minister tests #5G services at Zong HQ. Dr Maqbool accompanied by Zong (#China #Mobile) Chairman and CEO Wang Hua to 5G experience centre. The facility provides a 5G experience through various innovative 5G use cases in Pak #digital future. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/518839-it-minister-tests-5g-servic...

Dr Maqbool praised Zong for its success in 5G trials, which placed Pakistan on the elite list of countries that were 5G ready. “This is a proud moment for both Pakistan and Zong. With the launch of 5G trials, we want to assure you that the advancement of ICT and digital-led development is of utmost importance for the government of Pakistan. In pursuance of our mission of a ‘Digital Pakistan’, we will soon be a country powering the digitalisation through 5G,” the minister said.

Zong Chairman and CEO Wang Hua said, “Zong’s strive to uplift the technological and digital landscape in Pakistan is aligned with the country’s vision to bring 5G services home.” With 5G readiness, he said Zong has demonstrated long-term commitment for developing the digital ecosystem in Pakistan.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 30, 2019 at 7:51pm

#China to start 27 new projects in #Pakistan under second phase of #CPEC | ThePrint

https://theprint.in/world/china-to-start-27-new-projects-in-pakista...

China plans to launch 27 new projects in Pakistan under the second phase of the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) this year, a media report on Friday quoted a senior Chinese diplomat as saying.

The ambitious CPEC links China’s Kashgar city in Xinjiang province with Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Baluchistan through a network of roads, railways and highways.

“There will be 27 new projects in the second phase of the CPEC,” said Consul General of China in Karachi, Wang Yu during a meeting organised by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations on Thursday.

Following the signing of the memorandum of understanding between China and Pakistan for the second phase of CPEC earlier this year, work on these 27 new projects was expected to begin by the end of the year, the Dawn newspaper quoted Wang as saying.

“Agriculture, education, vocational training, industry, increase in water supply, etc, are all part of our plans for the next phase,” he said.

Replying to a question about investment from China, he said the last two to three months had seen more Chinese investors coming to Pakistan.

“They are eager to invest here but they also need to know that the investments they make are sound and that they will also earn money here and for this there is a need for a fine transport system for the transportation of goods, new airports, etc.

“We are here for business and trade, but we are not in a decision-making position,” he said.

Responding to a question about security, Wang said there was no economic development without security.

Education and employment is also affected by a lack of security, he said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 2, 2019 at 8:01am

Riaz Haq has left a new comment on your post "Pakistan's Digital Gig Economy Growth Among World'...": 

#Pakistan's NUST's #Science and #Technology Park now open for business. It has 3 buildings with a combined covered area of over 120,000 square feet surrounded by some of country's top #universities, #businesses and #industries. #Education #startup https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/513408-nusts-science-and-technolo...

Science and Technology Park, developed by National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad, has opened doors to its first resident companies.

Fully university hosted and integrated across a 50-acre site, the park aims to enhance and increase research and development, promote linkages between higher education institutes, R&D centres and international industries; and capitalize on their strengths and abilities to create a knowledge-based multi-sector cluster in Pakistan.

A self-funded project, NSTP currently offers three buildings with a combined covered area of over 120,000 square feet surrounded by some of country's top universities, businesses and industries.

Over 70% of all S&T research work in Pakistan is conducted within a 30-mile radius of the park, which will focus on Edtech, Agritech, Fintech, Autotech, Healthtech, Deftech, Energytech and Smartech, each with its corresponding educational establishment nearby.

Multinational anchor companies are the driving force behind these key sectors and are provided with a distinctive space and opportunities connect with other tenants of the park and the university, which include innovative tech-based SMEs and startups both local and international.

These growing companies are offered subsidized or free work space, free training and mentorships, and funding opportunities through the NSTP Angel Investment Network.

The park already has strong international links via participation in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor( CPEC) , and a partnership with the China Pakistan Technology Transfer Centre which seeks to create innovation and investment from many companies located along the corridor.

It also benefits from a Special Economic Zone status, enabling residents to import critical infrastructure and machinery free of taxes.

Startups, high-tech SMEs, innovation centres of large multinationals and corporations, and business innovation hubs can apply for tenancy. 

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 4, 2019 at 4:29pm

#Digital #Pakistan: Increasing digitization and #internet accessibility make Pakistan's e-commerce market one of the fastest growing in the world. Size of #ecommerce market is up by 92% to 99.3 billion rupees ($640.3 million) during the fiscal year 2017-18 http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1163302.shtml#.XXBF_novZYI.twitter

The number of registered e-commerce merchants was 496 in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2017-18, reaching nearly 1,100 by year end, and was over 1,200 in the first quarter of 2018-19, showing an exponential growth in e-commerce activities in the country. 

Pakistan has e-commerce companies in almost every major sector from retail and ride-hailing to property and car purchasing. Benefits such as lower transaction costs, ease of selection of various products while sitting at home, wider selection range, opportunity for making informed purchase decisions based on online reviews and on-time delivery process are the main sources of attraction for consumers, paving the way for the industry to flourish.

Leading online businesses in Pakistan in retail are Daraz, Yayvo and HumMart, whereas ride-hailing services have been overtaken mostly by the global and regional giants Uber and Careem. 

Additionally, PakWheels and Zameen are the largest online marketplaces for car and property shoppers and sellers in Pakistan. Among food delivery service providers, FoodPanda is most popular.

The industry has not only helped major players in expanding their businesses, it is also an effective tool for small- and medium-sized enterprises due to low costs and increased accessibility of sellers to customers.

In its efforts to increase the growth and development of the industry, the federal government has recently framed a draft e-commerce policy aimed at achieving higher export growth through enhanced activities from e-commerce platforms, promoting small e-businesses and creating employment opportunities.

The main goal of the policy is to augment the e-commerce industry's growth to make it one of the key drivers of Pakistan's economy.

Though data shows a steady rise in digital transactions and the number of registered vendors, the country's successful e-commerce entrepreneurs believe that Pakistan can learn much from China to further boost the industry, which is still in its infancy, as the latter has an immense knowledge base, experience and advanced technology in this field.

In a conversation with the Xinhua News Agency, Adam Dawood, head of Yayvo, one of Pakistan's largest online retailers, said that China is the world's biggest e-commerce market with annual online sales worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

As a neighboring country, China is eyeing the huge untapped potential in Pakistan, with Chinese e-commerce player AliExpress, part of tech giant Alibaba, recently acquiring Daraz. 

"Apart from investment in Pakistan, China has such a big market for products that we could increase our product assortment overnight," Dawood said, adding that there is a lot of learning required in terms of product-market fit, legislation, and route to market that would help Pakistan increase not just the online shopping base, but also the internet penetration rate.

Talking about the challenges the e-commerce industry is facing, Dawood said that Pakistan needs to focus on optimizing overall service delivery and customer experience aspects.

"Our logistics and payments systems need to evolve to be better suited; it behooves the government to pass legislations and cooperate and collaborate with regional players including China to further support and actively promote the digital businesses."

Pakistan needs to encourage Chinese enterprises to explore opportunities in the Pakistani e-commerce industry and join with local start-ups for new business ventures, said Shehryar Hydri, secretary general of the Pakistan Software Houses Association, a trade body promoting and developing software and services industry in Pakistan.

Comment by Riaz Haq on Wednesday

Pakistan: educational app eyes 1m users

An educational app designed to reach refugee and underprivileged children in Pakistan is expected to reach nearly 1 million children across the country by the end of 2020.

https://thepienews.com/news/pakistan-educational-app-eyes-1m-users/

Called Taleemabad, the app is available on mobile and computer and offers access to parts of the primary school curriculum (for example English, Urdu and Maths) through a dedicated cartoon series.

The name of the app, meaning ‘Education City’ in Urdu, is a reference to where the co-founders developed the idea for the edtech start-up Orenda, which developed the app: Georgetown University in Qatar, based in the Education City in Doha.

Orenda co-founder Haroon Yasin, who was also recognised as one of the Queen’s Young Leaders in 2018, told The PIE that the app is at present reaching a total of 106,000 users across the country, also in rural parts of Pakistan.

“The biggest achievements of the app are its reach and the fact that it represents a wider vision of sustainability,” he explained.

Over the next couple of years, he added, Orenda is planning to complete the K-5 curriculum offering, which will propel user numbers closer to the 1m mark.

“Students here take the first state examination after the 5th grade and once we have completed a spectrum of content that can teach students towards that exam, we expect our downloads to have neared the 1 million mark, with 20,000 users paying for the premium features,” he added.

The team is also close to signing a partnership with the government of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, whose support will enable Taleemabad to expand its reach – and its curriculum in the Pashto language.

“There is currently no Pashto language learning platform and developing this will enable us to target the province, especially the areas that have suffered due to terrorism,” Yasin said.

“It will also allow us to target users in neighbouring Afghanistan, which has similarly lagged behind in educational outcomes because of conflict.”

In the long term, Orenda aims to expand the curriculum up to year 12 and reach six million children, Yasin said, perfecting content for varying ability level.

The edtech company is also aiming to widen its geographical reach beyond Pakistan, looking at Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Comment by Riaz Haq yesterday

Zong promises 1GB/s to Pakistanis very soon after successful 5G tests
Zong conducted a successful 5g test in Pakistan and the internet speed reached up to 1 GB/s. Zong became the first company to test 5g and Pakistan becomes the first in South East Asian region. Commercial use has not been allowed yet by PTA but Zong promises to bring the high-speed internet soon to everyone

https://www.globalvillagespace.com/zong-promises-1gb-s-to-pakistani...

Chinese telecom giant, Zong tested 5G technology in Pakistan on 22nd August, making the country first to test the technology in the South East Asian region to test the 5G services.

A press release issued by company said Zong is the first and only operator to officially test 5G services in the country.

“This success marks an important milestone in Pakistan’s telecom sector,” said Zong CEO Wang Hua at an event in Islamabad held to conduct the test.

Zong official, while giving a briefing on 5G trials said that the 4g technology company is providing currently runs at 50-100mb/s but 5G will boost the speed up to 1GB/s. He further added that Zong was successful in achieving the speed of 1.14 GB/s, highest ever by any company.

The launch event was attended by many government officials and noted personalities from the tech and telecom industry including PTA chairman retired Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa.

Zong was allowed to test the 5G services in Pakistan after PTA approved the tests to be conducted in certain geographical limits but commercial trials have not been approved yet, so, for now, a regular customer of Zong won’t be able to avail 5G services.

The Zong CEO also announced that the company will establish a 5G innovation center in Pakistan in collaboration with Huawei, for which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed at the event.

Officials told media that commercial trails and public usage might take 2-3 years more. Consumers will need a 5G enabled device to avail these services. There are currently less than 1000 5G enabled smartphones on Pakistani networks but the number is expected to rise once the 5G services are officially launched by Zong.

In the test trial ceremony of 5G services Zong also showcased several 5G enabled devices including smartphones, tablets, and portable PCs.

5G technology coming to Pakistan?
Pakistan telecom operators envision the adoption of 5G by 2021. It is expected to arrive in India by 2020. India has already embarked on getting the essential structure in place that will be needed for adopting this advanced technology mandatory.

The government of India has recently set a high-level forum to discuss and formulate a roadmap for directing the successful embracing of 5G Technology.

However, nothing can be said pertaining to the status of the 5G trials in India, with the initial introduction of 5G this year, Pakistan has become the first country to test 5G in the entire South Asian region.

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