bq.. ‘Daily Times:’:http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_10-5-2005_pg5_7 The number of cellphone subscribers in the country has crossed the 10 million mark for the first time ever, outnumbering those using the 50-year-old fixed telephony service by 100 percent in just ten years.
The latest figures compiled by the Pakistan Telecommuni-cation Authority suggest cellular phone connections are growing by a staggering pace of 120 percent annually.
“By April 30, 2005, the total number of cellular phone subscribers stands at 10.54 million,” said a senior PTA official.
p. The actual number of users is not 10 million, as many people have a number of connections each, but even then this is pretty amazing considering PTCL has only managed half the number of connections in the last 50 odd years. The numbers are also skewed by the fact that the majority of every new Telecom companies subscribers are switching from an existing company, which is still counting them amongst its users. As an example, my old cell number from which I switched last year is still active, and many people, (just about everyone I know), have more than one active number.
This is important because the humble cellphone is a great enabler. It gives the less well off communication tools which uptil a few years ago were solely the domain of the rich.
From ‘The Economist: The real digital divide:’:http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3742817 Encouraging the spread of mobile phones is the most sensible and effective response to the digital divide
bq.. *Plenty of evidence suggests that the mobile phone is the technology with the greatest impact on development.* A new paper finds that mobile phones raise long-term growth rates, that their impact is twice as big in developing nations as in developed ones, and that an extra ten phones per 100 people in a typical developing country increases GDP growth by 0.6 percentage points.
..Even though the number of phones per 100 people in poor countries is much lower than in the developed world, they can have a dramatic impact: reducing transaction costs, broadening trade networks and reducing the need to travel, which is of particular value for people looking for work. Little wonder that people in poor countries spend a larger proportion of their income on telecommunications than those in rich ones.
p. There is another interesting article from the Economist: ‘Calling across the divide’:http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3739025&subjectid=894408 – *New research examines the link between mobile phones and economic growth in the developing world* ‘#’:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/articles/?p=3