APRIL 15, - MAY 15, 2013 08 | EDITOR'S NOTE Editorial
09 | READER'S RESPONSE Letters to the Editor
INTERVIEW 29 | Pakistan is rich in self-employment professional: Evan Tan 40 | Saudi women excelling in every field
TELEPEDIA 12 13 14 15 19 22 23 25 42 44 46 50 54
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Pak talks for 16bn minutes a month Dr. Sania appoints as Minister for Science & Technology, IT Cellular users reach 121 million Mobilink Foundation actively preserving the environment April Fool's Day 2013! Tech pranks Why 3G auction failed thrice in Pakistan Local hosted content shines in internet connectivity crisis PTCL President gets extension Qtel rebrands as Ooredoo PTCL! The broadband giant Mobile celebrates 40th anniversary Mobile app reads brain for voicemail Mobile messaging apps! Threat to Facebook
COVER STORY 26 | Govt slaps cellular users
Rs. 1000 sales tax on mobile phones
INSIGHT 10 16 18 20 24 31 48 49 52 53 56 57 58 60 61 62
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Pakistan slips in Global ICT ranking Google responsible for YouTube blockade: survey finds USTR asks Pak to withdraw ICH to comply with WTO rules Smartphones apps consumption Pak-US to block blasphemous materials on YouTube PSO partners with Engro for Thar Coal project Summly makes teenager millionaire Facebook Home: The winners and losers Could robots be the writers of the future? Dashcams become key witness on Russia's roads PCB nurturing express bowlers Broadcasters worry about 'Zero TV' homes How to paint on your screen? Commercial cyber spying offers rich payoff Facebooker! What they do? Cruise with consoles
Zong celebrates 'China Culture, Business Weekâ€™
EVENTS 17 20 21 30 32 34 36 45
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Warid Telecom Sponsors the Grand Tombola event Zong celebrates 'China Culture, Business Week' Zong organizes National Open Polo Championship Ufone-PCB selects four speedsters Changhong Ruba ushers a new era of energy saving Warid brings a fascinating Auto Show PTCL inks ICT agreements at Managed WAN Service Seminar Nokia launches Lumia Smartphone in Pakistan
Warid Telecom Sponsors the 17 Grand Tombola event
Mobilink (R), gets the 70 Shaukat Khanum S R Award 2012
63 | National Mosaic 75 | International Mosaic
NEWS 64 | National News 76 | International News
83 84 86 90 92 93 94 95 96 98
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Mobile Rates Mobile Review Current Mobiles Upcoming Mobiles High Range Mobiles Low Range Mobiles Computers Laptops Accessories Gaming Zone
32 Changhong Ruba ushers a new era of energy saving
Dr. Sania appoints as Minister 13 for Science & Technology, IT
Editor s No t e
April 15, - May 15, 2013
Another bullet hits telecom
During the PPP led coalition regime telecom remained in the limelight; new tax imposition, GST increase, service suspension, ban on mobile number portability, ban on SIM sales on retailer shops, energy crises, creation of International Clearing House and mismanagement were the major issues, which hit hard the telecom sector’s growth. Despite the highest contributor in terms of taxes to national treasury and the source of foreign direct investment, the previous government left no stone unturned to ruin it. Nothing has been done but mere tall promises. The PPP government completed their term by making history to complete the 5 year democratic period for the first time in Pakistan’s democratic history by any public elected government. But, the list of records made by PPP government along with its allies, is quite long and comprehensive; destroyed public institutions, failures, inefficiencies, corruption, bad governance, misuse of powers, made wrong choices, ignored wrongdoings, and put the last nail in the coffin of the public kitty as the economy is plummeting and the foreign debts reached to Rs 14,000 trillion; dollar crosses the 100 mark against rupee, public treasury has shrink to record lowest point as the foreign reserves melt down. But the recent tax imposed by Federal Board of Revenue during the present caretaker government is a huge blow to curtail the growth of telecom, this new tax will bring-down the sector on its toes; the revenue body is facing problems to meet the targets set in the current budget; the FBR in a desperate move to meet the revenue collection target has put a burden of Rs70 to 80 billion on taxpayers with the issuance of different notifications. The revenue shortfall was also imminent as the FBR obtained advance tax from different sectors to meet the revenue collection target in the last fiscal year, which it subsequently returned to companies at the start of the current fiscal year. To hide its shortcomings, the FBR resorted to the old method of issuing Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) for revenue generation. Since February 2013, the revenue body has issued 17 different SROs. The breakdown revealed that five SROs have been issued regarding income tax, 11 regarding sales tax and one regarding federal excise. Ironically, FBR has increased sales tax from Rs 250 per set to Rs 1000 per set on smart cellular phones or satellite phones and Rs 250 per set to Rs 500 per set on other mobile phones. In this regard, the FBR has issued SRO.280 (I)/2013 in line with the latest IT technology of cellular/mobile phones industry, in order to boost the revenue collection in the remaining three months of current fiscal year. Mobile phone dealers and traders staged protests against the sales tax across the country, blocked roads and burnt tyres and chanted slogans against the interim government while demanded for withdrawal of the SRO. Mobile phone trader’s bodies criticized FBR’s SRO and asked instead of focusing on expansion of tax net by bringing the untaxed sectors into the tax net, the FBR was squeezing the existing tax payers; they said all such moves would be resisted tooth and nail. Much has happened in the telecom industry between March 2008 and March 2013, but there is no one word or phrase that can define the industry's performance in this period. It’s now the outcome of the previous government that tarnishing the sector, but this current blow will encourage gray trafficking (smuggling) and ultimately would increase corrupt practices. The caretaker PM should have to take notice and direct the FBR to bring the untaxed into tax net rather to squeeze the tax payers. 8
Zubair Ahmed Kasuri
Irfan Khan Ismail Qureshi
Assistant Editor Senior Sub-Editor
Usman Yaqoob Director Marketing Zafar Khan Afridi Senior Graphic Designer M. Naeem Mughal Graphic Designer Azhar Javed General Manager Lahore Office 46J-Gulberg III, Lahore-Pakistan. Ph: +92-42-35555511 | 35880183 | 32112352 Fax: +92-42-35880183 Islamabad Office Phone: +92-51-3000012 | 2254548 Kasur Office Phone: +92-49-2723099 | 0608-600000 Karachi Office 14 Star Marketing & Production 32-1-C-1/6, Block 6 PECHS Main Shahrah-e-Faisal. Tel: 021 343117813 | 34228885 Registration No PCPB/105 (Vol. 9 Issue:05) Price Rs: 400 URL: www.flare.pk Email: email@example.com Colour Sepration: Fotoscan Process, 25-C Lower Mall, Lahore. Ph: 042-37111906, 37234042.
Zubair Ahmed Kasuri, (Editor-in-Chief) publisher of FLARE leading telecom magazine, printed it from Qasim Naeem Art Press, Near Bank Road, Main Bund Road, Lahore and published from 46J, Gulberg III, Lahore.
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Pakistan slips in Global ICT ranking Pakistan downgraded from 102nd in 2012 to 105th in 2013, Some of the areas where Pakistan lost its ICT competitiveness are; govt’s procurement of advance technologies, which ranked 109 this year as compared to 91 in 2012 and lost 22 points in broadband ranking to stand at 120
hen The Global Information Technology Report (GITR) and the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) were created some 12 years ago, the attention of decision makers and investors was on adopting business and financial strategies that would allow them to develop in the context of a fast-moving but nascent internet economy. Over more than a decade, the NRI has provided decision makers with a useful conceptual framework to evaluate the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) at a global level, and to benchmark the ICT readiness and the usage of their economies. Today, the world has undergone massive changes: the Internet bubble has come and gone, and emerging countries such as China and India have become prominent global providers and users of ICT equipment and services. Struggling to emerge from the financial crisis, developed economies are striving to return to higher levels of growth and competitiveness while fighting stubbornly high unemployment rates, especially among their youth. Both emerging and developed economies are focusing on innovation, competing globally for talent, resources, and market shares. Information flows and networks have spread across borders in ways that could not be imagined before the onset of the Internet, the global adoption of mobile telephony and social networks, and the rapid growth of broadband. Business models have been redefined, the workplace has been redesigned, small startups have evolved into large companies, and entire functions of society (education, health, security, privacy) are being rethought. Despite efforts in the past decade to improve information and communications technologies (ICT) infrastructure in developing economies, there remains a new digital divide in how countries harness ICT to deliver competitiveness and wellbeing, according to the 12th edition of The Global Information Technology Report, released today by the World Economic Forum. Published under the theme, Growth and Jobs in a Hyperconnected World, the Report suggests that national policies in some developing economies are failing to translate ICT investment into tangible benefits in terms of competitiveness, development and employment. This is in addition to the profound digital divide that already exists between advanced and developing economies in access to digital infrastructure and content. Pakistan continues to lag behind in the rankings. Pakistan’s global ranking in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) got downgraded from 102nd in 2012 to 105th in 2013, according to the report. Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, a partner institute of Global Competitiveness & Benchmarking Network of the World Economic Forum said, “As the other countries are
improving rapidly, Pakistan has shown a little change, this a matter of concern. Pakistan is 37 ranks behind India. The big challenge for the next government in Pakistan would be to put more emphasize on ICT environment and regulatory framework. The role of ICT for a sustained economic growth and job creation is crucial to improve Pakistan’s competitiveness. ICT has revolutionized the way businesses are done and the country has not being able to capitalize on this”. Some of the areas where Pakistan lost its ICT competitiveness are; govt’s procurement of advance technologies, which ranked 109 this year as compared to 91 in 2012. Although Pakistan has improved the fixed broadband Internet tariff substantially by making Pakistan the 68th most competitive broadband provider in the world, individuals using Internet, which depicts affordability of
vancements and inconsistency in decision making to adopt new technologies at the right time. The Importance of ICTs to govt’s vision has deteriorated from 92 to 117 in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Making ICT as one of the least priority areas for the govt. in Pakistan. On the economic impact pillar, Pakistan failed to show progress on creating impact of ICTs on new organizational models by losing 10 points. Keeping businesses in mostly traditional areas and connecting Pakistan with the global knowledge economies. Similarly, government’s failure to create social impact through ICT also showcases it’s poor understanding of innovation ecosystem and value creation for the citizens in the digital age. The government failed to create value through ICT use and improving efficiency, where Pakistan lost an alarming 16 points (121 among 144 countries). Not being able to improve any regulations on venture capital availability has also created a bottleneck for an innovation economy in the country. This signifies Pakistan’s lack of correlation between innovation and competiveness with finance, thus further isolating Pakistan from moving towards a knowledge-based economy. Pakistan also lost 15 points on the E-participation index, where government engages citizens through online services and grievance mechanism, thus resulting in stronger red-tapism slower economic progress. On the overall political and regulatory environment, the efficiency of legal system in challenging
Internet for citizens is shrinking. Pakistan lost 22 points in 2013 and ranks at 120 on individuals using Internet. The report highlights that the gains in broadband affordability are being achieved by cannibalizing the individual Internet users. Pakistan achieved significant gains in the last decades, when it embraced the mobile technologies and led the region by providing human resources capital and technical knowhow to the global pool of mobile communication providers. However this gain has been greatly diminished due to lack of ad-
regulations has also deteriorated, where Pakistan is ranked 97 as compared to 79 in 2013 and 2012 respectively. Intellectual property protection has also been neglected and Pakistan lost 13 points by securing 103 on the network readiness index. Some of the areas where Pakistan has shown improvements are on the business and innovation environment pillar, where the business sector has ensured the availability of latest technologies for ICT competitiveness by improving 10 points and securing 83 rank among 144 countries.
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Pak talks for 16bn minutes a month
Cellular outgoing traff ic to local f ixed line and cellular network was recorded at 192.9 billion minutes during f iscal year 2011-12, showing an increase of 40 percent when compared with last year
akistani mobile phone users are gifted with unlimited and in-expensive voice bundles, that’s why they make voice calls – to landline and other cellular networks – of over 16 billion minutes or 192.9 billion minutes per year. These stats were revealed by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority for year 2011-12 and it is likely that figure will go up further during the on-going year. Cellular outgoing traffic to local fixed line and cellular network was recorded at 192.9 billion minutes during fiscal year 2011-12, showing an increase of 40 percent when compared with last year. This voice traffic translates into an average of 528 million minutes per day or 22 million minutes per hour or 366,666 voice minutes per minute. In other words — on average — there are around or over 366,666 mobile phone users on phone making voice calls every time. The substantial increase in cellular outgoing traffic is mainly attributed to low-cost voice bundles which allow virtually unlimited voice calling on local networks. Furthermore, the decreasing call rates – during FY 2011-12 – is said to be another reason for such increase in cellular outgoing traffic of Pakistan.
On average, a mobile phone user makes 141 minutes of outgoing calls from mobile phone per month. This can be translated to an average of 5 minutes of outgoing voice calls per subscriber per day. It merits mentioning here that not all subscribers out of 120 million are activate in Pakistan and considering the amount of dormant subscribers’ base (around 40-45 million) this average of per subscriber calls can get double. Interestingly, the outgoing traffic to landline numbers in 2011-12 dropped slightly from 2009-10. PTA stats said that international incoming traffic to Pakistani cellular networks reached 15.05 billion minutes per year or 1.25 billion minutes per month during July 2011 to June 2012, a sharp rise of 119 percent when compared to international incoming traffic on cellular networks during last year. However, un-official sources say that international incoming traffic has gone down to 500 million minutes per month or 6 billion minutes per year — and is expected to go further down — after implementation of ICH, due to which rates have gone up for international incoming traffic to Pakistan. On the other hand, Telecom sector of Pakistan contributed Rs. 132.5 billion during 201112 to national exchequer as taxes, up from Rs. 117 billion that were contributed last year. This huge collection of taxes is largely attributed to-
wards heavily burdened cellular consumer, who is charged at as high as 30 percent of his/her total consumptions as taxes. Usually, throughout all sectors, GST is collected at 16% however, cellular consumers pay 19% GST, which is in addition 10 percent FED. Telecom is the largest contributor in GST collection from services in the country. GST/FED collected from telecom consumers during 2011-12 stood at Rs. 56.9 billion, up from Rs. 52.7 billion during the same duration last year, showing 8 percent increase in collection.
But, ironically, despite the promising market, why Pakistan fails to auction 3G? There some Yeses and Nos. The deeper issue, I feel, is
the PTA’s lack of independence and lack of confidence. By law, it is an independent regulator, yet politicians do not accept this in practice and the PTA does not vigorously pursue its mandate. As the PTA has failed before, politicians lack confidence in its abilities. Last year, the government parachuted in a new chairman, Farooq Ahmed Awan, who had a reputation for “getting things done”. The prime minister thereafter set up an auction supervisory committee to drive things forward. This ruffled feathers at the PTA, notably those of the two other members of the PTA executive body: the Member Finance and the Member Technical. They claimed to be unfairly sidelined; eventually, the courts agreed, ruling that the chairman was unlawfully appointed. This is a cyclical thing: the PTA underperforms, the government intervenes, and the intervention fails because of a legal challenge or internal PTA opposition. There is a strong circle of distrust, and until it is broken, Pakistan’s telecom sector will continue to suffer. There is a further dynamic. 3G itself is heavily politicised. Opposition parties do not want
the PPP to go into the forthcoming election as the party that gave the country mobile internet. The opposition parties believe that stopping the 3G process will help their election campaign. And, for anyone within the PTA with anti-government views, that leaves plenty of scope for mischief. The ordinary citizens of Pakistan would be the only real winners from an early auction, both in terms of auction proceeds and the economic boost which 3G would bring. If an independent and confident PTA had pursued its mandate to make the best use of the radio spectrum and to modernise telecoms services, it would have safeguarded public interest by rising above political pressures. One can understand the government’s desire to interfere: no country can waste opportunities worth as much as $1 billion. But Pakistan is a relatively young democracy, hoping this May to make its first direct transition from one civilian government to another. Let’s hope that whoever wins power will take a mature view of the benefits of independent regulation. Let’s also hope that the PTA acts decisively to exercise its mandate – otherwise this circle of distrust will never be broken. The impartial, unpoliticised exercise of agreed policy is the only way to eliminate the uncertainty which holds back the development of the national telecom sector, and in ensuring the Pakistani people can enjoy the benefits of 3G before everyone else has moved on to 4G and beyond.
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rime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso allocated portfolios to the caretaker members of the federal cabinet. According to the notification, Dr Sania Nishter appointed as minister for science and technology, Information Technology, professional training and education, Arif Nizami as minister for information & broadcasting and postal service, Malik Habib as minister for interior and narcotics control, Ahmer Bilal Soofi as minister for law, justice, parliamentary affairs and
Dr Sania appoints as Minister for Science & Technology, IT
human rights, Dr Musaddiq Malik as minister for water and power, Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf Sheikh as minister for industries and production, Maqbool HH Rahmatoola as minister for textile and commerce, Abdul Malik Kasi as minister for railways, Asadullah Mandokhel as minister for ports and shipping and communication, Mir Hassan Domki as minister for food security and inter-provincial coordination, Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel as minister
Sania Nishtar is the recipient of Pakistanâ€™s Sitara-e-Imtiaz, the European Societies Population Science Award, 16 gold medals and many accolades of the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge and the American Biographical Center; she also holds a Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of London and a Ph.D for overseas Pakistanis foundation, Dr Younis Soomro as minister for housing and works while Shahzada Jamal had been given the portfolio of minister for religious, national harmony, regulation and heritage.
granddaughter of veteran politician and a leader of Pakistan movement Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar. She runs an NGO called Heartfile. Dr. Sania Nishtar did her Ph.D. in medicine from Kings College London in 2002. She graduated in medicine from Khyber Medical College Peshawar with 16 gold medals, a college record which remains unbroken till date. Sheâ€™s a social worker and operates several
inet, which will look after the affairs of the State till a new government is elected into power through general election, that is scheduled in May 11, 2013. Caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, Speaker National Assembly Fehmida Mirza and prominent personalities were present on the occasion, here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. The National Assembly was dissolved after
Dr. Sania Nishtar, the Minister for Science and Technology, IT, professional training and education, is the wife of Ghalib Nishtar, a former president of the Khushhali Bank, and a
healthcare projects. Dr. Sania is also known as active member of Aman ki Asha. President Asif Ali Zardari recently administered oath to the new 14-member caretaker cab-
the completion of its five-year term on March 16, the caretaker Prime Minister took oath of office on March 25, while the general election will be held on May 11.
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Cellular users reach 121 million Telcos added 143,609 new telco users in February
Mobilink remained the market leader with 36,011,288 subscribers, Telenor second with 30,423,114, Ufone had 23,345,258, Zong reported 18,659,009 and Warid registered a total base of 12,524,160 subscribers during the month of February 2013
eledensity is one of the foremost indicators of a country’s telecom outlook. Total teledensity of the Pakistan dropped to 68 percent from 72 percent thanks to sales of cellular connections in Pakistan which hit the rock bottom, since the new SIM rules are confining cellular companies to sell SIMs via service centres and company owned franchises only and cleaning the unregistered SIMs. According to latest stats issued by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, five cellular companies added a total of 143,609 new subscribers in February 2013, down from average addition of around 1000,000 subscribers per month during past six months. Total cellular base was recorded at 120,962,829 subscribers at the end of February 2013, up from 120,819,220 subscribers in January 2013. Mobilink remained the market leader with 36,011,288 subscribers, while Telenor stood second with 30,423,114 subscribers. Ufone had 23,345,258 subscribers at the end of February 2013 while Zong reported 18,659,009 subscribers. Warid registered a total base of 12,524,160 subscribers during the given period. Cellular sector is the most important part of the telecom profile of Pakistan as it constitutes the major part of overall teledensity figure. Telecom mobile sector of Pakistan is a competitive market as confirmed by the Herfindhal-Hirschman Index (HHI) for the sector. As a result, companies kept on increasing their network coverage to gain the first entrant advantage as cell sites increased to 33,920 during FY 2012. In addition, PTA regularly explores new growth avenues for the cellular industry such as mobile financial services where PTA has collaborated
with State Bank of Pakistan to use mobile platform to reach the 85percent unbanked population of the country. The daunting task of formulating the Regulations, it showed in annual report of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. The report reveal that PTA always keeps national and public interests at the apex of its regulatory schema and the regulator’s efforts to reorganize the SIM sale and subscriber verification procedures need no introduction. This year, PTA took the next step in this regard as automation of pre-sale documentation project rolled out this year. For consumer health
safety, PTA conducted BTS health hazard survey to ensure that mobile signals do not harm any individual in the nearby areas. Similarly, PTA took stern measures to restrict cross border interference and sale of Afghan SIMs in Pakistan territory. For consumer protection, PTA has already set up a dedicated department and revamped its complaint management system to ensure consumers reach the Authority conveniently. During the FY2012, PTA resolved 33,310 consumer complaints received against mobile operators, PTCL, LDIs, WLL, ISPs and MNP. In
Broadband subscribers in Pakistan crossed the two million mark to reach 2,178,833 showing 41 percent growth rate. The challenge for PTA though is to elevate the broadband penetration which currently stands at 1.2 percent, up from 0.89 percent at the end of previous year order to gauge consumer perception about telecom services, PTA launched consumer perception survey system and shared the results with general public. Besides approving consumer friendly package offers, PTA also prepared a comprehensive tariff awareness guide for consumers highlighting important aspects of tariffs and packages. For development of rural connectivity in far flung areas, PTA launched the cellular village connection trial (CVCT) project in Neelum Valley, AJK. Recognizing the pivotal role of agriculture in country’s economy, PTA organized a seminar on telecom’s potential to assist and develop the agriculture sector of Pakistan. To ensure regulatory compliance by the operators, PTA issued enforcement orders to the operators related to different matters. PTA took notice of increasing helpline assistance service charges by operators and refrained them from doing so. PTA also settled issues pertaining to broadband which were mostly related to PTCL’s anti competitive practices. As part of its mandate and being a quality driven organization, PTA carried out a number of surveys related to broadband, helpline assistance, MNP and Internet bandwidth providers. The survey results were shared with the public for information and areas of improvement conveyed to the relevant operators. PTA also blocked websites and other internet links which are considered offensive and hateful towards the sentiments of the general public on regular basis. All these regulatory efforts of PTA had a positive impact on the sector economy as telecom revenue also spiked to Rs. 411 billion showing a growth of 13percent during FY2012. Telecom contri-
bution to the national kitty was the highest ever this year i.e. Rs. 132.51 billion. Investment remained on the lower side this year; however, this would be a temporary phase as companies prepare for massive investment in the 3G arena soon. During FY2012, total telecom imports in the country increased by 24.5percent to reach $ 954 million mainly due to high imports of mobile handsets. Broadband subscribers in Pakistan crossed the two million mark to reach 2,178,833 showing 41 percent growth rate during FY2012. The challenge for PTA though is to elevate the broadband penetration which currently stands at 1.2 percent, up from 0.89 percent at the end of previous year. Wireless technologies like WiMAX and EvDO could be the game changer as these are already outperforming the primitive fixed broadband options. Similarly, local loop (LL) segment of the telecom industry is gradually progressing where customers are turning towards wireless solutions such as mobile cellular services. PTA places special emphasis on research to transfer and implement new technologies as well as to find out ways of better management of the telecom sector. PTA is also widely regarded as one of the best examples of a sound regulatory regime; therefore, international and national organizations collaborate with PTA to conduct trainings, workshops, seminars and forums etc. In this regard, PTA joined hands with a number of local and international organizations such as ITU, LIRNEasia, CGAP, APNIC, Huawei, Ericsson etc to conduct seminars/workshops/ forums relevant to the emerging challenges of the
telecom industry. PTA also takes care of its work force by organizing various local and foreign trainings and also sends its officers for representation at various international forums. PTA, as caretaker of the telecommunication industry of Pakistan, believes in minimum regulatory intervention without compromising on quality of service (QoS), consumer protection, investor concerns and national interests. The Authority shall continue to govern the telecom sector with watchful eye and deal with emerging issues of the sector with professionalism and reconciliation with all stakeholders.
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Google responsible for YouTube blockade: survey finds
The ban has been unwelcoming by the Pakistani internet community at large. However, Google and its YouTube services have severely taken the hit with the ban in place with their unyielding decision to not remove the controversial content. Majority feels they have acted in an extremely hypocritical way and their antagonism for Pakistani Muslim community is very much obvious through their resolute on keeping the video on their site in Pakistan only
OZEE.PK recently conducted an online survey to give insight into people’s impression of Google before and after the ban; to understand whether the opinion of Google deteriorated in Pakistan since the block? Do the people of Pakistan find the ban justified and if not, who are people blaming for the issue? The findings give insights into how badly the people of Pakistan want YouTube restored and whether they have moved on to alternatives. More than 3000 respondents took the online survey from across 165 cities in Pakistan; with majority of respondents being males and belonging to the age group 26-30. 62 percent of the respondents were employed with 15 percent stu-
dent respondents taking part in the survey. Majority of respondents hailed from Lahore (25.56 percent), Karachi (23.92 percent), Islamabad (14.71 percent), Rawalpindi (5.25 percent) and Peshawar (3.92 percent).
The power of media in making those 95 percent aware of the video’s presence can be seen in the fact that a whopping 45 percent of them found about it via National News (TV/Print/Radio/Online). 30 percent of them found about it via their online social media connections; 14 percent found it themselves on YouTube; and 11 percent learnt about it via grapevine. Before the ban on YouTube a whopping 88 percent of the respondents used it. Of these, 54 percent used to browse videos on YouTube daily. After the ban on YouTube, the viewership has declined to 12 percent who are still able to access
they have been able to cover up their losses by switching to alternatives.
YouTube via a proxy. In addition to this, 42 percent respondents admitted not browsing videos at all because of the ban on YouTube. 15 percent student respondents admitted still being able to use and access YouTube, comparatively more than the unemployed (13 percent)
and employed respondents (11 percent). Another interesting trend is seen in the fact that the use and access to YouTube diminishes as the respondents’ age increases. Where 16 percent of the respondents below 20 admit still using YouTube, for those above the age of 45, the rate falls to 8 percent.
69 percent of the respondents, who used YouTube before the ban, said because of the ban they have been unable to view videos of their choice. For others it has resulted in monetary losses: for individuals who used to it promote their business (9 percent), advertisers (6 percent) and has disrupted their other Google Services causing problems in business operations (14 percent). However, 30 percent of the respondents reported
Google vs. the Government of Pakistan 48 percent Pakistanis feel that Google isn’t allowing the removal of the video from YouTube which is why the decision to unban YouTube in Pakistan is still pending. Others are of the view that it is the Government of Pakistan that hasn’t lodged a formal request to YouTube for the removal of the video. Users of YouTube in the past have exposed prominent members from Pakistan government and political parties in compromising videos and 27 percent feel that it could be a possible explanation as to why there has been a delay in
YouTube being banned from Pakistan. Some of them (27 percent) also felt that it could be both Google and Government of Pakistan’s lack of interest in the matter which has caused a delay in decision regarding the ban on YouTube.
A majority of the respondents (46 percent) are unhappy with the ban declaring their disappointment at how the ban isn’t for the better. 44 percent, however, felt that the ban is justified. Of those who oppose the ban, held Google (35 percent) and Sam Bacile, the creator of the video (34 percent) primarily responsible for the ban on YouTube. Others’ view was divided between the Government of Pakistan (16 percent), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (8 percent), and Rahman Malik (3 percent). Courtesy: ROZEE.PK
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USTR asks Pak to withdraw ICH to comply with WTO rules USTR is an agency that negotiates directly with governments to create trade agreements, to resolve disputes, and to participate in global trade policy organisations
nited States Trade Representative (USTR) has urged government of Pakistan to withdraw International Clearing House (ICH) to ensure the functioning of a competitive market for the termination of international voice calls and taking necessary steps to prevent collusive behaviour among international operators. United States Trade Representative (USTR) is an agency that negotiates directly with governments to create trade agreements, to resolve disputes, and to participate in global trade policy organisations. USTR mentions that LDI operators in Pakistan in October 2012 – upon direction of MoITT – established “International Clearing House” (ICH) under which 13 Pakistani carriers assigned Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) the exclusive right to terminate inbound international calls in Pakistan at the “approved settlement rate” set by the Pakistani Telecommunications Authority (PTA). As part of the ICH agreement, every carrier, other than PTCL, suspended their interconnection arrangements for incoming international traffic and in turn received a fixed share of the revenues PTCL generates from the termination of incoming international traffic in Pakistan. The new international termination rate set by
the PTA was $0.088 per minute, an increase of approximately four hundred percent over the competitive market rate of approximately $0.02 per minute that existed prior to the ICH agreement. Upon a petition filed by Brain Telecom, Lahore High Court suspended ICH and directed PTA to ensure pre-ICH rates for international incoming calls to Pakistan. USTR said that multiple international carriers have informed it that PTCL remains the only provider of international termination services in Pakistan and that the increased rate of $0.088 per minute remains in effect, even though it is no longer mandated by the PTA. Most recently, the Pakistan Supreme Court overturned the Lahore High Court ruling and remanded the matter back to the CCP. United States Trade Representative, in its review, said that Pakistan’s actions to increase its international termination rates have led to a massive increase in rates for telecommunications into Pak-
istan, hurting both global telecommunications companies seeking to terminate calls in Pakistan and Pakistanis living abroad trying to call home as well as other non-Pakistani consumers. The immediate cost to US telecommunication companies (and their subscribers, if cost increases are passed on) will be in the tens of millions of dol-
lars. As Pakistani companies and U.S. companies investing in Pakistan depend on competitivelypriced telecommunications to engage in trade, Pakistan’s actions also stand to affect these companies’ competitiveness as well, to the extent that
Supreme Court of Pakistan has asked Competition Commission of Pakistan to hear the ICH and to drive a conclusion of its own within 30 days they depend on incoming international calls for their business (e.g. from customers, suppliers and affiliates). USTR said that Pakistan is a member of the
WTO with commitments under the GATS Annex on Telecommunications. Section 5 of the Annex on Telecommunication requires the provision of access to telecommunications networks and services in Pakistan on reasonable terms and conditions. The WTO Dispute Settlement Body has found that “access to and use of public telecommunications transport networks and services on ‘reasonable’ terms includes questions of pricing of that access and use.” USTR commented that there is substantial evidence that Pakistan carriers participating in the market for terminating international traffic into Pakistan appear to be colluding to avoid competition and to fix the rate for such termination at a level significantly above the prior range of rates that was offered when all such participants were actually competing to provide such services. These actions raise concerns about Pakistan’s obligation to provide reasonable terms for access and use as required by the GATS Annex on Telecommunications. USTR said that it looks to Pakistan to ensure the functioning of a competitive market for the termination of international voice calls by rejecting the ICH agreement and taking necessary steps to prevent collusive behaviour among international operators.
Supreme Court of Pakistan has asked Competition Commission of Pakistan to hear the ICH and to drive a conclusion of its own within 30 days. Supreme Court, while adjourning the hearing yesterday said that CCP should explain the jurisdiction of the matter and that CCP will take care of the case from here on and matter will not be heard in Supreme Court again. It maybe recalled that Supreme Court had previously directed CCP to hear and resolve the case in 15 days, against which CCP had issued show cause notices to LDI operators, however, Sindh High Court had held CCP from carrying out its procedural investigations on the matter due to a petition filed by telecom operators. Now Supreme Court has once again intervened and has said that ICH case will be decided by CCP only. It is said that CCP will notify LDI operators again to respond to its earlier issued show cause notice.
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April Fools' Day 2013! Tech pranks The web world is abuzz with April Fool’s Day pranks and Google is def initely not behind. This year Google played not one but three pranks! The f irst and the most hilarious is the launch of Google Nose. With the tagline – Smelling is Believing; From Gmail Blue to the Toshiba Shibasphere, here are some of tech's best April Fools' gags
alk like a Pirate Day, Pi Day, and April Fools' Day are all holidays that were either made up by or adopted by the Internet, big time. Years ago, April Fools' Day was a day to tie your brother's shoelaces together, or swap the salt with the sugar. Then the Internet latched onto it, and it either exponentially improved, or went into the toilet, depending upon your perspective. If nothing else, it gives frustrated creative
types a chance to stretch their legs and try to imagine what life would be like if only...this would happen. At its best, April Fools offers a gentle diversion into surrealism, such as audio accessories for cats. At its worst, April Fools is (another) chance for brands to take potshots at one another, continuing the age-old sniping that usually takes place on stage and within the courtroom. With that in mind, the best April Fools' sendup we've seen this year is the Toshiba Shibasphere, which pokes gentle fun at the Nintendo Wii and the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox peripheral. At this point, a corporate spoof almost demands a supporting video, which Toshiba delivers. Impenetrable jargon? And, of course, killer specs. ThinkGeek, of course, has a reputation for promising April Fools' gags and then -surprise!actually commissioning them as real products. We wouldn't be surprised if this one, for example, turns out to be the real deal. (There is no way that the Death Star Trench Toss couldn't be real, right?) We've included what we think are the best April Fools' pranks, as well as two that missed the mark.
Microsoft, Google swap April Fools' barbs: Rankling each other is nothing new, but the two tech rivals clearly saved some special jabs for this day. Microsoft and Google have both gotten in some April Fools' Day zingers against each other. The two competitors often trade insults about each other's respective search engines, online office suites, and other products. But April Fools' Day inspired them to create a couple of fullblown Web pages to make fun of each other. Microsoft laid its prank at its Bing search engine. A Bing page pops up spoofing Google's pure
white and stark home page. Hovering over the small boxes that populate the Bing page displays tips that take a few more swipes at Google. YouTube shuts: YouTube on its homepage through a video informed viewers that it’s going dark for a decade, this news shocked the world but not Pakistani viewers as YouTube is already offline here due to sacrilegious content. Toshiba Shibasphere: Imma gonna let you finish Google, but I just wanna say that Toshiba won April Fools' Day. Toshiba's Shibasphere, which mocks the Xbox 360 Kinect controller as well as other gaming tropes, is one of the best we've seen this April Fools' Day, at least at this point. Google: Google launched a handful of April Fools' Day pranks, including the announcement that YouTube would be shut down to find the very best video on the Web, that Google Maps now includes a Treasure Mode, and that Google had launched Google Nose, an olfactory search tool. Gmail Blue: Google also took a shot at Microsoft with Gmail Blue. "How do we redesign and create something while keeping it exactly the same?" Google "asks." The gag is an obvious sendup of Windows Blue, which appears to make very small changes to Windows 8.
Apple iPlay: "Does it do everything that other Apple products already do? Yes." Indeed, the Apple iPlay is a revolutionary game player, where users can control games on the television's big screen - but it only plays Angry Birds. Skype in Spaaaacce: Skype revealed Skype in Space, a tool to beam a message across the galaxy. Users just need to work out the relative velocity between their own craft, the nearest communications satellite and the contact, adjust Skype into Space's spatio-temporal delay mitigation algorithms accordingly, and click "video call." Playdoh 3D printer: ThinkGeek has a reputation for turning faux products into real ones, but I don't know that you'll be seeing this one on store shelves anytime soon. "Why buy things from stores when you can print them yourself? The DIY 3D printer revolution is here, friends, and have we got
the entry-level 3D printer for you. It's the Play-Doh 3D Printer, and it's loaded with features without a price tag that will set your wallet on fire," the ad reads. Samsung Eco-Tree: Samsung launched the Eco-Tree, which provides oxygen, shelter, and natural cooling. Aww, that was sweet. Thanks, Samsung.
Sony Cat Cans: Sony UK took to Twitter to launch "Cat Can," headphones for cats, as well as other audio accessories for pets. Guild Wars 8-Bit Level: Although this once started out as an April Fools' Day prank, NCSoft decided to go whole hog and actually design three levels within the Guild Wars 2 world of Tyria that incorporated 80s-style gameplay: no falling damage, pixelated graphics, the works. The Super Adventure Box is accessible, in-game, for just one month. Hulu Adds The Classics: If you visit Hulu, you'll see an archive of some of the "classics," The Itchy and Scratchy Show, Inspector Spacetime, and others. Of course, these are in fact real shows, or at least clips of them, inside of others like The Simpsons. So this is sort of an April Fools' joke, inside out.
Swiftkey Tilt: Another quasi-meta-April Fools' thing: Swiftkey, the alternative Android keyboard, announced Tilt, a new mode that allows you to "type" by rolling the pointer between the keys, like one of those "marble" games that use the phone's tilt sensor. And a company spokeswoman said it's now a real mode, too. Viruses from Space: Oh no! Russian antimalware vendor Kaspersky Labs has discovered code that must be extra-terrestrial. "It’s theoretically impossible to say that this code was written by a human being," Eugene Kaspersky has wrote in a blog post. Twitter Launches No-Vowels Twttr: Meanwhile, in its perpetual bid to raise additional revenue, Twitter decided to eliminate vowels unless users subscribed to a premium service. The company also launched Twittr to facilitate the process.
Prof Umair Munawar
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Smartphone apps consumption Women ratio 29pc higher than men The world is going crazy over an invention that we know as mobile phones. The immense popularity and the large fan following that this device enjoys has made it a signif icant invention of the 21st century. A majority of the population around the world is powered with a cellular phone that has completed our lives
hird-party apps dominate the consumption of online video on mobile devices among all participants in the seven Arbitron Mobilebased measurement services in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, Japan, and Indonesia. While a larger percentage of smartphone panelists across the seven countries uses mobile web browsers to access online video — 87.5 percent via web browsers versus 57.4 percent via apps — a significant majority of time spent with mobile online video happens on third-party apps. An average of 88 percent of all online video minutes viewed across the seven panels are accessed via mobile apps such as YouTube; Netflix; and QIYI Video, the leading online video mobile app in China. Online video consumers in the China smartphone panel (operated by iResearch) spend the most time with mobile video apps — 350.1 minutes each month, followed by mobile videophiles in the United States panel — 230 minutes/month and in Indonesia–181.5 minutes/month. Female smartphone owners report spending a little more than 2 hours a week using downloaded social networking applications, compared to slightly more than 1-and-a-half hours for men, (124 minutes vs. 96 minutes) finds J.D. Power and Associates in its 2013 US Wireless Smartphone Satisfaction Study. Looking at age groups, 18-24year-olds not surprisingly are the heaviest users of social networking apps (154 minutes per week), though 35-44-year-olds (138 minutes) exceed the 2534 group (120.5 minutes) in weekly consumption. There is then a dramatic drop among older age groups, down to 82 minutes for the 45-54 set, 84.5 minutes for the 55-64 group, and 49 minutes for the 65 and over group. The figures are substantially lower than self-reported consumption of social networking by respondents to an Ipsos study released early this year. In that study, social networking users reported spending more than 3 hours per day on the sites. Of course, the J.D. Power & Associates report is limited to
smartphone users of social media applications, but other studies have estimated that mobile accounts for 40-55 percent of social media time, which would translate to considerably higher consumption than seen in this latest study, if using the Ipsos results as a benchmark. (Another caveat: that 40 percent figure from Nielsen is based on mobile app and mobile web usage of social networking, but the J.D. Power figures seem low even when accounting for that.) Nevertheless, the age and gender trends are important considerations. And there are similar dynamics at play when examining the propensity to download social networking applications: 84 percent
of 18-24-year-old smartphone users report having done so, dropping to 46 percent of those aged 65 and older. Female smartphone users responding to the J.D. Power survey were also 21 percent more likely than male smartphone users to have downloaded a social networking app (74 percent vs. 61 percent). Facebook is most popular for social networking app downloaders, used by 96 percent, ahead of Twitter (35 percent), Google+ (20 percent), LinkedIn (16 percent), and Myspace (4 percent). Only 3 percent report downloading a different app, such as Pinterest. The world is going crazy over an invention that we know as mobile phones. The immense popularity and the large fan following that this device enjoys has made it a significant invention of the 21st century. The impact of mobile phones is discernible in anywhere. A majority of the population around the world is powered with a cellular phone that has com-
pleted our lives. It seems that we cannot do without this device. And it looks all the more stranger when everybody knows that mobile phones were considered to be real luxury exactly ten years ago and they were not even known 20 years go. But the truth is, mobile phones have not only made over lives easy and convenient, but they are also stylish enough to become your fashion statement. Gone are the days, when the mobile phones were considered as one big luxury. Now they are the necessity. There are a whole lot of varieties, shapes and models of mobile phones, which powers the user with an array of features. Even in the third world countries, the craze of mobile phones is constantly increasing, enabling the mobile phone manufacturers to penetrate the mobile phone market deeper. They are marketed according to their target audience. The prices of these devices have come down heavily, plus the features of this gadget has increased as well, making the users harness the mobile phones to the fullest. With the advent of the various techniques of marketing, like the mobile phone deals, there has been a widespread increase in the mobile phone business in the United Kingdom. Under the contract mobile phones, this business is significantly growing, while the consumers have been baited by the various contract mobile phone plans that look so tempting at the face value.
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ZONG organizes National Open Polo Championship Hamza Mawaz Khan, with brilliant horsemanship, slammed 7 goals to help defending champions Colony Sugar retain their title of the Zong National Polo Championship for Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup at historic Lahore Polo Club (LPC) Ground; the wining team savours the victory by 11 goals to 7 in the final
ONG, the digital partner of the nation, sponsored the National Open Polo Championship for the Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup 2013. Six teams competed through the tournament, which concluded recently in Lahore. There were six foreign players participated in the tournament. Renowned foreign Umpires like Marcus Hancock, Matias Vial Perez, Santiago Mendivil, Gaston Moore, Manuel Crespo and James Harper shown their brilliance as umpires though-out the event. Hamza Mawaz Khan, with brilliant horsemanship, slammed 7 goals to help defending champions Colony Sugar retain their title of the Zong National Polo Championship for Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup at historic Lahore Polo Club (LPC) Ground. Colony Sugar outplayed Diamond Paints by 11 goals to 7 in the final, witnessed by a large crowd. Earlier in the subsidiary final, Army-Coca Cola defeated Guard Group to claim third position. Mr. Feng Tuixian, Chief Financial Officer of Zong, was the chief guest at prize distribution ceremony who commented on the tournament “Zong feels proud and privileged to be sponsor of an event which dates back to 1963 and has a long history of tradition and honor. In the past few years since its entry into Pakistan, ZONG has been proud to support and sponsor many different causes, events and games. We see such support as an integral part of our corporate social responsibility. For us it is vitally important that the corporate sector contributes meaningfully to strengthening society. Our support today goes out to King of Games which is also the oldest team sport. I would like to offer my heartiest congratulations to the 2 teams that made it to the final of the ZONG National Open Polo Championship for the Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup 2013.” National open polo championship was incepted way back in 1963 and this year’s event was the 50thedition of the national polo championship. The trophy was first introduce as the El Effendi Cup, and was presented by Brig H M el Effendi who was himself a 4 goal player.
or nearly ten years now, as an academic and through my UK-based company, PolicyTracker, I have enjoyed writing, teaching and doing consultancy work on spectrum policy. I have become pretty familiar with the issues this raises, but I am now in new territory: I feel compelled to comment on an issue in which I have a large personal involvement. I was briefly employed by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to advise and provide auction software for the 3G licencing deal. My contract was cancelled halfway through and my wage cheque withheld. The PTA is now refusing to pay me a single penny. The same applies to the other people I was working with, independent consultants Dennis Ward and Rob Nicholls of Webb Henderson. Having travelled to Pakistan and commissioned software development work at my own expense, I am less than delighted with the outcome. (That is English understatement by the way!) However, I do not want to use this article to berate the PTA, tempting though it is. The circumstances which led to our appointment – and dismissal – point to a much wider and more important issue which needs public debate.
A lack of confidence The deeper issue, I feel, is the PTA’s lack of independence and lack of confidence. By law, it is an independent regulator, yet politicians do not accept this in practice and the PTA does not vigorously pursue its mandate. As the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has failed before, politicians lack confidence in its abilities. Last year, the government parachuted in a new chairman, Farooq Ahmed Awan, who had a reputation for “getting things done”. The prime minister thereafter set up an auction supervisory committee to drive things forward.
This ruffled feathers at the PTA, notably those of the two other members of the PTA executive body: the Member Finance and the Member Technical. They claimed to be unfairly sidelined; eventually, the courts agreed, ruling that the chairman was unlawfully appointed. This is a cyclical thing: the PTA underperforms, the government intervenes, and the intervention fails because of a legal challenge or internal PTA opposition. There is a strong circle of distrust, and until it is broken, Pakistan’s telecom sector will continue to suffer. The politics There is a further dynamic. 3G itself is heavily politicised. Opposition parties do not want
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Why 3G auction failed thrice in Pakistan
By law, it is an independent regulator, yet politicians do not accept this in practice and the PTA does not vigorously pursue its mandate
the PPP to go into the forthcoming election as the party that gave the country mobile internet. The opposition parties believe that stopping the 3G process will help their election campaign. And, for anyone within the PTA with anti-government views, that leaves plenty of scope for mischief. However, there is no political bounty in 3G, and that is the tragedy. The ruling PPP might have won some political advantage from conducting the auction, but gained little benefit if it lost the election and had to hand around $1 billion in proceeds to one of the opposition parties.
One can understand the government’s desire to interfere: no country can waste opportunities worth as much as $1 billion. But Pakistan is a relatively young democracy, hoping this May to make its first direct transition from one civilian government to another. Let’s hope that whoever wins power will take a mature view of the benefits of independent regulation. Let’s also hope that the PTA acts decisively to exercise its mandate – otherwise this circle of distrust will never be broken.
As the PTA has failed before, politicians lack confidence in its abilities. Last year, the government parachuted in a new chairman, Farooq Ahmed Awan, who had a reputation for “getting things done” The ordinary citizens of Pakistan would be the only real winners from an early auction, both in terms of auction proceeds and the economic boost which 3G would bring. If an independent and confident PTA had pursued its mandate to make the best use of the radio spectrum and to modernise telecoms services, it would have safeguarded public interest by rising above political pressures.
The impartial, unpoliticised exercise of agreed policy is the only way to eliminate the uncertainty which holds back the development of the national telecom sector, and in ensuring the Pakistani people can enjoy the benefits of 3G before everyone else has moved on to 4G and beyond. The writer is a UK-based consultant on telecom-related policy
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Local hosted content shines during connectivity crisis
he recent weeks were pretty much challenging for users and service providers alike who use the internet. Three international sea cables (SEMEWE4, IMEWE and EIG) that provide the majority of digital communication between Asia to Europe were cut. The two Pakistan international communication gateway companies that provide internet backhauling services to all the ISPs of Pakistan, PTCL and TWA, both depend on these cables for international communication and therefore internet bandwidth coming into Pakistan dropped to 40 percent. Until recently, hosting internationally made sense – Pakistan’s internet community was not big enough to justify focus on the market, the datacenters and support facilities were not at international standards and cost was 3-5 times that available internationally. Therefore most content providers hosted their content abroad and many did not even bother to setup caching or backup-sites domestically. However recently, as the broadband market developed, there has been major investment in improving data center facilities by most major licensed broadband operators In Pakistan. These new data centers can compete with any international facility and the costs are also comparable. For instance, managed datacenter services cost only 20-30% more than equivalent services acquired in California’s silicon valley, the global hub of all datacenters. Compare this slight cost to the advantages of hosting locally and it is hard not to see why it makes sense to host content locally if your business wholly or partially caters to the Pakistan internet community.
“When you look at the high quality of datacenter facilities now available locally, and the recent decline in prices, factor in average internet connection latency reduced from above 300ms to sub 20ms, and add in the advantages of local access and support, the case for international and domestic content providers to host in Pakistan becomes too strong to ignore”, says Salman Ansari, President SAATC, one of Pakistan’s foremost IT and telecommunication consultants.
Zulfiqar Qazilbash, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Transworld Associates, one of Pakistan’s two tier 1 internet providers talks about why a company that provides internet backhauling services to most ISPs in Pakistan built a datacenter in their landing station. “The TWA Landing station is the defacto internet hub of Pakistan. It is the au-
tomatic peering point of all operators that use TWA bandwidth directly or indirectly and is peered with the other internet provider. The Tier 3 datacenter provides unmatched value proposition to Pakistani operators who has collocation needs. For one thing, by collocating at the Landing Station, you have dramatically controlled your last mile vulnerability, since you are connected to the internet gateway note in the same building. Secondly, there is no better peering location both for international and domestic traffic. Thirdly, you get to leverage the infrastructure and engineering support that powers Pakistan’s internet.” “Transworld’s decision to provide datacenter services at their internet gateway node was a game changer for us”, says Monis Rahman, Chairman and CEO of ROZEE.PK. “The world class facility allowed us to lower latency by a factor of 10 and we have the ability to service our Pakistan clients even if there is a major internet crisis such as the one that occurred recently. Our servers have stayed humming while providing a better usability experience to our customers”. With local and international content providers that focus on Pakistan’s internet community now able to leverage advanced hosting platforms like the TWA Datacenter, it is hoped that more internet based applications and services will henceforth be available to the population. Internet can be a powerful and cost effective medium for solving the education, health, e-commerce, e-government and other problems of Pakistan. The article is shared by Transworld Associates, a leading communications company in Pakistan.
Syed Sajid Shah
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Pak-US to block blasphemous materials on YouTube
There are short-and medium-term solutions available to resolve the lingering row over opening up of YouTube and on an immediate basis, the information ministry has asked PTA to install a filtration system to block blasphemous and pornographic materials on YouTube
inistry of Information Technology (MoIT) has recommended that the Foreign Office sign a mutual legal assistance treaty with the United States of America to block blasphemous materials on YouTube. Besides, the information ministry is asking for a law that authorises the blocking of blasphemous content available over the internet. “There are short-and medium-term solutions available to resolve the lingering row over opening up of YouTube and on an immediate basis, the information ministry has asked the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to install a filtration system to block blasphemous and pornographic materials on YouTube,” said a senior official. Secretary MoIT Zafar Iqbal Qadir said that Pakistan would have to follow the models of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates where a special department comprising religious scholars is tasked with the monitoring of internet content. “We need to develop expertise to block undesirable materials,” he added. MoIT sent out an official communication to the Foreign Office and the ministry of law, recommending the start of negotiations with the US for striking the agreement. They said the signing of treaty with US requires two to three years but this treaty alone will not help blockade of blasphemous materials on YouTube or other websites. Islamabad authorities discussed issues of blasphemous materials with one of Google’s consultants based in Pakistan and asked him to block non-desirable materials on video sharing website. Google’s consultant asked MoIT to provide indemnity to the operator by creating a provision under the law to block the same since the absence of a law would render the operator liable against promoters of the content. According to an official, the Google’s office in Singapore is dealing with this issue and so far Pakistani authorities have remained unable to place an effective monitoring mechanism. The MoIT
recommended the PTA few months ago to place a filtration system with an estimated cost of around $10 million, he added. “PTA will have to establish a separate department to ensure effective monitoring and blocking of the sacrilegious materials,” he said and added that at the moment there was an inter-ministerial committee (IMC) existing comprising of various stakeholders, including from ministry of interior, ministry of religious affairs, representatives of main spy agency and others. The IMC was established in 2006 but it has remained a defunct body. The information ministry has asked the committee to expand its operation and effectiveness and the Ministry of Religious Affairs to define ‘blasphemous content’, which will enable the regulator to ensure its blockage.
The information ministry has asked the committee to expand its operation and effectiveness and the Ministry of Religious Affairs to define ‘blasphemous content’, which will enable the regulator to ensure its blockage Below the text of MoIT Policy Directive on blocking on Blasphemous and Indecent websites: Subject: Policy directive for effective monitoring & control of obnoxious content (blasphemous & pornographic) over internet in Pakistan”, The unchecked and free flow of blasphemous and pornographic content at mass level through internet in Pakistan is in direct friction with the basic principles of Islamic way of life as reflected in the Objectives Resolution as well as the articles 19 and 31 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Such obnoxious content also creates immense discomfort and dismay among the people of Pakistan besides shaking the very fabric of our socioreligious values. Furthermore, several petitions have also been filed in the superior judiciary whereby the courts have expressed their concerns over this and directed GoP to address these issues more effectively. Therefore, it is imperative to have a sustainable solution to continuously monitor and control the display of blasphemous and pornographic content over internet in Pakistan without compromising the scope of article 19 of the constitution that guarantees right to freedom of speech and expression, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam etc. In view of the foregoing the federal government is pleased to issue the following directives for compliance by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA): i. PTA to establish at the earliest a dedicated unit while allocating appropriate funds/budget and human resources, supported by the state of the art technical solutions and upgraded call center, with the mandate to take requisite measures for proactively and independently blocking the websites displaying the blasphemous and pornographic content; ii. It must be ensured that any system procured as per para 2 (i) does not interfere with the rights of the citizens as envisioned in the Objectives Resolution and articles 19 and 31of the Constitution of Pakistan or misused by anyone for political gains. The focus of this system shall remain ‘blasphemous and pornographic’ content; iii. Concurrently, the Inter-Ministerial Committee already constituted for evaluation of websites will also continue its mandated work as per the ToRs. 3. This policy directive is issued with the approval of minster for information technology for the implementation with immediate effect.”
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Zubair Ahmed Kasuri
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he PPP led coalition government completed their term by making history to complete the 5 year democratic period for the first time in Pakistan’s democratic history by any public elected government. But, the list of bad records made by PPP government along with its allies, is quite long and masssive corruption destroyed public institutions, failures, inefficiencies, bad governance, misused powers, made wrong choices, ignored wrongdoings, and put the last pin in the coffin of the public kitty as the economy is plummeting and the foreign debts reached to Rs 14,000 trillion; dollar crosses the 100 mark against rupee, public treasury has shrink to record lowest point as the foreign reserves melt down. Government policies have had a considerable impact on the telecom sector of Pakistan. It was in 1996 when the sector came into full focus with the promulgation of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act. The Act paved the way for establishment of key company like 'Pakistan Telecommunication Authority' (the regulator) and Frequency Allocation Board (which allocates and assigns frequency spectrum to the public and private sectors). When the previous government (2002-08) finished its term, the industry seemed poised for its next phase of growth. But, the new government’s policies were altogether against this lucrative sector; cellular service suspension, ban on SIMs on retailer stores increase in GST; all these bring-down the most promising sector on its toes. After the PPP government completed its turn (2008-2013; the caretaker government has nothing in hand to run the state affairs as every institution has been destroyed by the PPP led coalition government; in a desperate move to meet the revenue collection target for the current fiscal year, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has placed a burden of Rs70 to 80 billion on taxpayers with the issuance of different notifications. The FBR has provisionally collected Rs1.34 trillion between July 2012 and March 2013. It needs to collect Rs782 billion in the remaining three months of the fiscal year to meet an already
reduced revenue collection target of Rs2.13 trillion. The revenue collection target has been changed twice this year from an initial figure of Rs2,381 billion. Considering where revenue collection stood at the end of the first quarter, the FBR realised that the pace of revenue collection could not gain momentum. The FBR was facing difficulties in introducing new measures during the last government’s tenure due to upcoming general elections. The revenue shortfall was also imminent as the FBR obtained advance tax from different sectors to meet the revenue collection target in the last fiscal year, which it subsequently returned to companies at the start of the current fiscal year. To hide its shortcomings, the FBR resorted to the old method of issuing Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) for revenue generation. Revenue collection up to March
2013 shows a nominal five percent increase from Rs1.28 trillion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, when the total stood at Rs1.88 trillion. With a five percent rise in collection, the FBR is unlikely to reach Rs1.98 trillion, signaling a shortfall of Rs146 billion this fiscal year. Since February 2013, the revenue body has issued 17 different SROs. The breakdown revealed that five SROs have been issued regarding income tax, 11 regarding sales tax and one regarding federal excise. Sources said that remaining shortfall would be bridged through already launched amnesty schemes in customs, the legalising of smuggled vehicles, and another in sales tax, relaxing the condition for making payment. Moreover, another amnesty scheme is likely by the end of May or start of June 2013. Sources say that taxpayers will be given the chance to pay their principal amount while additional tax, surcharges, fines and penalties will be waived.
The LCCI Vice President said that instead of focusing on expansion of tax net by bringing the untaxed sectors into the tax net, the FBR was squeezing the existing tax payers but all such moves aimed at tarnishing the image of the government would be resisted tooth and nail
• 5 Mega pixel or higher mega pixel camera; or • Dual Core or higher processor. The FBR imposed Rs500 sales tax on import of cell phones other then smart or satellite phones. Tax officials said that Pakistan is a big market for all types of smart phones, and the country spends millions of dollars per annum on import of cellular phones, particularly smart phones. The officials added that similar measures are also expected in the coming months, aimed at boosting revenue collection. On the other hand, FBR has clarified that no new tax has been imposed on cell phones as is wrongly being portrayed by some quarters. The fixed amount of sales tax on activation stage was first introduced through SRO 390(I)/2001 dated 18th June, 2001, with a rate of Rs. 2000 per cell phone. However, on the request of cellular company operators to encourage the sector, the rate was reduced from time to time. Under SRO 542(I)/2008 dated 11th June, 2008 the fixed rate was Rs. 500 per mobile phone, which was subsequently reduced Rs. 250 per mobile phone.
Senior tax officials believe that enhanced collection is the need of the hour, considering the fiscal deficit and quest for another IMF loan. An official said that the revenue authorities had failed to comply with the requirement stipulated under the terms of the last IMF loan programme, which called for reforming the taxation system, broadening the tax base and increasing the pace of collection. The business community has reacted strongly to the FBR’s decision to squeeze existing taxpayers, who are already suffering from poor security conditions, an energy crisis and political instability. Ironically, FBR has increased sales tax from Rs 250 per set to Rs 1000 per set on smart cellular phones or satellite phones and Rs 250 per set to Rs 500 per set on other mobile phones. In this regard,
the FBR has issued SRO.280 (I)/2013 in line with the latest IT technology of cellular/mobile phones industry, in order to boost the revenue collection in the remaining three months of current fiscal year. The FBR issued SRO 280(I)/2013 recently and announced that cellular mobile phones and satellite phones (hand-held sets) falling under PCT Heading 8517.1210 or any other Heading, the sales tax rate will be collected at Rs1000 per set in case of smart phones or satellite phones, where the term ‘smart phone’ means a cellular mobile phone having any of the following characteristics: • 4GB or higher basic memory; • Operating system of the type iOS, Android v2.3, Android Gingerbread or higher, Blackberry RIM or Windows 8 or higher; • Touch screen;
The collection mechanism in all these notifications was based on the old CDMA technology, which required activation/energization of mobile phones by the cellular company operators before they could be operated. However, CDMA technology is no longer prevalent on any mobile network in Pakistan as all mobile networks in the country are presently operating on GSM technology. Under GSM technology only a SIM Card is inserted in mobile phones which are ready for usage. These GSM technology-based mobile phones do not require activation/energization by the cellular mobile network. Due to this technology change from CDMA to GSM, SRO 542(I)/2008 dated 11th June, 2008 had become redundant and the Government exchequer was not getting the proper revenue from this sector as pre-activated cell phones were being imported resulting in a steep fall in revenue despite tremendous increase in volume of import. SRO 280(I)/2013 dated 04-04-2013 recently issued by the Government does not impose any new tax. It only aligns the law with the latest technology. This notification was necessitated to remove the anomalies occurring due to change in technology. It has shifted the time and mode of payment of tax from activation stage to import stage. The standard rate of sales tax under the Sales Tax Act, 1990 is 16 percent and prices of new mobile phones go as high as around Rs. 80,000/- or more. At the standard rate of sales tax, the amount of sales tax payable on a mobile phone costing Rs. 50,000/- would be Rs. 80,000/-, but under SRO 280(I)/2013 the fixed sales tax is only Rs. 1000/-
Cover Story which comes to around 2 percent. Thus the fixed rate of sales tax under SRO 280(I)/2013 dated 04-042013 is still much lower than the standard rate of 16 percent chargeable on all other goods. This reduced fixed rate of Sales Tax has been retained on the request of cell phone operating companies to help and encourage the sector. The impression being created by certain vested interests that the Government has levied a new tax on cell phone is baseless and devoid of fact. The views being presented that imposition of sales tax under SRO 280(I)/2013 will ruin the businesses or lead to smuggling of mobile phones is also not correct as the present notification only brings the tax structure in line with the current cellular technology and it is aimed at safeguarding the interests of the exchequer which were being hurt due to the existence of a notification based on an obsolete technology. Even under the new notification fixed tax rate at a minimal level has been retained on mobile phones to save the industry from any possibility of smuggling. The rate of Rs. 1000/- is only for smart phones and satellite phones (which are admittedly costly phones). The fixed rate of sales tax on ordinary cellular mobile phones (other than Smart Phones and Satellite Phones) is only Rs. 500/- per mobile phone. This minimal rate of fixed tax shows the pro-industry policy of the Federal Government. It also shows that all tax policy changes are well-thought out by the Federal Government and no such policy is implemented which would create problems for the industry, the statement concluded. Sources told that the FBR has collected a very negligible amount of sales tax at the time of activation of new mobile phones. Now, the charge of levy at the import stage would ensure sales tax collection on each set. Under the old policy, the incidence of sales tax was same on all kinds of mobile phones. There was uniform rate of Rs 250 per set sales tax on smart cellular phones, satellite phones or all other
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already facing multiple internal and external challenges. He said that instead of focusing on expansion of tax net by bringing the untaxed sectors into the tax net, the FBR was squeezing the existing tax payers but all such moves aimed at tarnishing the image of the government would be resisted tooth and nail. He said it would have been wiser on the part of the FBR if it had given at least one month time to the mobile dealers for clearance of their shipments instead of slapping that harsh measure with one stroke of pen. He said authorities concerned should have taken the stakeholders to that SRO on board instead of taking unilateral decision just to meet revenue target. Mian Abuzar Shad said LCCI strongly rejected the SRO 280(I) 2013 and called for its immediate withdrawal in the larger interests of the country. He also assured the visiting delegation of fullest LCCI support for the acceptance of their just demands. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Hall Road
players and develop consensus. During the past five years of the PPP government, the affairs at the Ministry of IT and Telecom remained mired in neglect and uncertainty. There were five ministers who graced this portfolio in five year, two of them happened to be sitting Prime Min-
At the standard rate of sales tax, the amount of sales tax payable on a mobile phone costing Rs. 50,000/- would be Rs. 80,000/-, but under SRO 280(I)/2013 the fixed sales tax is only Rs. 1000/- which comes to around 2 percent isters, who could hardly spare time to attend various important matters pending at the Ministry. Frequent reshufflings in top bureaucracy also affected the MoIT administration, where none of the appointed secretaries was able to last longer to give direction to the Ministry. It was no surprise then that policy formulation took a back seat, and even the previously-
kinds of mobile phones. Through a revised policy, the FBR has increased the incidence of sales tax on the import of expensive phones like smart cellular phones, satellite phones etc. However, the incidence of sales tax is very low on the less expensive mobile phones. But, across the country, mobile phone dealers and traders staged protest against the sales tax rise; the Hall Road Lahore traders kept their shops closed and demonstrated against the FBR for a new tax on the import of smartphones and satellite phones in Pakistan. The traders have blocked the Mall Road and burnt tyres on the road. They chanted slogans against the caretaker government and demanded to withdraw the tax. The mobile phone dealers said the new taxation system will invigorate the illegal channels to import the cell phones and it might affect the mainstream mobile phone manufacturers like Samsung, Nokia and Sony Ericson. The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) demanded of the government to immediately withdraw SRO 280(I) 2013 as it would not only destroy the mobile phone businesses but would also promote smuggling and encourage undocumented sector. LCCI Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad was talking to a 50member Hall Road delegation called on him under the leadership of Babar Mehmood to protest the imposition of up to Rs 1,000 in sales tax on smart phones at import stage. The LCCI Vice President said the caretaker prime minister should take a serious notice of issuance of anti-business SROs at a time when the economy was
Association Babar Mehmood said the business community reserved the right to go on strike against such harsh measure that was bound to cause closure of businesses. He said the government move would also jack up the graph of unemployment as thousands of people are attached with mobile phones businesses directly or indirectly. He said that on the one hand the FBR claimed to take measures for promotion of documentation of the economy while on the other it took steps to encourage smuggling. Similar protests observed in Karachi, Peshawar,
Rawalpindi and other major cities across the country, demanded to withdraw the notification with immediate effect. Industry stakeholders asked, if such move was due, the FBR should have to consult with all the
formulated telecom policies couldn't be updated in the face of a changing technological scenario. Much has happened in the telecom industry between March 2008 and March 2013, but there is no one word or phrase that can define the industry's performance in this period. Therefore, what follows from here is a selected characterisation of statistics, events and outcomes that unfolded in the telecom arena during last regime. Itâ€™s now the outcome of the previous government that tarnishing the sector, but this blow will encourage gray trafficking (smuggling) and ultimately would increase corrupt practices, which already hollow the roots of our institutions but the most corrupt institution is the custom department and by this new SRO the custom personnel will loot with their both hands. The caretaker PM should have to take notice and direct the FBR to bring the untaxed into tax net rather to squeeze the already tax payers.
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Pakistan is rich in self-employment professionals
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PSO partners with Engro for Thar Coal Project Coal is the best possible indigenous fossil fuel resource for Pakistan and has the potential to address the country's severe power shortage and bring energy security to the country
ith an eye towards diversification of its business line, the country's leading public sector company, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Engro Powergen Limited (EPL) to review of the technical and economical feasibility of the Thar coal project. The MoU was signed between Mr. Naeem Yahya Mir, CEO & MD - PSO and Mr. Muhammad Ali Ansari, President and CEO, Engro Corporation Limited. Also present at the occasion were Mr. Zubair Motiwalla-Chairman Sindh Board of Investment and Chairman Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) and Mr. Shamsuddin Ahmed Shaikh - CEO SECMC along with Mr. Mohammad Arif Khan - Additional Chief Secretary (P&D) Government of Sindh, Mr. Ejaz Ahmed Khan - Secretary of Coal and Energy Development Department Government of Sindh and other directors of the company. Additionally present on location were Mr. Sohail Butt - DMD (F&IT) and Mr. Naved Alam Zubairi - SGM (Projects) on behalf of PSO. This MoU has been signed keeping in view the fact that as coal is comparatively cheaper and easily available in comparison to other fuel sources, it has become the fuel of choice for developed nations across the world. Therefore, with an aim of responsibly providing for the rising energy needs of the country, PSO is exploring multiple investment opportunities in the energy sector with special emphasis on Thar Coal and intends to acquire 50% of Engro Powergen Limited's shares in SECMC as part of this plan. Both PSO and Engro are in agreement that coal is the best possible indigenous fossil fuel resource for Pakistan and has the potential to address the country's severe power shortage and bring energy security to the country. Through this project, not only will the energy chain be strengthened it will also generate
extensive economic activity nationwide while developing Pakistan's human capital through the execution and operation of state-of-the-art coal mining and coal-based power generation projects. Additionally by playing a lead role in developing this national resource, both companies will be able to strengthen their financial bottom line and expand further through downstream commercial projects based on Thar coal.
ernment we are taking steps to meet Pakistan's energy needs in the years to come." Echoing his sentiments, Mr. Ali Ansari said "This is a momentous occasion as both companies have joined hands for a project of national interest and one which will provide for the energy security of the next generation." In his speech after the signing ceremony, Mr. Zubair Motiwalla stated, "The Government of Sindh has been working tirelessly to
Both companies are of the opinion that this MoU will serve as the foundation for a mutually beneficial partnership which will result in extensive benefits for future progress and prosperity of Pakistan. Speaking after the event, Mr. Naeem Y. Mir said, "Through this MoU, two companies have combined their synergies to develop a self-reliant energy supply chain for the country. Indigenous fuel is our future and with the support and backing of the Sindh Gov-
meet the rising energy needs of the population and the decision to purchase 51% shareholding in SECMC is a clear indication of the Government's commitment and support of the Thar Coal project. PSO in its role of being both a public sector as well as the largest energy company in Pakistan today is committed to meeting the fuel needs of the country in a timely and responsible manner.
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Changhong Ruba ushers a new era of energy saving appliances
A delegation of Chanhong Ruba Pakistan paid a visit to Changhong various factories in China. The guests included dealers and media men received warm welcome from the Changhong management and the dealers praised high quality electronics products manufacturing in various factories and provide high quality energy saving products of international standards under the Changhong Ruba brand in Pakistan
hanghong Ruba organised a tour to Mian Yang, China for its Pakistani major dealers. The object of visit was the dealers got to learn about the company in details and also witnessed the world class and cutting edge manufacturing facilities firsthand. It was a source of great pride for the Pakistani dealers to be representing a prestigious multinational group in their country. The company was founded in 1958 and with over 72,000 employees worldwide, specialises in high quality electronics. Changhong is a diverse corporation with many divisions specialising in the R&D, production, sales and services of televisions, air-conditioners, refrigerators,
Changhong, in collaboration with Ruba Group has launched its products in Pakistan to give the consumers high quality energy saving products of international standards, under the Changhong Ruba brand
IT, communications, networks, digital products, chips, energy, commercial electronics, spare parts, consumer electronics and hi-tech flat panel displays. Changhong manufactures 11 million televisions, 6 million air conditioners, 20 million refrigerators, 3 million plasma screens and 6 million mobile phones a year. One of China’s fortune 500 companies, Changhong’s worth is 10.7 billion USD and in 2012, it was inducted in the fortune 500 companies of the world. The Pakistani delegation visited Changhong’s air-conditioners factory, where they were highly impressed to discover that Changhong is Asia’s largest domestic and commercial AC manufac-
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turing company with an investment of $130 million. Changhong AC Division that the worldâ€™s most state-of-the-art pre-assembly machinery, R&D and quality control systems. Since 1999, Changhong has been exporting its products to over 70 countries around the world, having established its leadership in the Chinese market. It is a recipient of many quality certificates including CCIB, CB, CE and UL. Changhong manufactures a wide range of air conditioners, including window, split, cabinet, inverter, VRV, cold water and household central. Changhong has the capacity to produce 4,800,000 air conditioners a year. The dealers also visited the TV manufacturing factory of Changhong, which makes LED, Plasma, LCD and Set Top Box. Here too they learned that Changhong is Chinaâ€™s largest consumer electronics company with presence in over 110 countries and revenue of several billion USD. The dealers were also taken to the refrigerator and freezer factories, where they found out that Changhong Group is a number 2 Meling company in fridge and freezer sales. In China, Meiling companies are those that possess the annual production capability of 15 million units.
Changhong, in collaboration with Ruba Group has launched its products in Pakistan to give the consumers high quality energy saving products of international standards, under the Changhong Ruba brand. While TVs and ACs are already available, there are plans to also launch the fridge and freezer range in Pakistan soon. The dealers also toured the SMT and battery factories. In Mianyang City where the 2012 performance awards ceremony was also held. Best performance awards were given to top dealers and excellence awards were given to media representatives. The dealers and media people were quite happy at winning the honours. The Pakistani dealers concluded the trip with a recreational tour of Chindo city, where a dinner was arranged in their honour, which was also attended by the high officials of the Pakistani consulate. The dealers also saw the Panda Park, home to the largest population of Pandas in the world. On the whole, this tour of China can be called the beginning of a new era of quality energy saving appliances in Pakistan. The dealers remark that Changhong Ruba energy saving products will bring revolutionary changes and improvement in the lives of people of Pakistan.
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The ‘Managed WAN Service’ helps companies outsource their networks and personalise modules for individual needs in a secure, dependable and cost effective manner and provides online analytics and reporting, proactive network monitoring and elimination of capital expenditure of developing a network
akistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), the largest Information Communication Technology (ICT) service provider in Pakistan, held seminars in Lahore and Karachi in connection with ‘Managed WAN Service’, which provides end-to-end solution for its corporate customers’ growing ICT needs. The ‘Managed WAN Service’ helps companies outsource their networks and personalise modules
Walid Irshaid, President & CEO PTCL; Hamid Farooq, PTCL Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) Business Development; Zaman Gulzar, Executive Vice President (EVP) Business Zone South and Samer Ajjawi, Advisory Team Member Etisalat along with other company officials and a large number of corporate customers were also present at the occasion.
Hamid Farooq, PTCL Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) Business Development while speaking at the seminar said, “PTCL provides corporate solutions in a reliable, flexible and affordable manner, based on our vision of ‘One Company One Solution’. PTCL is striving for end-to-end data and solution integration for the corporate and SME sector in Pakistan and our latest offering is geared towards filling the void for this important segment.”
PTCL provides corporate solutions in a reliable, flexible and affordable manner, based on our vision of ‘One Company One Solution’. PTCL is striving for end-to-end data and solution integration for the corporate and SME sector in Pakistan and our latest offering is geared towards filling the void for this important segment: Hamid Farooq, SEVP Business Development, PTCL
for individual needs in a secure, dependable and cost effective manner and provides online analytics and reporting, proactive network monitoring and elimination of capital expenditure of developing a network. PTCL signed an agreement with Daewoo Pakistan for provisioning of this service at the seminar.
‘Managed WAN Service’ helps companies outsource their networks and personalize modules for individual needs in a secure, dependable and cost effective manner and provides online analytics and reporting, proactive network monitoring and elimination of capital expenditure of developing a network.
The opening presentation was delivered by Nauman Ashraf, Senior Manager ICT Products, explaining that this service is specifically designed to cater for the growing business needs of the corporate customers and provides the convenience of tailor made design, build & implementation of networks in a simplified, secure and cost effective manner. Mr. Samer Ajjawi, Advisory Team Member Eti-
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salat also introduced another state-of-art product at the seminar, ‘Hosted IP Telephonic Solution’, which caters for complete hosted collaboration requirement of corporate customers as a service model. To cater for the SME sector’s growing needs,
an agreement for provisioning of One Window services for the SME sector was also inked between the SME Development Corporation of Pakistan (SDC) and PTCL. A complete portfolio of Cloud Computing services was also launched by PTCL.
This initiative shall enable companies to avail hardware & software infrastructure services from PTCL in a scalable and customised manner, resulting in reduced operational costs and elimination of annual capital expenditures."
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Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
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Saudi women excelling in every field Al Jawahira Abdullah Al Arifi, wife of Honorable Saudi Arabia Ambassador in Pakistan, is proactive in the promotion of various socio-economic and cultural activities and programs in the country. She has been rigorously engaged in the welfare of needy and orphan children. Al Jawahira has great expertise in Islam, Diplomacy, and Event Management. She is on the forefront for strong bilateral relationsbetween the two countries. Jawahira says, “Saudi women proved themselves as successful entrepreneurs, marketing gurus, media experts, event managers, prudent bankers, efficient lady doctors, business leaders and the last but not the least, computer experts”
Q: What are major sectors, where Saudi women performance is promising? Al Jawahira Abdullah: Saudi Arabian women are now leading in many fields. They are now in more profitable propositions. They have proved themselves as successful entrepreneurs, marketing gurus, media experts, event managers, prudent bankers, efficient lady doctors, business leaders and the last but not the least, computer experts. Opportunities are unrestrained and prospects are even brighter for the women to excel in the future in many diversified fields. Q: Does S. Arabia have Women Chamber of Commerce? What is its role in the fields of SME, IT and other sectors of economy? Jawahira: Yes, we have Women Chamber of Commerce which is playing decent role in the promotion of women empowerment in the country. It is providing basic skills to all the interested women in the country. According to a recent research study, there are more than 20,000 firms owned by Saudi women; these range from ordinary retail businesses to various types of industry. The number of women registered in local chambers of commerce and industry is on the increase day by day. The Jeddah chamber, for example, has more than 2000 women members out of a total membership of 50,000. In Riyadh chamber, the figure is over 2,400 out of a total of 35,000 members and this
represents a fourfold increase in just ten years. Businesswomen registered with the Eastern Province chamber number more than 1,000 out of a total of 14,000. Moreover, the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce has recently established the “Khadija bint Khwailid Center” to provide services for businesswomen facilitate business opportunities and provide guidance to encourage women to run their own business. Saudi businesswomen appreciate the efforts of the government as well as the local chambers of commerce for supporting them and providing them with service. Due to an increase in the number of Saudi businesswomen, the government has had to revise its 30-year-old labor laws and business proceedings to include women. Now, Saudi women have substantial assets in real estate, jewelry, precious stones and metals. The new opportunities offered to women include media and marketing, IT, banking and investment. With the support of public-private sectors, efforts are being made to establish women specific projects that will employ more and more qualified Saudi women. The government has also allocated land for industrial projects that will employ women. Plans are also under way to establish an Industrial Training Institute for
Women in Jeddah; the institute plans to train Saudi women in the manufacture of readymade dresses. One of the main salient features of Saudization drive aims to employ more women in the public and private sector. Q: What is the level of women entrepreneurship in your country? Jawahira: Saudi Arabia’s macro-economy is stable and sustainable. It widens the scope of women entrepreneurship in the country. Gradually and surely Saudi women entrepreneurship level is on the rise in many fields. Now they have their own businesses. Information technology, software houses, handy crafts, stones polishing etc. are the new businesses owned by women in the country. Women entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia are now establishing and managing more small and medium sized entities than at any time in the past and this trend is growing. Saudi men have traditionally been the entrepreneurs but our women are no longer standing in the shadows. They have stepped into the light and have become the backbone of society. We in the Saudi Arabian Kingdom are fortunate to have well educated, financially powerful women. Q: Do Saudi Arabian women have the right of suffrage (Vote)? Jawahira: The government has already an-
Free download | flare.pk nounced the right of suffrage to be given in the future. Nevertheless, they are performing excellent jobs in Shura Council and Chambers of Commerce which are done through majority vote. Saudi women are also doing wonders in local councils. So they are not debarred from the voting in true sense. Q: Why women are suffering in most of the Muslim Countries? Suggest some measures to eliminate it. Jawahira: Our religion Islam guarantees the role of women in the formation of a healthier and productive society. I think Islam protects the concept of partnership, participation, persuasion and progression associated with women for the wellbeing of the family, clan, group, society or a nation. It has multiplier socio-economic effects. It would enhance the levels of civility, responsibility, dutifulness and above all self-reliance. There should be no obstacle for the onward march of feminist participation or contribution in the world. Q: What are your comments about some of the European countries legislation towards Muslim women? Jawahira: With the passage of time, Muslim women have become citizenship of these European countries. They have been living in these countries for many generations. They respect the law of the land but in return law of land should respect their basic rights of privacy, veil, education or dress code etc. Q: Would you please tell us some ongoing social (health, education etc.) projects sponsoring by your country in Pakistan? Jawahira:In time of national crisis or natural calamities, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stood first with the government and people of Pakistan. The government of Saudi Arabia has been initiating many notable projects in the fields of education, health, clean drinking water, agriculture, and communications. Most recently, Saudi Development Fund has already launched many meaningful projects in the country for the helping the suffering and struggling people from poverty, disease, hunger and insecurity etc. Moreover, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Relief Camp has its office in Islamabad taking care lots of projects related to education, health and clean drinking water. It is also taking care about rehabilitation activities in the different troubled parts of the country ravaged from terrorism. We would glad to announce that this Camp is considering to build new 5000 homes with full of various educational, health centers. Q: Do you think that there should be close cooperation between women chamber of commerce between the two countries? Jawahira:We share a strong bond of affinity among the women of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. We stress the need to have greater collaboration between the women of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for strengthening socio-cultural ties between the two countries. I believe that regular interaction between the women of two countries could be beneficial for their joint collaboration in various fields. Our Embassy in Pakistan, Islamabad has already taken many initiatives for encouraging the Saudi and Pakistani women to interact for mutual benefit. Q: How do media portray women in your country? Jawahira: It stands for respect, dignity and responsibility. Saudi media gives true reflections of Islam associated with women. Our media is responsible towards their rights of privacy, veil, clothes and they are not used for the maximization of profits and achieving larger market shares in the race of cut-throat competition of survival. Q: How you respond different programs of Pakistani government towards greater empowerment of its women?
Jawahira: I personally think that women empowerment programs of Pakistanâ€™s government would definitely further increase the productive role of women in the development. It would further enhance women participation in the decision making and improve living standards. It would consolidate their financial independencies in the days to come. Q: How you define the different roles of Saudi Arabia women? Jawahira: Women have been rigorously engaged with the socio-economic prosperity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since its inception. They played very important role in the building of a strong family, productive society and of course a progressive nation. They are now more independent in their decision making within the parameters given by constitution, society and Islam.
Saudi media gives true reflections of Islam associated with women. Our media is responsible towards their rights of privacy, veil, clothes and they are not used for the maximization of profits and achieving larger market shares in the race of cutthroat competition of survival In Saudi culture, women have their integrity and a dignified special life. A Saudi Arabian women acts as a trustworthy life partner to her husband, a caring mother to her kids, an obedient daughter to her parents and the last but not the least, a lovely sister to her brothers. Islam protects the basic rights of women which have already been institutionalized in every walk of life in Saudi Arabia. With the passage of time, women have achieved remarkable positions in every sector of economy, politics, education, nursing, business, investment and small and medium and enterprise. Women in Saudi Arabia have been given the right to vote and run in future municipal elections. Q: What is the importance of family to Saudi Arabian women? Jawahira: In every sociological paradigm and political science philosophy, a family has been treated as one of the most important unit of societal development, political interaction and the last but not the least, reaching to national concusses. To us family is the first place of learning, center of love and affection, hub of reliability and definitely an ideal place for character building. Saudi Arabian women tend to work very hard to tame and teach their children valuable lessons and unlimited blessings of Islam, native culture, traditions and heritage etc. Q: What are the educational and health facilities of your country women? Jawahira: Education and health are the basic rights of each and every Saudi Arabian woman. They are equally treated with men in the fields of education and health. Women are primarily engaged to study service industries or social sciences. Education, medicine, public administration, natural sciences, social sciences, and Islamic studies are deemed appropriate for women. But now they are adopting new professions of their own choices too. Q: Would you please share with us some mega social projects with special reference to women in Saudi Arabia? Jawahira: Many meaningful mega projects are being carried out in both public and private
sectors in the country. New schools, technical educational centers, mother care centers, colleges, universities are being built throughout the country to consolidate the role of women in the development of the country. Now, even private sector is proactive to initiate woman-oriented projects in the country which is very encouraging. Q: What is the literacy rate of Saudi Arabia women in the population? Jawahira: Education is one of the basic rights of women in Saudi Arabia. Education is the first giant step towards knowledge which stands for blessing and peace. Visionary leadership of Saudi Arabia has been positive for women education in the country since its independence. Many effective national policies and programs have been drafted and implemented which are now paying dividends. Till 1950s the literacy rate was not encouraging. But afterwards, there has been gradual improvement in this particular sector. Now literacy rate is excellent and up to the mark. Q: Do you have any discrimination towards women in your native country? Jawahira: We have no discrimination or spirits of apartheid against women in Saudi Arabia. Their basic rights are protected by Islam and our constitution. They have the rights to live a decent and qualitative life. They have the liberty to excel in business, education, medical profession, research, engineering and many other related fields. Q: what is the status of a woman in Islam? Jawahira: Islam provides us complete code of life. Much earlier than the dark ages of Europe, and subjugation of male domination taboos around the ancient world, Islam blessed women a complete set of rights, not confined to property, education, respect, dignity and health for more than fourteen centuries. The Islam gave women economic and social rights long before such rights were attained by Western women. From the beginning of Islam, women have been legally entitled to inherit and bequeath property, holding their wealth in their own names even after marriage, without obligation to contribute that wealth to their husband or their family. Q: How you differentiae Saudi Arabian woman with Pakistani woman? Jawahira: Women of both the countries do not have significant difference. Both have their own traditions, cultures, heritages and histories to embark on. Both live a respectable life according to the teachings of Islam. Q: Who is your role model in life and what is life to you? Jawahira: Being Muslim, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is our ultimate role model. His whole life holds the best and Immaculate Conception perfection to all of us. Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) is teacher and preacher to all human beings irrespective of race, colour, cast and origin. Q: What are the social and cultural activities of Saudi women? Jawahira: Women of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia tend to participate in many interrelated social and cultural activities permitted by our religion Islam, traditions, culture, history and heritage. Women have unique role to perform in the country. They are the custodian of our proud social and cultural events. Q: What is your message to women of Pakistan? Jawahira: My message is of hope, struggle, hard work and respect. The women of Pakistan must actively participate in the overall growth of their families because family is the nucleus of productivity, positivity and prosperity. I pray to Allah Almighty for the success of all the women living in Pakistan.
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Qtel rebrands as Ooredoo
The launch of the new brand was celebrated by a spectacular multimedia and theatrical experience about the transformation into Ooredoo, representing the next step in the group’s evolution and celebrating the international achievements of one of Qatar’s leading companies
t a major event in Qatar, wi-tribe Pakistan parent company and a leading communications company, Qtel (Qatar Telecom) rebranded as Ooredoo. A large number of people attended the event including the government ministers, ambassadors, media professionals and customers of the company, which was established as Qatar Telecom back in 1987. The launch of the new brand was celebrated by a spectacular multimedia and theatrical experience about the transformation into Ooredoo, representing the next step in the group’s evolution and celebrating the international achievements of one of Qatar’s leading companies. H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman, Ooredoo, said: We have always put our customers at the heart of our business, and this new name shows that we want to be closer to our customers and engage with them in everything that we do. We are proud that Qatar, where the business was born, is the first country in Ooredoo’s international
network to integrate with the new global brand. We are not simply about making connections, we are about enriching and empowering the people of Qatar and helping them achieve their goals, he said. The celebration also featured a speciallybranded film and theatrical performances.
Concluding the ceremony, a large group of children holding red balloons entered the amphitheatre, with an amazing ballet performance. Since first telephone exchange was installed in Qatar in 1949, the organisation has been a community-based Qatari company that provides life-enhancing communications products and services to a wide range of customers. In 1994, it was the first company in the region to introduce GSM services and in 2007 it launched Mozaic TV, the pioneering IPTV service.
All of the company new branding is linked together to communicate the company message starting with their vision, and extending through the strategy, name, logo and creative framework In 2012, Ooredoo rolled-out the Ooredoo Fibre network and launched business services like the Cloud and Mobile Money. Currently the company is preparing its 4G LTE mobile broadband network for commercial launch. Ooredoo has also pledged to continue its tradition of supporting good causes in Qatar, as the company contributes millions of Riyals each year through donations, sponsorships and community programmes. The rebranding will emphasise the company core commitment to its customers and proud Qatari values, of Caring; Connecting; and Challenging. It has been designed to take the company to the next level and making Qatar one of the best-connected countries in the world, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030. All of the company new branding is linked together to communicate the company message
starting with their vision, and extending through the strategy, name, name, logo and creative framework. The circles in the unique logo represent the communities and reflect the roundness of the letters in the new name. The red colour represents warmth, energy and youth, and is recognisable in both advertising and retail shops. The company says altogether these elements reflect confidence, energy and empathy. On the international stage, Ooredoo, which announced record-setting revenue and profits in February 2013, has confirmed that each of its operating companies in emerging markets across the Middle East, North Africa and South-East Asia will adopt the new brand during the course of 2013 and 2014. These companies, in which Ooredoo already has a controlling interest, include brands such as Indosat in Indonesia, Wataniya in Kuwait, Nawras in Oman, Tunisiana in Tunisia, and Nedjma in Algeria. The Qatari operation, formerly known as Qtel, was the first in the portfolio to take on the bold new brand.
CEO, wi-tribe Pakistan, Wasim Ahmad said: “We congratulate Ooredoo on its launch. This is an exciting change and a great step in bringing our global communities closer together with one vision. wi-tribe Pakistan takes pride in becoming a part of Ooredoo and we wish the Group continued success.”
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PTCL! The broadband giant
Opens another OSS in DHA, Lahore
PTCL One Stop Shops are strategically placed nationwide, which serve and facilitate the company’ s customers by offering one-window operations including billing adjustments and payments, fault rectif ication, new service requests, duplicate bills and many other telecom services all under one roof
n line with its strategy to expand its reach and enhance customer service experience, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has inaugurated a revamped One Stop Shop (OSS) in Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Lahore. The company is facilitating its customers through its nationwide One Stop Shops, offering a wide-range of PTCL landline and broadband services. The One Stop Shop (OSS) was inaugurated by Furqan Qureshi, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) Commercial. Naeem Shahbaz, PTCL Executive Vice President (EVP) Business Zone Central; Awais Javid, PTCL General Manager Commercial Lahore; Aqleem Sherwani, PTCL General Manager (GM) HR&A Business Zone Central; Abdul Waheed, PTCL Regional General Manager (RGM) Lahore and along with other senior officials of the company were also present at the occasion. “At PTCL, we believe in providing superior
nationwide, which serve and facilitate the company’ s customers by offering one-window operations including billing adjustments and
payments, fault rectification, new service requests, duplicate bills and many other telecom services all under one roof. The company has recently inaugurated its revamped One Stop Shops in all major cities across Pakistan. Meanwhile, in a report of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) recently released
sition by claiming more than 60 percent share in broadband market. The telecom service provider has strengthened its position in the broadband market, up from 57pc the previous year. The report also states that the incumbent has more than 1.26 million broadband subscribers (as of June 2012), depicting a growth of 49pc during the last fiscal year. Sources said that the total number of customers served by the company has increased significantly over the last few months as the statistics in the report are till June 2012. PTCL broadband network currently covers more than 2000 cities, small towns and rural areas and this proliferation of broadband internet is driving ICT growth in remote areas of the country. PTA report further states that, the country has 5.87m Local Loop subscribers and PTCL remained the dominant player in both the LLT and WLL, with more than 74pc share in the overall Local Loop subscriber base.
customer services experience, involving access to a wide-range of tailor-made products and premium services to our valued customers”, commented Awais Javid, PTCL General Manager (GM) Commercial Lahore. “The revamped PTCL customer care centers are designed to better serve our customers by extending our reach and also providing them with information and access to the latest offerings”, he added further. PTCL One Stop Shops are strategically placed
and disclosed that Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) is the leading broadband company in Pakistan. Pakistan’s broadband segment is making rapid progress and posted steady growth during the year 2012, asserts the annual report of PTA. The segment is led by country’s leading integrated telecommunication services provider, Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL), which further strengthened its po-
The total Broadband internet subscribers in Pakistan has reached 2.35 million till Dec 2012, and broadband penetration rate by June 2012 stood at 1.2pc up from 0.89pc in 2011. Since 2007, the broadband industry has maintained a growth rate of 127pc, coincidently, it’s the same year that PTCL started its broadband operations. Overall a record 0.6 million broadband subscribers were added in 2012, a major chunk of which goes to PTCL.
PTCL broadband network covers more than 2000 cities, small towns and rural areas and this proliferation of broadband internet is driving ICT growth in remote areas of the country
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Nokia launches Lumia smartphones in Pakistan
We are focused on redefining the future of smart devices and continue to invest towards delivering truly compelling experiences to consumers across price points. With the launch of Lumia Windows Phone 8 range, we aim to usher an era of unique innovations in the smart phone market, says Alessandro Lamanna, Vice-President Marketing – IMEA, Nokia
okia Pakistan introduced the highly anticipated Lumia range powered by Windows Phone 8 in the country. The device portfolio which was unveiled here consists of flagship device Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820 and Nokia Lumia 620.With the latest range of Lumia Windows 8 devices, Nokia Pakistan is all set to lead the change for the Windows Phone ecosystem with its Lumia differentiators. Speaking on the launch, Alessandro Lamanna, Vice-President Marketing - IMEA (India, Middle East, Africa) at Nokia said, "We are focused on redefining the future of smart devices and continue to
against our strategy announced in February 2011.” He further added, “We are working with partners across the board to take the Lumia experience to more and more consumers faster. The roll out of not two, but three devices marks not just our intent and agility, but also reflects our commitment to our consumers in Pakistan. With a range of accessories and partnerships to bring wireless charging outside the home, we are also boosting wireless charging into the mainstream. All this innovation adds up to one thing – it’s Time to Switch to Lumia!” Commenting on the occasion, Salman Siddiqui,
8, you can learn it once and use it everywhere. From Tablet to PC to phone, it is all there for you whenever and however you want it. Nokia has done a phenomenal work to bring Windows Phone to life with truly stunning hardware, there is a phone for everyone, these phones are colorful, different and diverse.” At the occasion, Arsalan Zia Qureshi, head of corporate sales (South), Mobilink, added, “Mobilink continues to remain at the forefront of bringing the latest in cellular technology to our customers. The launch of the Lumia series together with Mobilink adds to the long range of
invest towards delivering truly compelling experiences to consumers across price points. With the launch of Lumia Windows Phone 8 range, we aim to usher an era of unique innovations in the smart phone market. The announcement was yet another giant leap in the remarkable progress we have made
country lead - Channel Sales, Microsoft Pakistan said, “With Windows Phone 8 we created a new way to think about smartphones, one that puts people at the center. With the same look and feel, the same technology core and cloud service, Windows Phone is built to work seamlessly with Windows
Nokia handsets that our customers have been able to reliably purchase from Mobilink’s selected business centers. Mobilink’s partnership with Nokia ensures that our customers have access to the latest cellular technology at competitive prices and bundled with the most attractive offers.”
he mobile phone turned 40 with no fanfare to mark the occasion in a market which seemed focused on new smartphones like the iPhone and a possible Facebookthemed device. The first mobile call was placed April 3, 1973, by Motorola engineer Martin Cooper, head of a team working on mobile communication technologies. Cooper made the call on Sixth Avenue in New York, before going into a press conference using a Motorola DynaTAC -- a device that weighed one kilogram, (2.2 pounds) and had a battery life of 20 minutes, according to Motorola. Cooper told last year that he placed the first call to a rival, Joel Engel of Bell Labs. "To this day, he resents what Motorola did in those days," Cooper said. "They thought that we were a gnat, an obstacle... we believed in competition and lots of players. And we also believed -- our religion was portables, because people are mobile. And here they were trying to make a car telephone and a monopoly on top of that. So that battle was the reason that we built that phone." Cooper and his team were honored earlier this year with the Draper Prize by the National Academy of Engineering for their work. In 40 years, the industry has come a long way. Research firm IDC predicts 900 million smartphones will be sold in 2013 -- along with roughly the same number of more basic feature phones. And the phone has become a key advertising platform -- eMarketer said US mobile advertising spending grew 178 percent last year to $4.11 billion, and spending is expected to rise a further 77.3 percent to $7.29 billion in 2013.
Mobile technology has advanced significantly in the last four decades with devices becoming smaller, thinner and more advanced; while the advent of 3G and 4G technology has encouraged the growth of the mobile internet – a development that impact more people than the Industrial Revolution did in the 19th century
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The f irst mobile call was placed April 3, 1973, by Motorola engineer Martin Cooper, head of a team working on mobile communication technologies
Motorola described the device in a 1973 press release as “a handheld, completely portable telephone which will allow its user to receive telephone calls from virtually anywhere in a metro area equipped with the new DynaTAC system.” “This new DYNA TAC portable radio telephone will operate over radio frequencies and “talk” to any conventional telephone in the world,” it added, promising it would be as easy to use as an ordinary phone. Cooper, now aged 85, was general manager of
recognised by the National Academy of Engineering, which awarded him the Charles Stark Draper Prize in February. The award is the academy’s highest honour and considered to be the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineering. Although he conceded that the cost of the first mobiles would be prohibitive to most, Motorola said that it expected that the price of handsets would come down over time and that it anticipated demand from diverse groups of people. Mobile technology has advanced significantly in the last four decades with devices becoming smaller, thinner and more advanced. More than half of the UK’s population own a smartphone, while the advent of 3G and 4G technology has encouraged the growth of the mobile internet – a de-
terprise Communication. “We’ve seen a raft of advances in telecommunication technologies in the last 40 years, with smartphones now able to send SMS, MMS, video and connect to the internet. The mobile phone industry is the fastest-growing in the world. The consumerisation of the mobile phone has not only changed the way we communicate, it has changed the way we work.” Moreover, while most know that Alexander Graham Bell can be credited with “inventing” the telephone, only a few can name the engineer responsible for the creation of the mobile phone. However, while Bell’s work is now the subject of debate over whether the Scottish-born inventor actually invented the telephone – as rival Elisha Gray may have in fact been working on, and had devel-
Motorola’s Communication Systems Division and claimed he was inspired to create a mobile phone following the invention of the car telephone by AT&T in the 1960s. He is widely regarded as one of the fathers of mobile technology and his achievements have been
velopment that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop says could impact more people than the Industrial Revolution did in the 19th century. “The mobile phone has completely transformed both our personal and professional lives,” said Trevor Connell, managing director at Siemens En-
oped a similar device before Bell – few would argue that Martin Cooper can be credited with being the first to use a mobile phone to call a business associate. Cooper had reportedly conceived the idea for a mobile phone in the 1960s when rival AT&T invented the car phone.
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ike many British teenagers, Nick D'Aloisio has a hole in the knee of his jeans and gets in trouble when his bedroom is untidy. Unlike most, the 17-year-old has just sold an app to Yahoo! for tens of millions of pounds. The US tech giant announced that it is buying D'Aloisio's news-condensing mobile app Summly for an undisclosed figure reported to be around £20 million ($30 million) -- making the London schoolboy one of the youngest self-made multimillionaires on the planet. D'Aloisio dreamed up Summly while revising for a history exam when he was 15 -- but two years later he speaks of market share and intellectual property with the self-assurance of a CEO three times his age. "Yahoo! is one of these classic, wellknown Internet companies," he told in an interview at the office of his London publicist, sprawled in a chair in maroon jeans and a t-shirt. The tousle-haired teen hopes the Yahoo! deal will see the technology behind Summly -- whose financial backers have included US actor Ashton Kutcher and Japanese artist Yoko Ono -- reach an audience of "hundreds of millions of potential users". D'Aloisio's journey to tech super-stardom began at the age of "nine or ten" when his parents, a lawyer and a banker, bought him his first laptop. He taught himself how to video edit and before long moved on to programming -- spending school holidays building apps at his home in leafy Wimbledon, south London, as "a hobby". He launched his first iPhone app, a "workout for fingers" called Finger Mill, when he was 12. Others followed, including music app SongStumblr and Facemood, which attempted to predict a user's mood based on their Facebook status updates. The big breakthrough came in 2011 when D'Aloisio launched Summly's forerunner Trimit, which cut down long web articles to tweet-length summaries. The app received positive reviews from several tech blogs and quickly racked up tens of thousands of downloads. Then, out of the blue, the teenager was contacted by representatives of Asia's richest man -Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing. "They cold-emailed me," said D'Aloisio. Li was the first investor to contact him and, not knowing what to do, the teenager ignored the message. Two days later he was "stunned" when Li's people approached him again, and this time D'Aloisio agreed to a phone call. "They didn't know I was a 15-year-old, so I had to explain that," he said with a smile. "It was frightening. It was a hobby, I didn't expect this to happen. But at the same time, I had nothing to lose -- I was a 15-year-old."
Summly makes teenager millionaire
D'Aloisio's journey to tech super-stardom began at the age of "nine or ten" when his parents, a lawyer and a banker, bought him his first laptop. He's the newest teenage multimillionaire; sold his mobile phone app ‘Summly’ to Yahoo for a reported $30 million;
Li invested $300,000 in Trimit. D'Aloisio used the cash to develop the algorithm the app used to identify the key topics in a news article, working with scientists at Stanford University among others. Summly officially launched in November last year, on D'Aloisio's 17th birthday -- and the rest is history. D'Aloisio will take up a job in Yahoo!'s London
office in the next few weeks. "I'll be integrating the Summly technology into different areas we feel are appropriate for Yahoo!, and more broadly helping them with their mobile product design," he told AFP. He insisted that he will continue to live at home, resisting temptation to splash out on a teen bachelor pad. His parents are "very enthusiastic" about his success, he said -- but are keen to keep their son's feet on the ground. "I still get in trouble if I don't have my room tidy," he said. The family celebrated the Yahoo! deal by going out for dinner. As for buying himself a present with his multimillion pound windfall, it will be limited to "a bag or shoes or something". "It's not going to be anything wild," he added. "I can't even buy a car because I don't have a licence yet." As D'Aloisio starts work at Yahoo!, most of his friends -- who he says are "psyched" about the Summly sale -- will be finishing their A-Level exams before heading off to university. D'Aloisio, meanwhile will begin studying for his A-Levels "outside office hours", and would love to read philosophy at Oxford University some day. As for his long-term plans, nothing is set in stone -- a point emphasised by the large question-mark printed on his t-shirt. "Long-term I do want to do other companies," he said, adding that he was interested in working with artificial intelligence.
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Facebook Home: The winners and losers By creating a new layer atop the phone, Home pushes all other apps and services — but especially messaging apps and services – to the margins and puts itself in the very centre where mobile users can’t avoid it. Since Home bakes in free texting, the pull of other messaging services will diminish
f Facebook Home flies — and that’s a pretty big if — Zuckerberg’s freshly announced landgrab for Android owners’ eyeballs, is going to create a lot of losers. The big winner of course will be Facebook itself, as users who chose to install this alternative Facebook reality on their phone are inevitably going to be spending even more time within its walled garden (and they already spent a lot of time in Zucksville), feeding it even more data to power its ad business. Facebook Home tucks other apps out of sight (and thus out of mind) in a little drawer where they can easily be forgotten, and replaces homescreen and lockscreen widgets with Facebook and Instagram photos and updates. Even if they’re still technically available, all other social distractions are banished from this kingdom, with the exception of SMS — but even that is dressed up to look like a Facebook service as it is assimilated into the Chat Heads messaging game. It can’t be long before those regular monthly updates Zuckerberg said would be coming to Home pile in even more Facebook sanctioned functionality — which, cuckoo like, will push out even more native and third party app offerings. A Home camera with built-in Instagram filters, a Home dialler with Facebook Messenger-powered VoIP, ‘Chat Envelopes’ popping up Facebook email notifications, Home Poke to send a self-destructing Cover Feed photo to selected buddies, maybe even ZuckFace stickers… It’s not hard to imagine the sort of additional functionality that will be brought in to flesh out — or rather, fully furnish — Home in the coming months, to ensure residents never feel the need to go out and patronise other establishments. At best, rival apps will get a cursory glance, seen through Home’s window. The companies Facebook is seeking to move against here are, first and foremost, the free messaging apps such as Line which have been creeping into its social networking back yard. Line doesn’t just offer free SMS and VoIP; inside its mobile app is a whole world of other Line-branded apps and services, from stickers to games to chat forums to a social networking style profile page where friends can read your updates. This form of social entertainment messaging, powered by the lure of free messaging on the
mobile phone and fun stuff like stickers, is a threat to Facebook’s dominance of mobile user’s time and Home is Zuckerberg’s savy answer to that challenge. By creating a new layer atop the phone, Home pushes all other apps and services — but especially messaging apps and services – to the margins and puts itself in the very centre where mobile users can’t avoid it. Since Home bakes in free texting (and doubtless in time will add VoIP calling) the pull of other messaging services will diminish. As Home users’ friends’ faces pop up on their phone as Chat Heads Facebook piles on the peer pressure to use its messaging services, not someone else’s. That much is plain. But, ultimately, it’s not just messaging rivals that could lose out. If Home grabs a serious chunk of eyeballs — and Facebook keeps piling in new functionality — it’s going to be harder for other Android developers to be heard because their apps and services are going to take more effort to discover. Facebook has a huge advantage here in that it’s using its own huge mobile user base (it has some 680 million active mobile users) to virally push Home out. These mobile Facebookers will get a message suggesting they download Home and guiding them through the process. That’s very different to folk having to go seek out a launcher on an app store and download it. So while a tech giant like Rovio, say, could generate similar push for an ‘Angry Birds Home’ just by telling its existing app users about it, a new startup with a cool new service is going to have trouble being heard. Even more so in a Facebook Home-saturated Android landscape. On the platform side, Android is the obvious winner — in the sense that it’s getting access to Home, while other platforms are not (yet). Whether Google is a winner or a loser is up for debate. Google Play and Search still live inside Home so even if Mountain View is uncomfortable with the extent of customisation that Facebook Home represents (and it’s not saying that — in fact it’s sort of trying to say the opposite) it’s a little too early for major warning klaxons to go off. When it comes to iOS, Apple is highly unlikely to sanction such a full Facebook takeover so
iPhone and iPad owners won’t be able to own Home. Not in the short term anyway. And that could cause some users to defect to Android, so Home could be bad news for Apple. The biggest platform loser created by Home is definitely Microsoft with its Windows Phone mobile OS. Facebook Home replicates and extends some of the functionality Microsoft baked into its mobile OS in an effort to create clear blue water between its would-be third ecosystem and the two dominant players: Android and iOS. If it’s a social phone you’re after, Home is now the obvious choice, not Windows Phone. Home makes Windows Phone even more redundant than it already is (and in smartphone marketshare terms it’s a very small player indeed). Before Facebook’s Home announcement Microsoft’s mobile OS was the de facto ‘Facebook phone’, the nearest thing you could get — yet it still hadn’t been able to break the Android iOS smartphone duopoly. On the phone hardware side, Home looks like good news for HTC (and — on the flip side — bad news for Android refusenik Nokia). The first phone with Home pre-loaded and fully baked in ‘out of the box’ is the HTC First. It’s not going to be the only Home phone, of course, but HTC getting in from the start is a win for it since it needs to make itself stand out. HTC is in a tough spot right now as it struggles to make itself heard in an Android smartphone space so dominated by Samsung’s Galaxy line of devices. Finally mobile users; Are they winners or losers? Right now, the Android user gets to feel like a winner since they get something new to choose from to put on their phone — and who doesn’t like novelty? The problem comes down the line, if Home ends up saturating the market and pushing out choice and innovation. We’re a long long way from that happening — and, even with Facebook’s huge user base, it’s still only a remote possibility. But it is a possibility. The Facebookification of the mobile web is a threat to openness, to choice, to privacy — but only if you care about those things. But again, it’s a distant possibility. So long as Home remains opt in and enough people choose to eschew it there will still be choice in the mobile space — and that’s only a good thing.
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Mobile app reads brain for voicemail
If you're meditating or just very busy, this app will read your brain and ensure you are not disturbed by phone calls; Information about brain waves is collected by a headset and sent to the smartphone via a Bluetooth connection, after which the app uses algorithms to analyze the status of a brain
mobile app under development can filter phone calls and reroute them directly to voicemail by reading brain waves, cutting the need for users to press buttons on the smartphone screen.The app, called Good Times, is the brainchild of Ruggero Scorcioni, CEO and founder of Brainyno, who presented the technology at the AT&T Innovation Showcase in New York, where some of the company's top research projects were highlighted. The app analyzes brainwaves as a phone call comes in, and depending on a person's mental state, reroutes a call. Information about brain waves is collected by a headset and sent to the smartphone via a Bluetooth connection, after which the app uses algorithms to analyze the status of a brain. For example, a call could be rerouted if a person is deep in meditation or just very busy and does not want to be distracted, said Scorcioni, who was wearing a headset from Neurosky to demonstrate the technology. There are other headsets from companies like Emotiv that can also capture brainwaves. But not everyone is going to wear a headset, and Scorcioni hopes that wearable technology products like Google Glasses will be able to record and send brainwaves to smartphones. Other challenges exist too, such as correctly reading the brainwaves to determine mental states, but Scorcioni said the technology will get better over time. Good Times was introduced after Scorcioni won an AT&T mobile application hackathon contest in January at the International CES show in Las Vegas. Future developments include the addition of advanced algorithms to decipher more mental states, and the ability for a mobile device to play music depending on a person's mood. Scorcioni could not say when the technology would reach users. But there are opportunities for the technology to be used in places like call
centers, where employees already wear headsets, and incoming calls could be redirected to agents in relaxed mental states. Good Times was just one of many applications at AT&T's showcase, highlighting research related to mobile device usages. Another project, the StorEBook Reader, uses AT&T's Text-toSpeech technology for a tablet or smartphone to automatically read children's books in multiple tones and voices, while technology also was displayed that uses voice recognition to unlock smartphones and log into email accounts. Meanwhile, A Japanese research institute says it can tell what people are dreaming about by analyzing their brain waves. The lab at the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, or ATR, said that its method matches the subject of dreams to one of about 20 general categories, with roughly 70 percent accuracy. The lab created software that can identify brain wave patterns corresponding to general concepts such as "book," "food," or "female."
A Japanese research institute says it can tell what people are dreaming about by analyzing their brain waves; The lab created software that can identify brain wave patterns corresponding to general concepts such as "book," "food," or "femaleâ€? ATR, whose investors include Japan telecommunications giant NTT and wireless operator KDDI, said it aims to improve the field of brainmachine interfaces with the research. ATR's Brain Information Communication Research
Lab, which carried out the experiments, said the results may also be applied to subjects that are awake but have trouble expressing themselves, such as people who suffer from hallucinations or are mentally ill. The lab experimented on three test subjects, hooking them up to an EEG (electroencephalogram) and having them sleep inside an MRI machine to measure their brain waves. When an identifiable pattern emerged, the subjects were immediately awakened and asked what they were dreaming about, a process that was repeated about 200 times for each person, creating a database of dream subjects and corresponding brain wave patterns. The results were grouped into general categories, and the subjects were then shown images that corresponded to each category, with their resulting brain waves patterns also recorded. As brain activity when dreaming about objects or actually viewing them is thought to be similar, this added more entries to the database created during the sleeping tests. The lab said it found that databases created in this way could be used to accurately determine what the subjects were dreaming about. The results were most accurate when used on dreams that the subjects experienced less than 15 seconds before they were awakened. As more time elapsed, the subjects appeared to forget what they had been dreaming about. The lab said it is unsure whether similar results can be obtained for identifying patterns or colors, as opposed to general concepts and ideas. ATR is based in Kyoto Prefucture in central Japan. In addition to working with corporations, it also works with government agencies on projects ranging from robotics to wireless technologies. The institute said the experiment and results were published in the latest issue of the magazine Science, in an article titled "Neural Decoding of Visual Imagery during Sleep."
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Dashcams become key witness on Russia’s roads
Mini video cameras have been growing in popularity in Russia as drivers fix them to their windshields as an insurance against erratic road users, corrupt traffic police and the arbitrary justice that is still prevalent here
hen a bright meteor streaked across the sky over the Russian Urals, it was the film footage captured by hundreds of in-car cameras and hastily uploaded to YouTube by dumbfounded drivers that allowed the world to share the event. Mini video cameras – dubbed dashcams – have been growing in popularity in Russia as drivers fix them to their windshields as an insurance against erratic road users, corrupt traffic police and the arbitrary justice that is still prevalent here. Minutes after the space rock entered the atmosphere and struck near the city of Chelyabinsk, leaving a spectacular glow in the morning sky, hundreds of dashcam films hit the internet. For days, millions of people entertained themselves watching the meteor disrupt the morning commutes of Chelyabinsk residents who observed its passage across the sky with impressive nonchalance. Most cursed in surprise, then kept on driving. The meteor’s dashcam debut revealed an entire internet meme of films capturing bizarre episodes on Russia’s roads, from hair-raising near-misses to the sudden appearance of tanks and fighter jets on the highway, and even dozens of cows falling out of a truck into oncoming traffic. According to Euroset, an electronics distributor, sales of dashcams, nonexistent in Russia just a few years ago, have grown to 1.5 million in 2012, a fivefold increase on the previous year. “Some people buy these cameras to get a bit of glory, since some videos get millions of views,” said Pavel Volkov, head of Euroset’s portable electronics department. But the main reason for their popularity is that people “hope to have evidence in case of a disagreement on the road,” he told AFP. In Russia, where poor road quality and a relaxed attitude to traffic laws contribute to a very
high accident rate, dashcams are one way to ensure a fair investigation in the event of a crash. Police are known to arbitrarily prosecute drivers without sufficient political weight or money. “It’s a way of keeping a peace of mind, to protect yourself from people who want to falsely accuse you of causing an accident,” explained Sergei Zaitsev, a sales manager in another electronics chain MVideo.
In Russia, where poor road quality and a relaxed attitude to traffic laws contribute to a very high accident rate, dashcams are one way to ensure a fair investigation in the event of a crash; It’s a way of keeping a peace of mind, to protect yourself from people who want to falsely accuse you of causing an accident “Or, in a case where the police don’t, let’s say, follow the rules,” he continued with a smile. Moscow resident Alexei Drozdov learned of their usefulness from experience. When his motorcycle was hit by another car on an intersection, the driver at fault accused him of running a red light. Little did he know that Drozdov had a camera attached to his neck. The footage was indisputable. “It was clear that I passed on green and had priority. So the other driver was named responsible,” said Drozdov, who ended up saving $1,000 dollars in repair bills, all thanks to a device that costs about $100.
Another time, when a traffic policeman accused Drozdov of running a red light, he suggested they take a look at the film footage. Drozdov had thought that the policeman might threaten him with a ticket, in the hope of receiving a cash bribe to let him off. Once he pointed out the camera, however, the matter went no further. Dashcams have also exposed government officials breaking road rules and abusing their right to use special blue flashing lights, known as migalkas, to force their way through traffic. Recently some lawmakers in the State Duma caused a minor scandal by proposing to ban dashcam use – but it appears unlikely their idea will gain any traction.
Commentators say that the popularity of the cameras speaks volumes about public confidence in the rule of law in Russian society. “People have the impression that when they get into a traffic accident the police will not be capable of determining the responsible party, instead punishing the person with less political weight or who offers the smaller bribe,” said Konstantin Sonin, vice rector of New Economic School in Moscow. “There’s a reason why people don’t buy these cameras in Europe and the United States,” he said.
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Combining elements of text messaging and social networking, the apps provide a quick-f ire way for smartphone users to trade everything from brief texts to flirtatious pictures to YouTube clips â€” bypassing both the SMS plans offered by wireless carriers and established social networks originally designed as websites
reate personal profiles. Build networks of friends. Share photos, videos and music. That might sound precisely like Facebook, but hundreds of millions of tech-savvy young people have instead turned to a wave of smartphone-based messaging apps that are now sweeping across North America, Asia and Europe. The hot apps include Kik and Whatsapp, both products of North American startups, as well as Kakao Inc's KakaoTalk, NHN Corp's LINE and Tencent Holdings Ltd's WeChat, which have blossomed in Asian markets. Combining elements of text messaging and social networking, the apps provide a quick-fire way for smartphone users to trade everything from brief texts to flirtatious pictures to YouTube clips â€” bypassing both the SMS plans offered by wireless carriers and established social networks originally designed as websites. Facebook Inc, with 1 billion users, remains by far the world's most popular website, and its stepped-up focus on mobile has made it the mostused smartphone app as well. Still, across Silicon Valley, investors and industry insiders say there is a possibility that the messaging apps could threaten Facebook's dominance over the next few years. The larger ones are even starting to emerge as fullblown "platforms" that can support third-party applications such as games. To be sure, many of those who are using the new messaging apps remain on Facebook, indicating there is little immediate sign of the giant social media company losing its lock on the market. "True interactions are conversational in nature," says Rich Miner, a partner at Google Ventures who invested in San Francisco-based MessageMe, a new entrant in the messaging market. "More people text and make phone calls than get on to social networks. If one company dominates the replacement of that traffic, then by definition that's very big." Facebook's big challenge is reeling back users like Jacob Robinson, a 15-year old high school student in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, who said the Kik messaging app "blew up" among his friends about six months ago. It has remained the mostused app on his Android phone because it is the easiest way for him to send different kinds of multimedia for free, which he estimated he does about 200 times a day. Robinson said he trades snapshots of his homework with friends while they stay up late studying for their exams â€” or not. "We also stay up in bed with our phone all night,
just on YouTube searching for funny videos, then you quickly share it with your friends," he added. "It's easy. You can flip in and out of Kik." Facebook "has really started to lose its edge over here," said Robinson, who found his interactions on Facebook less interesting than his real-time chats. Waterloo, Ontario-based Kik has racked up 40 million users since launching in 2010. Silicon Valley entrants in the race include Whatsapp, funded by Sequoia Capital, and MessageMe, launched earlier this month by a group of viral game makers. MessageMe has received seed-stage funding from True Ventures and First Round Capital, among others, and claimed 1 million downloads in its first week. Meanwhile, Asian companies are producing some of the fastest-growing apps in history. The growth in the messaging apps reflect the dramatic shift in Internet usage in recent years, as Web visits via desktop computers have stagnated while smartphone ownership and app downloads have skyrocketed.
If the messaging apps reach a certain scale, they could form networks that rival Facebook's "social graph," the network of user connections and activities that enable highly targeted delivery of content and advertising Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has publicly called Facebook a "mobile company" to emphasize the company's priorities. Last year, he splashed $1 billion for photo-sharing app Instagram, which has remained red hot, while Facebook also launched its own Messenger app, offering a suite of smartphone communication tools. Still, Facebook has also been forced to play defense. Earlier this year, the company cut off its data integration with a young startup called Snapchat and then mimicked its feature with a new messaging tool called Poke. It has also shut off its integration with messaging apps like MessageMe and Voxer. At the same time, Facebook has also hired graphic artists to draw emoticons and graphics for
Messenger that emulate features of the wildly popular Asian apps like LINE, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Dave Morin, an early Facebook employee who left to found the "private" social network Path in 2010, said he recognized last summer the critical role of messaging functions in smartphone apps, and quickly began working to incorporate them. While established social networks move to incorporate messaging features, the new-wave messaging apps are looking to grow into social networking platforms that support a variety of features and enable innovations from outside developers. "The tried and true approach for a social network is first you build a network, then you build apps on your own, then you open it up to third party developers," said Charles Hudson, a partner at early stage venture capital firm SoftTech VC. The moves mirror Facebook's younger days, when its user growth and revenues were boosted by game publishers like Zynga Inc, which made popular games like FarmVille for the Facebook platform. In the South Korean market, for instance, eight of the top ten highest grossing Android apps are games built on top of KakaoTalk. Tencent announced in November that it would introduce a mobile wallet feature enabling payment for goods with WeChat. And Tencent also makes money in China by using the app's location data to displaying nearby merchants' deals to potential customers. If the messaging apps reach a certain scale, they could form networks that rival Facebook's "social graph," the network of user connections and activities that enable highly targeted delivery of content and advertising. "The folks on your address book are very different from your Facebook friends and your LinkedIn contacts, and that's a natural place for a very powerful graph to be created," said Jim Goetz, a partner at Sequoia Capital. Established social networking giants could also swoop in for the upstarts - and Facebook has demonstrated its appetite for acquisitions. Indeed, investors are eyeing a round of potentially lucrative buyouts resembling the series of deals involving group messaging applications in 2011. Facebook acquired group messaging app Beluga in March of that year, enlisting its founders to help build its own stand alone app, Messenger, which launched six months later.
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Free download | flare.pk
Broadcasters worry about 'Zero TV' homes
Show creators and networks make money from this group's viewing habits through deals with online video providers and from advertising on their own websites and apps, broadcasters only get paid when they relay such programming in traditional ways. Unless broadcasters can adapt to modern platforms, their revenue from Zero TV viewers will be zero
ome people have had it with TV. They've had enough of the 100-plus channel universe. They don't like timing their lives around network show schedules. They're tired of $100plus monthly bills. A growing number of them have stopped paying for cable and satellite TV service, and don't even use an antenna to get free signals over the air. These people are watching shows and movies on the Internet, sometimes via cellphone connections. Last month, the Nielsen Co. started labeling people in this group "Zero TV" households, because they fall outside the traditional definition of a TV home. There are 5 million of these residences in the U.S., up from 2 million in 2007. Winning back the Zero TV crowd will be one of the many issues broadcasters discuss at their national meetings. While show creators and networks make money from this group's viewing habits through deals with online video providers and from advertising on their own websites and apps, broadcasters only get paid when they relay such programming in traditional ways. Unless broadcasters can adapt to modern platforms, their revenue from Zero TV viewers will be zero. "Getting broadcast programing on all the gizmos and gadgets - like tablets, the backseats of cars, and laptops - is hugely important," says Dennis Wharton, a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters. Although Wharton says more than 130 TV stations in the U.S. are broadcasting live TV signals to mobile devices, few people have the tools to receive them. Most cellphones require an add-on device known as a dongle, but these gadgets are just starting to be sold. Among this elusive group of consumers is Jeremy Carsen Young, a graphic designer, who is done with traditional TV. Young has a working antenna sitting unplugged on his back porch in Roanoke, Va., and he refuses to put it on the roof. "I don't think we'd use it enough to justify having a big eyesore on the house," the 30-year-old says. Online video subscriptions from Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. - which cost less than $15 a month combined - have given him and his partner plenty to watch. For the first time, TV ratings giant Nielsen took a close look at this category of viewer in its quarterly video report released in March. It plans to measure their viewing of new TV shows starting this fall, with an eye toward incorporating the results in the formula used to calculate ad rates.
"Our commitment is to being able to measure the content wherever it is," says Dounia Turrill, Nielsen's senior vice president of insights. The Zero TV segment is increasingly important, because the number of people signing up for traditional TV service has slowed to a standstill in the U.S. Last year, the cable, satellite and telecoms providers added just 46,000 video customers collectively, according to research firm SNL Kagan. That is tiny when compared to the 974,000 new households created last year. While it's still 100.4 million homes, or 84.7 percent of all households, it's down from the peak of 87.3 percent in early 2010. Nielsen's study suggests that this new group may have left traditional TV for good. While three-quarters actually have a physical TV set, only 18 percent are interested in hooking it up through a traditional pay TV subscription. Zero TVers tend to be younger, single and without children. Nielsen's senior vice president of insights, Dounia Turrill, says part of the new monitoring regime is meant to help determine whether they'll change their behavior over time. "As these homes change life stage, what will happen to them?"
The TV industry has a host of buzz words to describe these non-traditionalist viewers. There are "cord-cutters," who stop paying for TV completely, and make do with online video and sometimes an antenna. There are "cord-shavers," who reduce the number of channels they subscribe to, or the number of rooms pay TV is in, to save money Cynthia Phelps, a 43-year-old maker of mental health apps in San Antonio, Texas, says there's nothing that will bring her back to traditional TV. She's watched TV in the past, of course, but for most of the last 10 years she's done without it. She finds a lot of programs online to watch on her laptop for free - like the TED talks educational series - and every few months she gets together with friends
to watch older TV shows on DVD, usually "something totally geeky.â€? The 24-hour news channels make her anxious or depressed, and buzz about the latest hot TV shows like "Mad Men" doesn't make her feel like she's missing out. The TV industry has a host of buzz words to describe these non-traditionalist viewers. There are "cord-cutters," who stop paying for TV completely, and make do with online video and sometimes an antenna. There are "cord-shavers," who reduce the number of channels they subscribe to, or the number of rooms pay TV is in, to save money. Then there are the "cord-nevers," young people who move out on their own and never set up a landline phone connection or a TV subscription. They usually make do with a broadband Internet connection, a computer, a cellphone and possibly a TV set that is not hooked up the traditional way. That's the label given to the group by Richard Schneider, the president and founder of the online retailer Antennas Direct. The site is doing great business selling antennas capable of accepting free digital signals since the nation's transition to digital over-the-air broadcasts in 2009, and is on pace to sell nearly 600,000 units this year, up from a few dozen when it started in 2003. While the "cord-nevers" are a target market for him, the category is also troubling. More people are raised with the power of the Internet in their pocket, and don't know or care that you can pull TV signals from the air for free. That brings us to truck driver James Weitze. The 31-year-old satisfies his video fix with an iPhone. He often sleeps in his truck, and has no apartment. To be sure, he's an extreme case who doesn't fit into Nielsen's definition of a household in the first place. But he's watching Netflix enough to keep up with shows like "Weeds," "30 Rock," "Arrested Development," "Breaking Bad," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "Sons of Anarchy." He's not opposed to TV per se, and misses some ESPN sports programs like the "X Games." But he's so divorced from the traditional TV ecosystem it could be hard to go back. It's become easier for him to navigate his smartphone than to figure out how to use a TV set-top box and the buttonladen remote control. "I'm pretty tech savvy, but the TV industry with the cable and the television and the boxes, you don't know how to use their equipment," he says. "I try to go over to my grandma's place and teach her how to do it. I can't even figure it out myself."
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How to paint on your screen
Computers changed all that to make the artist in us live. We first tried our hands at Microsoft Paint, but it was too cumbersome. Now, touch-based computing, especially tablets, are making an artist’s job easier. We look at three applications that allow you to sketch away
e all loved to draw as children, and, even as adults, we are completely fancying ourselves as the next generation. Any stray, dog-eared notebook is testimonial to the sway doodling still holds over the imagination. But, over the years, both time constraints as well as the lack of will to lug around a set of sketch pens, paint brushes and colours seem to have insidiously crept into the way of our colouring genius. Computers changed all that to make the artist in us live. We first tried our hands at Microsoft Paint, but it was too cumbersome. Now, touch-based computing, especially tablets, are making an artist’s job easier. We look at three applications that allow you to sketch away. Who knows, you may have a masterpiece stashed away in there somewhere. However, with iOS and Android tablets being all the rage, we have looked at apps only on these platforms. So, even though the Blackberry Playbook and Windows tablets exist out there, we are not looking at apps on those platforms yet. Sketchbook Express clearly shows it has come from years of experience in designing corporate-grade software. With a plethora of tools available at one’s fingertips, this is a great tool for the amateur artist to get a head-start. At the same time, its range is such that it will give you the flexibility that even an advanced artist needs — from multiple layers, to being able to zoom in and out of your illustration, to multiple tools such as brushes, pencils, airbrushes, and so on, down to various controls on how to use these tools. There is a colour wheel for you to choose the colours, and if you still feel you can’t find the right colour, there’s even a colour mixer to cre-
ate swatches. You can draw vector shapes as well as draw free-hand, giving you creative liberty. If you are a graphic artist, you can export the drawing as a PSD file and send it to another artist to work on. Need more layers, or more controls? Wacom launched this application together with the Bamboo stylus. This app stands out as it allows you to choose the type of paper you want — from plain sheets, to squared, down to even a task-list kind of a sheet.
Over the years, this has been refined to serve as a great sketching app as well. Though not as flexible as the Sketchbook Express, it allows you to draw lines with a Pen, color with a highlighter and even change the width of the highlighter or pen, and comes with a handy eraser. So, even though you don’t get brushes like you do in Sketchbook Express, it still serves the higher purpose of doodling. The only downside is that the default version has only one notebook, and if you need to add more, you need to buy these at Rs.110 each. Also, while you can email the note that you make, there is no way to save these notes on a cloud (Internet storage) service. Thus, the application only serves as a great starting point, rather than a full-fledged tool. So, if you are looking at something that has simple tools and is easy to work with, Bamboo’s right up there. Though in comparison to the Autodesk Sketchbook Express, Adobe Ideas is more expensive and seems to have fewer tools, its simple interface design still holds appeal for the budding artist within. While vector drawing tools are missing, if you are looking at a rich and flexible program that let’s you draw, yet maintains a convenience-oriented approach to tools, the Adobe Ideas app emerges a winner. Also, if you are familiar with Photoshop from Adobe, you may find it even easier to use Ideas. Ideas and Sketchbook both allow you to add an image from your library (either taken with your camera or downloaded from the Net) as a layer and then sketch over this, which helps when you are just setting out to draw. Though Ideas lets you synchronise your files to the Adobe Creative Cloud, what I found a bit
Ideas and Sketchbook both allow you to add an image from your library (either taken with your camera or downloaded from the Net) as a layer and then sketch over this, which helps when you are just setting out to draw of a bother was that it is unable to store files to Dropbox (my favourite storage site), or export the files as layers for editing later on a computer. What we love about Ideas and Sketchbook Express is that they offer undo (sketching moves) to infinity, so you can backtrack when you experiment or make mistakes. Bamboo does not. We found this feature to be of great help when using the app, since you may end up making a wrong stroke all too often when you first set out to discover your artistic destiny. Overall, the simple interface of Adobe Ideas seems much easier to start with, while the very basic Bamboo paper worked for most day-today illustrations, solving problems and explaining things. But, the real artist within only came out with Sketchbook Express.
spying offers rich payoff
Free download | flare.pk terials manufacturing. China has long been cited by security experts as a center for a global explosion of Internet crime. They say some crimes might be carried out by attackers abroad who remotely control Chinese computers. But experts including Mandiant say there is growing evidence Chinese attackers are behind many of them. China's military is a leader in cyber warfare research, along with its counterparts in the United
In 2010, Google Inc., and at least 20 other companies were hit by hackers attacks traced to China. Only two other companies disclosed they were targets in those attacks. Google cited the hacking and efforts to snoop on Chinese dissidents' email as among reasons for closing its mainland China-based search service that year States and Russia. The People's Liberation Army supports hacker hobby clubs with as many as 100,000 members to develop a pool of possible recruits, according to security consultants. Few companies are willing to confirm they are victims of cyber spying, possibly for fear it might erode trust
This is really the new era of cybercrime. We've moved from kids in their bedroom and f inancially motivated crime to state-sponsored cybercrime, which is interested in stealing secrets and getting military or commercial advantage
or state-backed cyber spies such as a Chinese military unit implicated by a U.S. security firm in a computer crime wave, hacking foreign companies can produce high-value secrets ranging from details on oil fields to advanced manufacturing technology. Recent report by Mandiant Inc. adds to mounting suspicion that Chinese military experts are helping state industry by stealing secrets from Western companies possibly worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The Chinese military has denied involvement in the attacks. "This is really the new era of cybercrime," said Graham Cluley, a British security expert. "We've moved from kids in their bedroom and financially motivated crime to state-sponsored cybercrime, which is interested in stealing secrets and getting military or commercial advantage." Instead of credit card numbers and other consumer data sought by crime gangs, security experts say cyber spies with skills and resources that suggest they work for governments aim at highervalue but better-guarded information. A state-owned energy company in a bidding war for access to oil and gas fields abroad can save huge sums if it can find out what foreign rivals are willing to pay. Stealing formulas for chemical processing can save hundreds of millions of dollars in research costs. Suppliers can negotiate higher prices if they know their customers' internal discussions. "There are a lot of hackers that are sponsored by the Chinese government who conduct cyber attacks," said Lim Jong-in, dean of Korea University's Graduate School of Information Security. Mandiant said it found attacks on 141 entities, mostly in the United States but also in Canada, Britain and elsewhere. It said attackers stole information on pricing, contract negotiations, manufacturing, product testing and corporate acquisitions. It said multiple details indicated the attackers,
dubbed APT1 in its report, were from a military cyber warfare unit in Shanghai, though there was a small chance someone else might be responsible. "We do believe that this stolen information can be used to obvious advantage" by China and Chinese state-owned enterprises, said Mandiant. Target companies were in four of the seven strategic industries identified in the Communist Party's latest five-year development plan, it said. China's ruling party has ambitious plans to build up state-owned corporate champions in industries from banking and telecoms to oil and steel. State companies are flush with cash from the country's boom and benefit from monopolies and other official favors but lag global rivals in skills and technology.
in their business. "When companies admit their servers were hacked, they become the target of hackers. Because the admission shows the weakness, they cannot admit," said Kwon Seok-chul, president of Cuvepia Inc., a security firm in Seoul. An exception was Google Inc., which announced in 2010 that it and at least 20 other companies were hit by attacks traced to China. Only two other companies disclosed they were targets in those attacks. Google cited the hacking and efforts to snoop on Chinese dissidents' email as among reasons for closing its mainland Chinabased search service that year. Mandiant cited the example of an unidentified company with which it said a Chinese com-
Last year, a group of Chinese state companies were among defendants charged in U.S. federal court in San Francisco in the theft of technology from DuPont Co. for manufacturing titanium dioxide, a chemical used in paints and other products. In 2011, another security company, Symantec Inc., announced it detected attacks on 29 chemical companies and 19 other companies that it traced to China. It said the attackers wanted to steal secrets about chemical processing and advanced ma-
modity supplier negotiated a double-digit price increase after attackers stole files and emails from the customer's chief executive over 2Â˝ years beginning in 2008. "It would be surprising if APT could continue perpetrating such a broad mandate of cyber espionage and data theft if the results of the group's efforts were not finding their way into the hands of entities able to capitalize on them," the report said.
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ocial networking has its pros and cons. The pseudo-intellectuals may continue with their bashing of social networking and its adverse effects on people, but in reality all these social networking mediums which emerged and got popular at the end of last decade have affected our lives in a way that was never done before. It may seem like an over statement but emergence and popularity of these social networking platforms especially facebook has been revolutionary. In my opinion, with a stark reduction in trend of personal socializing and increasing distances, facebook has offered and presented an amazing way to keep in touch with your friends. Facebook comes with its fair share of hitches and side effects. With the general election boom, religious and terrorism unrest, a sharp increase in usage of Facebook is inevitable among the users. I am experiencing something similar. Since last few weeks, I have been closely observing activities of my peers and acquaintances on facebook and I figured that all these facebook users can fit perfectly into certain categories on basis of their demeanor and behavior on Facebook. As much as I dislike stereotyping, I couldn’t avoid the temptation of classifying these various kinds of users. I came up with 8 most viral and active groups of facebookers. Here’s my list. The tormenting taggers: This group of facebookers will tag you in each and every preposterously outlandish and bizarre item they post on facebook whether it’s a ludicrous picture of them posing for camera or some lame facebook app that rates their friends telling who is most trustworthy of them. I have zero tolerance policy for this group and I always don’t give it a second thought before untagging myself from these tags which I have nothing to do with. Creepy commenters: This group of facebookers have innate problem of giving weird and totally inappropriate comments which linger on being offensive on people’s statuses and posts. They will comment just for the sake of it. They can be aptly called as “party poopers of facebook”. Religiously regular ones: This is actually one of my favorite kinds and I have a deep sense of appreciation for the way this group of facebookers stays loyal to facebook. They will never miss posting an update or sharing pictures of their daily life adventures and galas with situational description of each picture. In leisure time they will post funny videos and songs with explanation of what they like or admire about that particular video. Man!! Talk about dedication. Aided with agendas: You open your facebook account and gets an utter surprise as a message from your elementary school classmate whom you might not even remember from school days but yet ended up being friends with on facebook somehow and before you know it, he shamelessly asks you to join and like his stupid “so and so” facebook page. I am guessing this story might sound familiar to a lot of you. This is the facebookers group who are loaded with personal agendas. Their stint on facebook seems like a big publicity and self advertisement campaign which might involve anything from posting song covers and attending their seminars about things you are least interested in to liking their facebook pages and voting for them in facebook polls. Girl gazers: Unarguably, the cheapest and most disgusting group of facebookers who are merrily on facebook in search of girls in digital world like of which they can only dream of getting in real world and they use every dirty trick and every filthy pickup line they know in accomplishing their mission. But thanks to facebook’s privacy settings, which weren’t their when facebook first emerged; this breed of facebookers is diminishing gradually and hopefully will vanish completely as time goes on having learnt their lessons. The opinionated ones: These are the ones for whom facebook is just another source for channeling opinions and carrying out discussions. This lot of intellectual facebookers is full of opinions about social issues and current affairs and is often found
Facebookers: what they do?
Facebook comes with its fair share of hitches and side effects. With the general election boom, religious and terrorism unrest, a sharp increase in usage of Facebook is inevitable among the users
busy in some hot debate with their fellow facebookers. All their facebook activities revolve around their social perspectives and exercising of their political views, they will share links of articles and discussions hovering around very subjective political or social issues and post videos that voice their opinions and promote their views which often lead to heated debates in the comments section. Adobe addictives: Huh! Don’t know how to introduce this specie of facebookers, they are one of the most amusing kind. Well, to cut the chase, this
Facebook fan pages seem like a big publicity and self advertisement campaign which might involve anything from posting song covers and attending their seminars about things you are least interested in to liking their facebook pages and voting for them in facebook polls breed of social networkers have a thing for Adobe Photoshop, they photo shop pictures of them and other people and post the edited pictures onto facebook tagging everyone they know along so that
everyone can enjoy and get mesmerized by this “extinct” art of theirs. Some of their bests include picture of them standing in middle of Katrina Kaif and Kareena Kapoor, of them standing in front of Eifel tower, picture of their best friend face edited in place of the Statue of Liberty’s face. The thing about them which amuses me the most is the confidence and pride with which they flaunt these pictures as some sort of artistic masterpiece worthy of wide global acknowledgment and how they will tag everyone and go as far as positing these pictures on walls of various groups not realizing the how irritating and unflattering their pictures are and how any Tom, Dick and Harry can use Adobe Photoshop to do the very same thing they are doing. Showoff schmucks: Often while roaming on facebook you come across posts by people who leave you wondering about the purpose and the intentions behind those posts/comments etc. This breed of facebookers uses it as a ground for bragging and boasting about things in their lives. There is a fine line between sharing updates about new developments in life and bragging about them, and this line is often missed by this group of facebookers. They will brag about everything from a new cell phone to their fine taste of music. Their mania is not limited to their own posts and in order to prove how cool they are because they listen to Coldplay and you like old film songs, they will post nasty comments on your song posts whining about how old-dated and whacky they find Urdu music to be and how they understand nothing but Western genre of music.
ideo game graphics are becoming more and more advanced by the minute, multimedia capabilities are improving and gaming is becoming more and more common every day. In our world of advanced technology, where social networking and interactive gameplay are now mainstream, is it any wonder that video game consoles and video gaming in general have become so popular? For both old and young, and everyone in between, video game consoles and video gaming are an important source of leisure and entertainment, education and social interaction. Gaming consoles are a crucial feature for any entertainment center, and some are a worthy alternative to any handheld PDA or multimedia device. Consoles like the Xbox 360, PS3 and Nintendo Wii have truly revolutionized the idea of what a gaming system can do. A video game console is a major purchase and should be the product of careful consideration and review. Choosing a video game console that suits your mode or style of gaming can be a bit tricky, but you'll reap the benefit of selecting just the right system. The system you choose should provide a variety of game titles, offer multimedia features to enhance its functionality and everyday use, host an online community and provide help and support for technical issues. Sony Playstation 3: The Internet is full of stories about the imminent arrival of Playstation 4, but that is no reason to ignore the current available version. Sony's Playstation is an icon in gaming, and the PS3 changed quite a few things. For starters, the gaming console finally lost its boxy look and acquired some curves. It has two storage options 12GB or 500 GB. It can store not only games, but even videos, movies and photographs. For the fashion conscious, Sony offers three colour options for the console, apart from the standard black. If you love action games or car games, the Playstation is a great option. Not that it's not good for other kinds of games, but with dual shock controllers, the feedback of getting hit and hitting someone is very realistic. Sony also offers navigation controllers, and realmotion games that are operated by a motion controller, so that you don't end up a total couch potato. It even has an additional Blu Ray remote control, in case you want to use your PS3 as a Blu Ray disc player. The previous generation Playstation 2 is still available, if budget is an issue. The PS2 also has some interesting games. Nintendo Wii: Nintendo kickstarted the whole motion game paradigm with their Wii a few years ago. The idea was that even if you are a video game
buff, there is no reason to rest on your backside and twiddle your thumbs. The Wii came with a controller that you could use as a tennis racquet, a baseball bat, boxing gloves or even a guitar. A few months ago Nintendo upgraded the controller with an add-on instrument to give greater accuracy, and brought out games such as archery and darts. The Wii is not so much about great graphics or sound effects, as about the fun of movement and playing a game almost realistically. The Wii is also one of the smallest consoles on the market, and the package includes a starter game pack. Games cost between Rs. 1500 and about Rs.
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Cruise with consoles
We used to play video games on handheld consoles and tablet devices. But what if you want a shot at the real deal? All the gore and mayhem of the Assassin's Creed on your surround sound home theatre and its 60" display? This is where things get interesting. Let us examine the three major brands and their devices.
5000. There is an add-on in the form of Wii Fit, a floor-board that can be used for exercise games as well as dance, replete with trainers and monitoring of your progress. But the board costs extra. The Microsoft xBox 360 with Kinect: This is the most expensive option in our line-up, but undeniably brings the best of both the worlds. Not only do you get great graphics like the PS3, but you also get Wii-like movement games. Variants come with 4 GB and 250 GB storage space. The bundle includes the Xbox 360 game console and a 3D camera. You the player are the motion controller. Moreover, you can buy the Xbox without buying Kinect first up. Buy the console, get used to the games, and you can buy Kinect as an add-on later. People interested in action games, flight simulators or car race games will find good titles and realistic graphics. Sony fans may claim the PS graphics are better, but that may be nitpicking. Games cost Rs. 1000 upwards to Rs. 9,000, with
huge variety. There's a game where you get stuffed toys your child can pet and interact with. You may need a bigger room though, as the camera needs space to sense the user. Verdict: If you are interested in getting your kids to move their body, and are not bothered too much
about graphics, the Nintendo Wii may appeal to you. But getting a variety of games may be tough, so please do due diligence before making a choice. Both the Sony Playstation3 and the Microsoft Kinect offer interesting movement-related games. The fun aspect of Kinect is that there is no additional controller. Most large-format stores offer touch-and-try experience, so before you make a choice, it would be wise to take up this offer before committing to one format. And if you are content to sit on the fence for a little longer, the much-talked-about PS4 may actually materalise soon.
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Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology Dr Sania Nishtar being briefed regarding the operations of Universal Service Fund (USF) during her first official visit to the company’s office in Islamabad.
Chairperson TEVTA Rashida Malik is receiving key of the Project including building & equipment, sponsored by JICA, for strengthening of DAE Mechanical & Architecture Department in GCT Railway Road, from Project Manager Tobishima Corporation Japan, Yasuo Kume.
Participants pose for photograph during the visit of the noodle house is a flagship restaurant of Jumeirah Restaurant’s LLC – Dubai, UAE.
Participants attend workshop organised by Easypaisa in Islamabad. A number of microfinance institutions and non-government organisations participated in the workshop.
Jahanzeb Qayyum Khan Country Head Pepsi and Abdul Wahab Chairman Bandhani Group of Companies exchanging documents after signing ceremony between Pepsi and Johnny Rockets.
Telenor Director Sales and Distribution Malik Faisal Qayyum handing over 800CC car key to the winner retailer Aslam Shahzad during a prize distribution ceremony in Faisalabad.
Participants of Service Sales Corporation's celebration was attended by the artists, socialites, students and people from the corporate circle in Karachi.
U Microfinance Bank started operations of its 2nd branch in Rawalpindi. Seen in the photo are Hamid Farooq, SEVP Business Development and Chairman U Micofinance Bank Board, Arif Sirhindi, President/CEO of U Microfinance Bank and Nadeem Khan, CFO Ufone and Director U Microfinance Bank.
Faridullah Jan, Head of Mobile Phone Business at SEPAK, giving away Samsung GALAXY Note - II to Ayla Nausrat, the winner of NoteII Creative Guru Competition in Lahore.
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Warid provides career advice to students UK by participating in a British Council career counselling initiative. Warid’s participation not only allows them to provide career guidance and advice to Pakistanis studying at British universities, it also allows these students to seek job opportunities as prospective Warid employees. Warid had previously engaged students in Pakistan through participation at major job fairs in leading educations across the country, including LUMS, IBA, FAST, Lahore: Warid Tele- leading telecoms its outreach to Pakistani NUST, UET, UCP, and com, one of Pakistan’s providers, has extended graduates studying in the Superior University. This
British Council initiative has allowed the telecom giant to build strong ties with top UK universities, as well as harness the intellectual potential of the Pakistani student population in Britain. The initiative also assists in providing better networking opportunities and stronger trade ties between Pakistan and the UK. Commenting on the initiative, Mr. Ali Raza Mehdi, Vice President Human Resources & Administration at Warid, said, “This initiative by the British Council has allowed Warid to reach out to the large Pakistani student community study-
Warid launches ‘Behtar PTCL sets up medical camp for Pakistan’ participants of sports week
Lahore: Warid Telecom, one of Pakistan’s leading telecoms providers, is proud to launch its ‘Behtar Pakistan’ campaign. Showcasing the beauty and culture of Pakistan and spreading the message of togetherness, awareness and education. Warid’s ‘Behtar Pakistan’ campaign aims to show Warid’s support for all Pakistanis at this crucial juncture in the country’s history, as we move forward with the people of this country. The ‘Behtar Pakistan’ campaign aims to reinforce that Pakistan will come out of this time of uncertainty as long as we have the determination and hope to succeed. Speaking about the campaign, Warid’s Chief Commercial Officer Mr. Younas Iqbal Sheikh said, “The last few years were a difficult time for the people of Pakistan as they faced a plethora of problems such
as natural disasters, a slow economy and terrorism. This is why Warid Telecom has launched its ‘Behtar Pakistan’ campaign which aims to reinstate that we stand with the people of Pakistan and are as hopeful as every other Pakistani that with unity, faith and discipline we can achieve great success.” The ‘Behtar Pakistan’ campaign also highlights Warid’s values of unity and integrity as the company looks to further enhance its portfolio of services in Pakistan. This campaign illustrates the company’s commitment towards Pakistan as we celebrate the perseverance, faith and strength of the people of this country. At the micro level, recent upgrades to the network have allowed Warid to improve its services as it continues to provide Superior Quality Network access to its valued customers.
A team of PTCL Medical Department providing free medical check-up and healthcare facilities.
Islamabad: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has set up a medical camp through which it is providing free healthcare to more than 3000 children participating in the Annual Sports Week being held from March 19 -24 at Sports Complex Islamabad. PTCL physicians and dentists, aided by neces-
sary paramedical staff and ambulance service, are providing the children with OPD cover, updating of medical record, dental examination, blood grouping and screening and emergency services including minor surgical procedures at the medical camp. Syed Mazhar Hussain, PTCL Senior Executive Vice President
(SEVP) HR said at the occasion, “Committed to uphold the highest standards of corporate ethics and social responsibility, PTCL actively contributes towards the society by extending its services for community development. Our focus is not to only enable our employees to serve the organization proficiently, but more importantly encouraging them to
ing in the UK providing valuable insights to these students in career management, enhancing employability skills and also potential placement guidance not only in Warid Telecom but also in the talent market in Pakistan.” In addition to participating in the British Council sessions in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, Warid has been holding regular career counselling sessions at some of the leading universities across Pakistan. Some of the recent mentoring sessions were held at Lahore School of Economics, IBA Karachi and LUMS. contribute genuinely towards development of the society and its people." An extension of PTCL’s vision of supporting the community, the camp has been set up in collaboration with Pakistan Sweet Homes to provide free healthcare and medical services to the children. A project of Pakistan Bait-ulMal (PBM), these Sweet Homes provide quality housing and education to thousands of orphaned children across Pakistan. The weeklong medical camp is part of the various initiatives the company has taken as a responsible corporate entity. Besides providing healthcare and diagnostic services, PTCL’s Medical Department is also actively promoting awareness on common and preventable diseases to the benefit of not only its employees but also the general public as well.
Mobilink enables phone-based purchasing from Nokia App Store
Lahore: Mobilink customers will now be able to make direct purchases from the Nokia App Store utilizing Mobilink’s innovative operator billing system. This unique system will enable customers to purchase apps and other content from the Nokia App Store using the credit from their postpaid or prepaid connections. Mobilink customers can select an app of their choice from the Nokia
App Store and then select the ‘Phone Bill’ as the payment option for their download. Mobilink subscribers will be able to use their phones as a payment method. Instead of using a credit card, customers will be able to add the cost of a game or app downloaded from the Nokia store to a monthly bill or have it deducted from their prepaid credit. GPRS charges will apply for accessing and down-
loading from the Nokia App Store. Moied Javeed, Director Marketing, Mobilink highlighted, “Mobilink continues to work towards providing cutting edge services to its customers. This latest facility for all our customers using Nokia phones offers a reliable, easy to use and quick way to pay for Nokia App purchases and complements our partnership with Nokia.’’ Previously, customers could pay for their favorite apps through credit cards, which was a relatively cumbersome and insecure mode of transactions. The provision of operator billing enables a safer platform of payments for Mobilink’s customers across Pakistan.
Mr. Anjum Amin Mirza, Director Corporate Services PIA addressing the airline’s Cargo Managers at a meeting to review the cargo policy for Mango export. Mr. Shahid Khoso, General Manager Cargo PIA and Mr. Saeed Khan General Manager Passenger Handling Services PIA, are also present.
Telenor Pakistan announces its Internship Programme
Islamabad: Telenor Pakistan has announced the commencement of its Summer Internship Programme 2013. Telenor says that it has re-designed its internship program this year to not only train the interns for the corporate world but also to sieve talent to create ‘Talent Pools’ for entry level positions in the company.
Telenor said that its Internship program for 2013 is open for the cities of Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad, Peshawar and Hyderabad. Duration for internship will be 6-8 months and will be entirely project based. This means that each intern will be part of a real and ongoing project team and will contribute to the comple-
tion of the project at hand. Interns will be placed with various departments of the organization depending on their area of interest, ranging from brands to sales, customers support to legal affairs and so on. Requirements include 6 completed semesters for Bachelors students or 2 semesters for students doing their Masters. Fresh grads can also apply but their graduation should be within the last 6 months.
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PTCL launches end-to-end ‘Managed WAN Service’
Hamid Farooq, PTCL Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) Business Development addressing the launching ceremony of PTCL Managed WAN Service.
Islamabad: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), the largest Information Communication Technology (ICT) service provider in the country, has today launched a first of its kind
end-to-end solution, ‘Managed WAN Service’, for its corporate customers. The service was launched at a seminar in Islamabad, in the presence of large number of corporate customers of the com-
Buy Ufone SIM PTCL brings and Get free Smart TV minutes, SMS Jadoo+ Islamabad: Ufone has offered free calling minutes, SMS and Internet to its new customers who are about to join Ufone network. This offer only applies to the customers who buy a new Ufone SIM or switch their existing number to Ufone network. New customers will get hundreds of calls to Ufone, PTCL and Vfone numbers, thousands of SMS to all networks and all the Mobile Internet they could use absolutely free for a whole week. Offer will be valid till mid-night of the 7th day including SIM activation day.
Islamabad: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited introduced the Smart TV Jadoo Plus for their customers; it is tagged with home entertainment upsized along with verity of service like social media apps facility, one hundred and twenty five (125) local and international channels stream, IPTV multicast stream. Further integration of apps will allow the customers of PTCL to connect the Facebook, Twitter on the TV screen but need high speed bandwidth minimum up to 2 Mbps.
Our goal is going in emerging markets,' CEO, Rozee.com
For a job sourcing website that was never planned to be the main line of business, Moonis Rahman's Rozee.com had made great strides since 2007. "We have just had our 30th consecutive quarters of growth," says Rahman. Rahman, who had previously launched Naseeb.com, a social networking site for Muslims in the US and UK, says the company continues to grow strong and looking to explore foreign markets. As of now, Rozee has not ventured out of Pak-
istan, but Rahman says his firm is eyeing markets like Indonesia and a few countries in Africa. "Our goal is go into emerging markets, with higher growth, high internet access and high GDP," he told BR Research over lunch last week. Rozee's phenomenal performance came in a period when foreign job service provider Bayt.com left Pakistan citing bad economic conditions and security tensions. 'When the economy contracts the first sector to be hit is jobs; if
pany. Hamid Farooq, PTCL Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) Business Development; SamerAjjawi, Advisory Team Member Etisalat and other senior officials of the company were also present
at the occasion. Hamid Farooq, PTCL Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) Business Development while speaking at the seminar said, “Managed WAN Service is another remarkable product
by PTCL, which is designed on the core philosophy of, ‘let the expert do it for you’. PTCL is striving for end-toend data and solution integration for the corporate and SME sector in Pakistan and our latest offering is geared towards filling this void of this underserved segment.” The opening presentation was delivered by Nauman Ashraf, PTCL Senior Manager ICT Products based on the theme ‘One Company. One Solution’, explaining that the service is specifically designed to cater for the growing business needs of the corporate customers and provides the convenience of tailor made design, build &im-
plementationof networks in a simplified, secure and cost effective manner. SamerAjjawi, Advisory Team Member Etisalat also introduced another state-of-art technology at the seminar, ‘Hosted IP Telephonic Solution’, which caters for complete hosted collaboration requirement of corporate customers as a service model. Through this initiative, companies can now outsource their networks and personalize modules for individual needs. Major features of this service include online analytics and reporting, proactive network monitoring and elimination of capital expenditure of developing a network.
Samsung's OLED TV obtained picture quality certificate ident of Samsung's Visual Display Business Division. “This achievement exemplifies our continued commitment to provide consumers with industryleading innovations that deliver the best picture for the most immersive home entertainment experience possible.” Throughout the extensive validation process, Samsung’s OLED TV underwent UL’s various picture element tests, including brightness, color and uniformity, as well as a new testing method, Emotional Image Quality Evaluation. The new method measures the unique picture quality of the OLED TV by using 3D color space instead of 2D,
Lahore: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. reinforced its superior technology leadership, receiving the world’s first picture quality validation for the unrivaled picture quality of its 55 inch OLED TV. UL, a global independent safety science company, presented the validation, which is the first for any
OLED TV in the industry and highlights Samsung’s leadership in the development of next-generation technology. “Even after maintaining our No. 1 position in the global TV market for more than seven consecutive years, we refuse to be complacent,” said Hyugun Lee, senior vice pres-
the economy was growing we would have been growing even faster," he said. The firm currently has offices in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar and Faisalabad, the last one being the most recent addition. "We are not just growing because of the branded employers, such as United Nations, Engro, big banks telecom firms. big contributors to our growth have been the SMEs that form a majority of our 54000 clients," says Rahman. The Faisalabad branch, which opened only three weeks ago, is a step in the same direction ie to attract more and more SMEs and to help provide them good talent. Rahman says that Rozee already has the big wigs from the region but a lot of small players are not on board yet. "The Faisalabad office is to seek smaller employers."
Wateen takes part in PITB Information Security Conference
Mr Faisal Sattar, CTO Wateen amongst the panelists for CIO's perspective on Information Security
Lahore: Wateen Telecom, Pakistan’s leading converged communications provider, was recently invited to participate in the prestigious first ever Punjab Information Technology Board Information Security Conference. Wateen Telecom was represented at the event by its Chief Technology Officer, Faisal Sattar. The event aimed at creating awareness around information security and the challenges faced by organizations in the everevolving sphere of cyber security and business
continuity. The conference brought together various stakeholders from the government, industry, and academia to share their knowledge and experience and debate how to effectively combat the latest threats to Information Security. A number of prominent CIOs, Information Security Heads, researchers and professors attended the event. This conference raised awareness about information security and increasing collaboration among universities, industries and government
allowing the test practitioner to measure the depth of color expression and contrast ratios. The new evaluation system can correctly examine every color that an OLED panel can produce. This recognition of Samsung’s OLED TV attests to the company’s continued work toward refining its OLED technology and maximizing its consumer benefits ahead of a launch. The certificate also follows the recent, world-first recognition in the UHD TV category from UL and German certification firm, TÜV Rheinland, for the unparalleled picture quality of Samsung’s UHD TV. institutions to address this important issue. Dr. Umar Saif, Chairman PITB and Nahil Mahmood, Founder & President, Cloud Security Alliance Pakistan, were the people behind this oneof-a-kind event, which was held at the Arfa Technology Park Lahore. Commenting on the event, Mr. Faisal Sattar said, “With the rise of ‘bring your own device’ and commercialization of IT, Information Security should be given paramount importance by any organization in order to ensure business continuity and negating the more obvious threats of reputational damage and competitive disadvantage. This initiative by PITB is an inception towards the massive transformation required for creating awareness in this region and we at Wateen are certainly evangelists for such enterprises.” Wateen also provided live updates and notifications about the event on their Facebook and Twitter accounts for the blogging and online community.
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Mobilink Foundation celebrates Women’s Day
Mobilink Foundation Torchbearers at the ‘Bilquis Edhi Women’s Hostel’ to celebrate International Women’s Day
Lahore: Mobilink Foundation Torchbearers, Mobilink’s employee volunteer force, commemorated International Women’s Day by spending the day at the ‘Bilquis
Edhi Women’s Hostel’. Mobilink Foundation’s torchbearers spent the day at the welfare hostel, providing emotional support to the women who are being provided
Microsoft launches DigiGirlz 2013 for young women Karachi: Microsoft Pakistan recently conducted DigiGirlz Camp 2013 to foster Information Technology related education among young women of Pakistan. DigiGirlz is a Microsoft Youth Spark Programme which is a signature platform to invest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education for young women and build a pipeline of future workers ready for the challenges of the global economy. The Microsoft DigiGirlz High Tech Camp was developed to provide girls with a better understanding of what a career in technology is all about. This exciting experience provides high school girls with opportunities to learn
about careers in technology, talk with Microsoft employees about their life experiences, and enjoy hands-on computer and technology workshops. The camp includes experiential work with robotics, demonstrations of the use of simulation technology, experiences with technology like Windows 8 touchscreen slates, sessions on branding to teach the girls the importance of branding themselves the way they want to be known, speed networking sessions with Microsoft employees, Geoteaming Scavenger Hunt and many other unique experiences highlighting teamwork. Speaking on this occasion, Amir Rao, coun-
Court directs Cabinet Division to hire PTA members
Islamabad High Court has directed Cabinet Division to appoint members of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on basis of 29 January 2013 advertisement, i.e., first advertisement it had published for the recruitment of members of the authority. Hearing the petition submitted by Wahaj us Siraj, CEO of Nayatel and Convener ISP Association of Pakistan (ISPAK), Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of IHC directed the government to strike down the subsequent advertisements and to appoint members based on requirements mentioned in its first advertisement only. The Petitioner had
submitted that Cabinet Division first issued an advertisement for appointment of two Members PTA on 29 January 2013. But just one day after the last date for applying, i.e., 14 February 2013, a new advertisement altering the qualifications, age and experience requirements was issued in order to accommodate favourites and blue eyed of the Government. The process was manipulated to such an extent that Cabinet Division after receiving applications and analysing the credentials of strong applicants, altered qualifications, experience and age criteria to filter out good candi-
shelter by the Edhi Foundation. The Torchbearers distributed various gifts amongst the women and also gifted sewing machines to the hostel as a means of providing a try manager, Microsoft Pakistan said, “Today Information Technology is an inherent part of our society; it impacts all elements of society and infuses every aspect of the society and thus forms the basis of modern innovation .For that, DigiGirlz as part of our Youth Spark program helps provide young women with the skills they need to be able to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow and to be able to understand the impact they can have on the future society they belong to. This program aims to encourage and support young women to pursue education in high demand areas such as computer science, build their skill set and to incite them to find jobs in the IT sector in which they can have an essential role and contribute heavily in its growth.” dates, the petitioner had noted. PTA has been in turmoil since last few months when auction of highly lucrative and much scandalized multi billion dollar auction of 3G spectrum was stalled by NAB onillegal appointment of consultants and its ex-chairman, Farooq Awan was dismissed by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on 15 January 2013 on conflicts of interests and violation of Telecom Act, 1996. PTA is currently totally dysfunctional as its Member Finance, Nasrul Karim Ghaznavi completed his second four years’ tenure on 24 February whereas Member Technical, Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar completed his term on March 16, 2013.
means of empowering and enabling the women to earn a sustainable income using their skills. The ‘Bilquis Edhi Women’s Hostel’ is one of eighteen (18) homes established by the Edhi Foundation across Pakistan. These homes provide shelter to over 8,500 people including orphaned children, the mentally and physically challenged, as well as homes for the destitute and victims of domestic violence. Omar Manzur, Head of Corporate Communications, Mobilink highlighted, “Mobilink Foundation’sreached out to the Edhi Foundation’s Women’s Hostel to encourage the women to regain their confidence and
overcome challenges; as a means of leadinga meaningful life and contributing towards the development of society. The International Women’s Day provides another opportunity to continue a long-standing tradition at Mobilink to share our successes with the communities in which we operate.” International Women’s Day is marked on 8 March every year across the world.The objective of the Day is to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women. The Day also aims to highlight the struggles of women worldwide as well as to promote women’s freedom from social oppression.
wi-tribe awards winners of Retail Competition
The Mobilink Foundation is a reflection of the commitment of Mobilink and its employees to reshape lives of the community in which Mobilink operates. Established in 2007, the Mobilink Foundation is a non-profit organization, which provides support for the local community in the areas of health, education, environment and humanitarian assistance. Being a philanthropic organization, it is purely based on employee volunteerism that enables the Foundation to spend every penny directly towards the causes it is associated with. In 2013, Mobilink Foundation became Pakistan’s first and only telecom CR function to be certified by the Pakistan Center of Philanthropy (PCP). acknowledge their contribution towards making us the number 1 broadband provider in
(L-R) Mr. Irfan Chaudhry, Director Sales, wi-tribe, Mr. Zubair Jalali, Regional Technical Manager, wi-tribe and Mr. Irfan Lari, Regional Manager Sales wi-tribe award the prize to one of the many retailers at the Retail Competition Award Distribution Ceremony in Karachi.
Karachi: wi-tribe acknowledged the role of its retailers in its success as no means small at an awards ceremony in Karachi. Its expansive network of retailers has contributed towards taking the number 1 broadband for quality of service and customer satisfaction to the successful position it enjoys today. In a show of appreciation, wi-tribe rewarded top performing retailers for their commitment to high levels of service
quality. Among the awards, retailers were recipient to motorcycles, LCD television and cash prizes. Speaking at the Karachi event, wi-tribe Director Sales, Irfan Chaudhry said: “Our accomplishments today are not merely linked to the exceptional broadband service we offer, but also because of the strong and dedicated retail network which links us to a broader customer base. At wi-tribe, we
Huawei supporting partners for telecom business expansion Islamabad: The Chinese Company, Huawei assured to continue supporting its partners for telecom business expansion in Pakistan and to help them achieve the set targets. At a Huawei Pakistan Core Partner Convention Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Company, Mr. Simon said he anticipates 2013 as an opportune growth period for partners and Huawei.
"We need to collaborate shoulder by shoulder with an open mind to jointly create added-value within the industry. Let's build and enjoy a prosperous future together with real win-win results," he said. He said with collaborative efforts, Huawei was able to achieve business gains and steady growth within Pakistan. This is not only an achievement for us, but also a success for
terms of quality service and it is only fitting that we show our gratitude towards them. This event is a gesture towards our retailers and we look forward to achieving continued excellence and business growth together.” The ceremony was held after a recently concluded retail competition. wi-tribe will also be holding similar events for their retailers in Lahore and Islamabad/Rawalpindi in the near future. our many cooperation partners, he said. He said the theme of this particular convention is "Collaboration, Value, Win-Win" as this motto highlights not only our vision for the market, but also expectations. He also mentioned five cooperation essentials that Huawei will be focusing on over the coming years. Deputy CEO of the Company, Ahmed Bilal Masood, Head of procurement dept. in Middle East, Zeng Chuishi, Naseem Usmani and other officials attend the Convention.
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Microsoft organises private cloud immersion session Karachi: Cloud computing has ushered a revolutionary advancement in the field of Information Technology. To create awareness about this innovative platform among the business community of the country, Microsoft Pakistan recently conducted a private cloud immersion session for local media personnel. The event was organised in partnership with Fujitsu, which is the hardware partner of Microsoft Pakistan for the deployment of this cutting-edge technology across various organi-
sations in Pakistan. Cloud computing is a major paradigm shift in how IT resources are designed, managed and delivered. This new model opens a matchless avenue for innovation and covers virtualised infrastructure, advanced storage management, deep application management and data security. Microsoft solutions for Private Cloud, built on Windows Server, Hyper-V and System Center, are a key part of the company’s end-to-end approach to cloud computing. By improving on the way or-
ganizations currently consume IT, Microsoft can help businesses leverage investments and skill sets they already have, while taking advantage of the new value the cloud provides. Speaking on this occasion, Amir Rao, country manager, Microsoft Pakistan said: “Information Technology permeates through every sector of our business environment. In this era of modernity, Microsoft Pakistan provides private cloud solutions to companies through which they can reform the workplace for em-
Microsoft conducted a Private Cloud Immersion Session in Pakistan. Seen here are Amir Rao, Country Manager, Microsoft Pakistan (C) and Sajjad Abbas, Regional Sales Manager – ME, Fujitsu Technology Solutions (L) along with other officals.
ployees across various departments and offices. Moreover, they enable you to deliver unrivalled services to your external stakeholders and engage with them more directly. Network administra-
tors can explore new network management capabilities and configure the application performance mechanisms which are not possible otherwise. ” The benefits of
adopting cloud computing makes it a valuable acquisition for any organization looking to reduce its cost and grow at the same time. The platform offers economies of scale by increasing productivity, reduces unnecessary spending on software licensing and it enables globalization of the workforce as people worldwide can access the cloud database. The Private Cloud Immersion technology by Microsoft Pakistan in partnership with Fujitsu will now enable local organizations to achieve greater efficiency and save on resources which can be utilized elsewhere.
Wateen organizes workshop on Creating Winning Teams of this training was to develop an influential cadre in the management that is able to effectively achieve targets and bring about grassroots level change in the organisation. The initiative comes under the umbrella of Wateen’s values and was meant to inculcate those valWateen Telecom Management Team at Magic of 1 Training ues in employees at with Umer khan every level. Wateen Telecom re- managers on ‘Creating The workshop was cently concluded a two Winning Teams’- The especially designed for Day comprehensive Magic of 1 in Lahore. the upper tier of the Training Workshop for The main objective management (managers
and above) so that they could manage and lead their teams in a more effective way. The training was divided into two main segments: Managing Self and Managing Others which were its key highlights. The training’s primary focus was to identify and develop their leadership, communication and team building skills through interactive feedback sessions in order to help managers develop a personal strat-
egy that enhances their effectiveness and influence with others at work. Wateen Telecom has developed a unique system of training and motivation designed to bring employees together by giving them a genuine stake in the company through their personal development and organizational capacity. It also focuses on bringing out the best in individuals so they can transform the environment around them and
function better as a team. Commenting on the importance of the workshop, The Chief Transformation Officer, Asad Rezzvi said “we are an organization that highly value our employees and invest in them. Business success only follows the cultural success of an organization, therefore it’s imperative to develop leaders in Wateen that inspire and lead with their performance.”
Warid receives Corporate Social Responsibility Award In an effort to recognize the support of organizations received during the year 2012, SKMCH&RC organized the annual Shaukat Khanum Social Responsibility Awards on April 11, 2013 at the hospital. Chief Executive SKMT, Dr. Faisal Sultan appreciated the continuous support provided by Warid Telecom in the recent years. Warid received this award for the second time in a row. Dr. Sultan further added “We have embarked upon the construction of Pakistan's second Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Peshawar. This has only been possible because of the unconditional support of well-wishers and responsible organizations like Warid who believe in the value of life and have enabled us to continue to provide free or supported cancer care to over 75% of our patients over the last 18 years.”
67 Lahore: Mian Muhammad Mansha giving away the CSR Award to Mr. Shahzad Ahmad from Warid Telecom during a ceremony.
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Ufone starts Summer Internship Programme 2013 Islamabad: Following the success of its Summer Internship Program (SIP) 2012, Ufone the most popular telecom company of Pakistan, is now relaunching the program for 2013. SIP 2013 will commence in April at national level with campus drives being held across the country during which students will have to take a test and give an interview for final selection. The campus drives will be held in all major universities in cities including Islamabad, Sawabi, Lahore and Karachi. Individuals have to be students of Bachelor’s program (6th or 7th semester) or students of Master’s program; Ufone will send details on applying to the Summer Internship Program to the universities hence students can check with their
respective departments for their selection. The Summer Internship Program provides a unique and rare opportunity to the talented youth of Pakistan to work in a professional and dynamic setting. The program builds on the success from industry best practices, while adding a little bit of the Ufone flair to the mix. Interns selected through this program will get exposure to real-time projects for a period of 6-8 weeks. The main objective of this program is to introduce selected students to the emerging technology trends, while developing their career scope in the thriving telecom sector. Final list of interns will be made after selecting top students through a battery of online tests, competency-based screening and panel in-
terviews. Speaking about the scheme Syed Zulfiqar Ali Zaidi, General Manager Human Resources said, “The Summer Internship Program is all about identifying and nurturing talent. Several of our previous interns have been placed in full time employment at Ufone after the completion of their internships and degree programs in roles within the finance, commercial and technical divisions. This ties in with our business philosophy i.e. when we say ‘it’s all about U’ we actually mean it. Be it our valued customers, our committed staff or our prospective employees, we realize that their growth and satisfaction is critical for us to grow as a Company.” An entire system of intern management has been set-up within Ufone to not only guide
Expats fall victims of fraud More than 20 Pakistani workers were allegedly conned into handing over their personal details, which were then used to buy mobile phones and other devices worth thousands of dinars. They had been promised jobs by a Bahraini and handed over copies of their CPR cards and passports, Pakistan Embassy community welfare attaché Ž Maqsood Qadir Shah told reporters. However, the Bahraini allegedly used the documents to acquire devices worth BD5,000 from a telecom company - leaving the workers with the bill. The men only discovered what happened when one of them was stopped at the airport as he tried to go on holiday.
It emerged a travel ban had been imposed on them because of outstanding debts to the telecom firm. "The men are working for a construction company and were offered jobs and a better salary by a Bahraini," said Mr Shah. "He took their CPRs and passport copies, saying he would register their names for job mobility and transfer their visas locally. "But he misused their documents and bought mobile phones and other electronic items from a telecommunications company. "These workers got to know about it later when one of them was going on holiday and was stopped at the airport by authorities. "They also received a warning letter from a lawyer asking them to
pay the money or face legal action." The men first contacted the embassy and have now lodged a complaint at Naim Police Station. The Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society (BHRWS) has also been approached for support and a meeting has already taken place with the telecom firm, which has not been identified by the embassy. "All liabilities against these workers were cancelled and the travel ban removed," said Mr Shah. BHRWS general secretary Faisal Fulad said this was not the first case of its kind and called on the government to prevent the misuse of people's CPR cards. He claimed it was a major racket that had to be tackled.
Etihad Airways starts daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Washington
Lahore: Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, has commenced non-stop daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Washington, creating the first direct air link between the two capitals. The new service to Washington Dulles International Airport has been introduced to meet growing
demand for government and business travel, as well as growing demand for leisure trips between and beyond the cities. “Government and corporate customers in
both markets have given us strong indication that the Abu Dhabi - Washington route can support a daily service from day one. We have confidently responded by
and groom these interns but also to identify high-potential individuals who can be considered for employment within the Company after completion of SIP. The internship program has been carefully designed to ensure that students are provided with high-impact; hands-on training and skill development to further their careers. RF KPI Analysis, Mobile Financial Services and the Mass Market Segment, Social Networking and Online Profile Management, and Process Automation for PMO are some of the areas where the interns will get a chance to work in. Ufone is among the few companies in the country which has one of the largest internship footprints in Pakistan. Aside from their functional development, the Summer Internship Program also ensures students work very closely with their supervisors who take a mentoring role throughout the relationship.
Zong launches corporate airport lounge
Mr. Pan Qingjian, Acting Consul General of China, Inagurating the Zong Lounge. Also seen in the group picture (left to right) Niaz A Malik, Executive Director, Strategy, Sales and ESS Zong, Pan Qingjiag, Yan Zhaohui, CIO/CAO, Zong and Ali Kamran, Director Corproate Sales, Zong
Lahore: Zong in its latest endeavour to extend convenience, comfort and priority, has opened Special Zong Lounges at Karachi and Lahore airports for its corporate Platinum and Gold members. Now each time you travel on a domestic route, you can avail the services at these lounges. As a member, you are entitled to take in a guest with you while you wait in the comfortable environment of these priority lounges. “We always strive to provide best quality services to our corporate clients and our goal is to provide best products with greatest service possible and opening Special Zong Lounge is part of providing the convenience and experience to our corporate clients” said Mr. Niaz.A.Malik, ED Strategy and Corporate Sales at the inauguration of the Corporate lounge in
Karachi. Zong lounges are done up in tasteful style. With people to provide assistance to having television, newspaper and magazines, you have the convenience of hot & cold beverages, computers, wifi and the most comfortable seating arrangements. Now corporate clients can experience best customer services in style and while you wait for your flight enjoying a hot cup of coffee. Zong, an international brand of China Mobile, has now become the digital partner of Pakistani nation through its matchless services and irresistible packages. The company holds 15.4% of the market share which is growing every day. During the year 2012 alone, the telecom giant added more than 4 million subscribers to its base thus reaching around 19 million total subscribers.
"This is not the first case reported to us, but one of several," said Mr Fulad. "There have been many reports about such cases, but no action has been taken by the government. "This is not the work of one person, but a group. "We need to dig out information about this racket and take severe action against them. "How can anyone take our CPR cards and misuse them? "We need to start an awareness campaign, especially among low-income workers, so they don't get involved in such scams." An Interior Ministry source confirmed a case was filed at Chairman of Kausar Group of Companies, Abid Ali Malik presents 1st Naim Police Station Business Retailer award to Imtiaz Abbasi, owner of Karachi Super Stores. and an investigation Lahore: A retailer Farooq Iftikhar, Senior was launched. business award cere- Vice President Irfan mony was conducted at Iqbal Sheikh, Vice PresRoyal Palm Golf & ident Mian Abuzar Shad committing 3,360 seats Country Club organised and Chairman Lahore per week and already by Kausar Group of Retailer Association our forward bookings Companies. Rana Akhtar were preson the route are very The chief guest of ent at this event. encouraging in both di- this ceremony, Imtiaz Mr. Junaid Zahid rections. In addition, we Abbasi owner of Imtiaz Malik (Director Kausar will open a US$6.8 mil- Super Stores has been Ghee Mills) addressed lion premium lounge recognised for his serv- the event and anthis week in Terminal A ices to the retail sector of nounced that this trend at Dulles Airport to ben- Pakistan by the Chair- will be followed in the efit our Diamond First man of Kausar Group of future. In the end the and Pearl Business Companies, Mr. Abid Ali chief guest thanked Class passengers,” Malik with the best Kausar Group of ComJames Hogan, President achievement award. The panies for this endeavor and Chief Executive Of- event was attended by and extended his commajor retailers of Pak- plete support to this efficer of Etihad Airways, istan and special guests fort. said. included President LCCI
Kausar Group 1st Business Retailer Award ceremony held
Quetta to get modern surveillance system Lahore: The government of Balochistan has approved the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (Scada) and the telecom section of Nespak for providing consultancy services for procurement and installation of a state-of-the-art electronic surveillance and monitoring system for the entire Quetta city. According to a spokesman for Nespak, this is the first of its kind project for Quetta, which would deploy sophisticated, dedicated electronic hardware and software for surveillance and monitoring of the entire Quetta city, including its points of ingress and egress. The project would be aimed at helping secure the unique requirements of, and, act as core system instrumental in the improvement of collaboration and tying together law enforcement,
crime fighting and crisis detection and management agencies, the spokesman said. This multidimensional project would initially, provide advance video surveillance capabilities. Video analytics, including remote facial identification and object tracking on the fly vehicle identification / recognition, situation awareness of well-frequented public areas and perimeter protection of high risk buildings may also be considered. A fully-equipped rapid response control centre along with a telecommunication backbone would be among the major project components, the spokesman said. In addition, the procurement of a rudimentary infrastructure, which would be scalable for addition of additional contemporary services such
PTCL offers discounts on EVO and Nitro cloud devices Islamabad: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has announced discounts for its potential new customers buying EVO Cloud and Nitro Cloud devices. Customers will have to pay monthly charges for three or four months in advance to get the discounts, in addition the devices are offered for
free with such deals. PTCL says that this new 3 months bundle packages will provide maximum flexibility to the Customer whereby user shall be offered an option to get their FREE cloud devices with 3 months connectivity at even more affordable upfront payment, which better suits their needs and pockets.
Govt lifts ban on issuing new licences to LDI operators Islamabad: Pakistan, after passing of six long years, has now lifted ban on issuing new licences to the long distance international (LDI) operators. Sources in Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) disclosed that a ban imposed in 2006 on issuing new licenses to LDI operators, which managed incoming international calls to the country, has been vacated on March 31. Due to lifting ban, there would be a visible reduction in illegal traffic in fu-
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | f la r e.p k as explosives and hazardous substances detection, electronic eavesdropping, implementation of database with shared access to crisis management and lawenforcement agencies would be accomplished. The project would generate and archive data, including video and audio bit-streams from across the provincial capital on a 24/7 basis. Architecture, software, network, wireless and hardware layers would each be explored in terms of threats and solutions. Applications aimed at higher level issues such as economics and human behaviour would also be considered since they play a large role in the overall system efficacy. Nespak would provide all services, including site survey, detailed design, preparation of PC-1, construction supervision, acceptance testing and commissioning of the project, the spokesman added. Lahore: Dawlance, the No. 1 home appliances brand in Pakistan launched the world’s largest direct cool refrigerator, double French door. Dawlance is well known for providing reliable home appliances solutions to its consumers and the new Direct Cool Refrigerator range i.e. Double French Door (DFD) & Top Mount (TM) is a new addition to the family. Adding to its stylish exterior, this range is equipped with durable stainless steel interior, pillar-less design that can store even extra large items and H-Zone technology to keep food fresher for longer. Speaking at the launch, Mr. Hasan Jameel, head of sales, Dawlance said, “The new Dawlance DFD is a class of its own and by introducing this world’s largest DC range; the company is contributing its bit in making Pakistan proud. Dawlance always aspires to fulfill the need of the consumers and the inspira-
11th Teradata National IT excellency awards ceremony held Karachi: Teradata Corporation, the leading data analytic solutions company IT Awards TeraData, has announced the winners for 11th Teradata National IT Excellence Awards at a prestigious awards ceremony held in Islamabad. Twelve awards were given to the best professionals in the information technology industry. Chairman Nadra, Mohammad Tariq Malik and Counselor economic affairs US Embassy, Mr. Robert Ewing, were chief guest
and guest of honor, at the event, respectively. They appreciated Teradata’s efforts in encouraging IT professionals and IT development in the country through IT Excellence awards. They also commended the winners for accomplishing distinction in their respective fields. Khuram Rahat, Teradata managing director for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. “I am very pleased to host the 11th Teradata IT Excellence Awards and to recognize
these 12 distinguished people in the IT industry at the national level who have been instrumental in introducing, promoting and implementing IT in Pakistan.” Nominations in the 12 categories were received by independent auditors KPMG Taseer Hadi & Co. Seven judges evaluated the nominations based on the supporting documents – the compiled results were later announced by the auditors.
Mobilink brings Twitter SMS services Islamabad; Mobilink brings Twitter SMS services for its prepaid customers including Jazz Jazba is free of charges, customers of Mobilink Don’t need to subscribe the service and by default service is set for the subscribers to tweet via SMS and even no
need of Internet and GRPS to tweet. Subscribers of Mobilink can easily connect from mobile.twitter.com from the mobile browsers simply and also connect to open the Opera Mini Browser. If the customer has installed the apps on iSO
Dawlance brings world’s largest direct cool refrigerator
and Android are not supported by this service and charges will be on regular basis. So connect easily and tweet whatever you want to your beloveds & friend and families, If the subscriber will go for external links will be charged on regular basis. side and neutralizing any unpleasant smell. The fan is another well designed as-
Hasan Jameel, Head of Sales, Dawlance (2nd right) along with his team at the launch event of Dawlance world largest direct cool refrigerator.
tion behind the world’s largest Direct Cool Refrigerator was to fulfill the need for bigger and better refrigeration. Each and every feature of this range has been specially designed in line with our consumer preferences and the modern technology therefore the patents for innovative features like easy door technology, exclusive designs and H-Zone technology have been applied.” Talking about the latest innovation from Dawlance, Mr. Noman Rashid, AVP –
Engineering said, “The stainless steel interior and sturdy glass shelves offer a strong structure and ensures durability of the product. The breakthrough feature of easy door is another outstanding innovation that not only provides convenience but also helps in cooling retention. The Spill Proof glass shelves prohibit any liquid dripping and can hold up to 100 KG weight. Its Deodorizer feature maintains aroma inside the refrigerator by filtering the air in-
pect of the product that ensures faster and balanced circulation of cold air to guarantee steady temperature in all refrigerator compartments.” In Pakistan, Dawlance has always made its mark by offering state-of-the-art home appliance solutions that adapt to consumers’ ever changing needs and lifestyle. Their achievement of inventing the world’s largest Direct Cool Refrigerator – DFD is undoubtedly an extraordinary success.
ture. They said only 13 LDI operators own licenses in the country and annually these few operators brought 20 billion minute incoming international calls to the country. They also said that the PTA has decided to issue new licenses to LDI operators due to continuous increase in the incoming international calls to the country. However, issuance of licenses would be started after the appointment of chairman and members of PTA, sources added. be availed by sending “ON” to 3333 via SMS. Daily subscription charges of Rs 1+tax will apply. This move is part of Warid’s focus on providing innovative services tailored to its clients’ needs and reflects the continued commitment to provide the people of Pakistan with the ability to stay connected with Lahore: Chairman, Pakistan International Air- meeting held at the airline's head office. Managing their friends, family and loved ones around the world lines (PIA) Lt-General (Retd) Asif Yasin Malik has Director PIA Muhammad Junaid Yonus and other in the most convenient way. presided over the PIA 437th Board of Directors official attended the meeting.
PIA 347th BoD meeting held in Lahore
Warid brings international call package Lahore: Warid Telecom, leading the way in innovation in Pakistan’s telecom industry has introduced new & attractive international call rates for Saudi Arabia, Iran and UAE effective immediately for all its prepaid subscribers. Prepaid customers can now call on fixed line and mobile numbers of these countries for 20 paisas per second only! The offer can
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Omar Manzur, Head of Corporate Communications, Mobilink (R), receives the Shaukat Khanum Social Responsibility Award 2012 on behalf of the Mobilink Foundation.
Wateen, Nutshell concludes SAL Summit Lahore: Wateen Telecom successfully concluded its participation in the Nutshell forum on collaborating for change held in Karachi recently. Wateen Telecom was a gold sponsor for the event. The forum was a cross-border initiative to bring together the best corporate minds from across the sub-continent and breed a spirit of sharing and cooperation among them. The conference included keynote speeches by a number of prominent corporate executives from India and Pakistan including Wateen Telecom’s Chief
Transformation Officer Asad Rezzvi. This Conference was directed by Dr. Upali Mahanama – Srilanka, Conference Director, and Author of Marketing Skills in Management. More than 500 delegates attended the forum from different countries in the South Asian region and Wateen Telecom Chief Transformation Officer Asad Rezzvi represented Wateen as a panelist and a speaker at the event. The forum opened with an address by Mohammad Azfar Ahsan, the CEO of the Nutshell forum and was followed
by a number of addresses by prominent personalities including former Finance MinIster Shaukat Tareen who spoke about Collaborating for Change. He was followed by Rajeev Dubay, President of Mahindra & Mahindra who spoke about “Unleashing human potential”. A number of other speakers followed including Former Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Atta ur Rahman, who spoke about “Unleashing your Creative Potential”, and Chairman Accenture India, Avinash Vashistha who spoke about “Imag-
ineering the Future, Disruptive Innovation for Sensible Growth”. Following the themes of unleashing the inner potential of people and organizations, Wateen Telecom’s Asad Rezzvi spoke about “The Challenge of Transformation – A Test of Leadership”. He shared his experience in transformation of Wateen Telecom and shed light on the challenges Wateen faced during the transformation. He also talked about the Human values in an organization and how one can achieve excellence in profitability.
Etihad Airways wins GCSR leadership award in Pakistan
Amer Khan, Etihad Airways’ Area General Manager for Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives and Mr. Naveed Ahmed, Manager Sales South, along with the rest of the Etihad team in Pakistan pose for photograph with the GCSR leadership award.
Lahore: For the second year running, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has won the Global Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Premium Award at the 2013 CSR Business Excel-
lence Awards, organised by the National Forum for Environment and Health in Pakistan. The award recognises Etihad Airways’ ongoing commitment to incorporating ethical values and respecting individuals,
communities and the environment. Accepting the award on behalf of the airline, Etihad Airways’ Area General Manager for Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Amer Khan, said: “We are
honoured to receive this award, as recognition of our efforts and active participation in causes that assist people and communities across Etihad Airways’ global network. “In Pakistan, we will continue our ongoing corporate social responsibility programs that focus on human development and economic empowerment in support of underprivileged communities.” Etihad Airways’ CSR initiatives in Pakistan during 2012 included on going flood relief, sponsorship of the Special Olympics team and support for Deaf Reach Schools and Training Centres.
Pak hackers defaced over 1k Indian sites Islamabad: Pakistani cyber fighters retaliated massively and hacked over a thousand Indian websites in response to an Indian attack on the website of the Pakistan’s Election Commission. Pakistani hackers calling themselves “True Cyber Army” defaced 1,059 websites of Indian election bodies which are now showing Election Commission of Pakistan’s web page. The hacked websites include http://www.nmcelection.org/, http://www.mcgmelection.org/. The hackers warned to launch more attacks on Indian websites if their rivals continued their campaign against Pakistani websites. “If Indian Hackers did not stop attacking Pakistani websites, we have
right to fight for the integrity of our homeland,” True Cyber Army said in an email message. Recently the website of ECP was shut down after an attack by an Indian hacker who identified himself as NIGh7 F0x. The hacker defaced the homepage of ECP website and later compromised its availability. However, according to a spokesman of ECP all important election related data is secure and the website has started functioning normally for last few days. The Commission has already started uploading the nomination papers of candidates contesting in May 11 polls. Pakistani election body is busy in preparing for the general elections to be held on 11th May 2013.
Mobilink launches Twitter Zero
Lahore: Mobilink has launched ‘Twitter Zero’ as means of enhancing the benefits of mobile internet services for its subscribers. This service is launched free of any internet changes for mobile internet users using
mobile.twitter.com through their native internet browser or opera mini on t h e i r handsets. Twitter Zero is launched by Mobilink in collaboration with Twitter to offer its subscribers the power of connectivity and real-time sharing on Twitter. The service will benefit a large number of users as Twitter has 1.9 million users across Pakistan.
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New York, Seoul Motor Show 2013
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SC directs CCP to settle international call tax issue Islamabad: A bench of the Supreme Court directed the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to decide the matter of additional tax on incoming international calls within 30 days from April 1. The CCP had filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court, and the court had on March 20 suspended the stay order issued by the Sindh High Court. The petitioners’ counsel had submitted that the Supreme Court had directed the CCP to decide the matter of the additional tax after hearing points of view of
Ufone opens first Wallet Account for branchless banking
all stakeholders, petitioners and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). He said that some telecom companies approached the SHC and got a stay order against proceedings of the CCP by concealing facts. The counsel pleaded that the SHC was not informed about the order of the Supreme Court. He said that this action of the telecom companies amounted to contempt of court. After hearing the contention, Islamabad: Ufone the bench suspended the SHC order and is- announced that Mr. sued notices to the tele- Abdul Aziz President & CEO, Ufone recently com companies.
opened his wallet account using Ufone’s branchless banking solution during a cere-
Qmobile launches Noir A7 Online travel agencies
Islamabad: Qmobile has launched another smartphone in Noir series, Noir A7. It has almost the same specs as the rest of the Noir Series that is except for its 2500 mAh Battery. It is the biggest battery found in the Noir series, therefore, it can be considered as a good ad-on. Noir A7 is available at a very attractive price just
Rs 13,500. Specifications: Qmobile Noir A7 comes with 1GHz Dual Core Processor and enables users to enjoy fast and smooth usage of smartphone, Qmobile Noir A7 is installed with Android 4.1 jelly beans operative system, 5MP camera for photo lovers and a front camera for video calling using Skype.
Since bookings for travel has become very convenient online, there are many traveling websites which allow you to explore possible destinations where you could visit with your family and friends to relax and have a good time. Internet is one such stop for you to find all your information regarding planning on travelling for your holidays. It doesn’t just cover travelling spots in Pakistan, but around the world. It also mentions various travel packages in Pakistani rupees – of course an estimated and average number – that you could avail for reaching
your desired tourist spots. Also, the websites give all the latest news regarding travelling and tourism in Pakistan. These also cover international travelling news and special offers you could consider.
mony that marked the commencement of the branchless banking solution that company is
Sindh province leads in mobile penetration in Pakistan
Mobile penetration in Pakistan is highest in Sindh province with 84 percent, followed by Punjab with 68.1 percent. Other provinces have less than 50 percent penetration, such as Khyber Pakhtunkhawa with 42.2 percent and Balochistan with 45.9 percent, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority 2012 figures
Nadra develops software for overseas Pakistanis to cost votes Warid brings ‘Postpaid to Postpaid Islamabad: National countries in the times of Database and Registra- election to digitally par- Balance Transfer’ service
tion Authority (Nadra) confirmed officially that internally the software engineering team has developed online system and software to resolve the issue of overseas Pakistanis to participate in the coming elections, there were lot of debate how overseas Pakistani will participate in the coming election and exercise their mother land right for voting. Overseas Pakistani have the complete right to exercise their voting rights as in the other civilized countries their citizen are using their voting rights weather they are within the country or out of the country. Their governments are facilitating their citizens living out of their
ticipate in the elections by using the advance technology. In this regard chairman of Nadra said with the massive collaboration of their internal team has prepared the software with the limits of two days. If the election commission permits us, we are in position to deploy the system and integrate it for our overseas Pakistani and they will exercise the right of vote during the time of election in the year 2013. Chairman of Nadra also said that if the Supreme Court of Pakistan permits us for demonstration we can present the software and can elaborate the features how it will work.
Lahore: Warid Telecom, leading the way of innovation in Pakistan’s telecom industry, brings another fascinating service for its customers; “Postpaid To Postpaid Balance Transfer”. This service will allow Warid Telecom’s postpaid customers to share balance with each other. “Postpaid to Postpaid Balance Transfer” service is yet another industry first by Warid Telecom. Through this service Warid Telecom’s postpaid customers can share their balance with other Warid postpaid
customers by sending “B<space>Recipient Number<space>Transfer Amount” to 2424. This service is in line with Warid Telecom’s focus to continuously provide innovative services for the convenience of its valued Customers. Warid Telecom’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Younas Iqbal Sheikh commented on the new service saying, "Warid Telecom has one of the most loyal postpaid customer base in the Pakistan Telecom industry and we are always looking to facili-
going to offer to the public in coming days. Mr. Rainer Rathgeber, Group Chief Commercial Officer at Etisalat, was already present at the first wallet opening ceremony of Ufone’s ‘Branchless Banking Last month Ufone was granted the licence by State Bank of Pakistan to operate branchless banking nation wide with the brand name of U Microfinance Bank (formerly Rozgar Microfinance Bank Limited). Ufone intends to start offering branchless banking solutions to masses, for which the pilot is already underway.
tate these valued customers through innovative and convenient new services. The Post to Post service will provide our subscribers with a 360 degree solution to low balance and payment situations.” Warid Telecom already provides its customers with Prepaid to Prepaid and Postpaid to Prepaid Balance Transfer services. The recent addition of Postpaid to Postpaid Balance Transfer is further evidence of Warid Telecom’s innovative and customer centric approach.
showed. However, as the government and the PTA have been encouraging operators to expend networks in Balochistan, the province is showing the highest growth in mobile penetration over the past four years. Mobile penetration across Pakistan stood at 68.4 percent at the end of last year, up 5.8 percent over the year before.
PIMS to have new telephone exchange Islamabad: As the inter telephonic exchange of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) have become dysfunctional, the Departmental Working Committee (DWC) has decided to install a new exchange at the cost of Rs 44 million on a priority basis. According to sources, telephone exchange of the hospital had collapsed due to overload as telephone connections of Burn Centre, Cardiac Centre and new blocks were also added to it. Telephone sets in different blocks and wards of the hospital would also be changed. The Planning Commission has approved the project, though the expenses for the installation of the exchange would be paid from the funds already allocated to the medical complex.
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Woes of joblessness! Story of a telecom engineer Wrong policies, corrupt politicians and deteriorating law and order situation left the country at a stage, where killing someone is easy but too hard to get job despite, how much you are educated, talented and skilled; here is a story of an educated engineer in his own words, how he is struggling around for a job?
y name is Syed Mohammad Imran and I am a telecom Engineer. My father is working in a foreign mission in Islamabad. I have earned a Masters Degree on merit in Mobile and Satellite Communications from the University of Glamorgan, Wales, U.K, in July 2012. The theme of my project was “Research Study in Achieving LTE Goals by Overcoming Physical Layer and Network Challenges” (on 4th Generation of Telecom Spectrum, whereas our dear country Pakistan did not yet enter in 3rd Generation). I got distinction (71% marks) in this project. Earlier, I did graduation in (B.E.E.T) Telecom Engineering in 2010 from the Bahria University Islamabad and I am recipient of Silver Medal for obtaining second position with 3.57 GPA. I got secondary and higher secondary level education from Islamabad Model College for Boys,
F-8/4, Islamabad. It’s worth-mentioning that I belong to a lower-middle class. I hail from Village Nauranga, Tehsil and District Mianwali, a remotest and most neglected village of this district. This village is situated in-between Jinnah Barrage and Chashma Barrage in Mianwali and it has been badly affected
due to 2010 floods and continuous heavy erosion. 95% of this village is under the River Indus and loosing very soon the 5% of its remaining identity forever. The construction of an embankment was the only way to save thousands of hectares of fertile agricultural land from destruction but no attention has been given by the Government of Punjab on this issue. The people of the area have migrated to various places or to the relatives and are living in a very miserable condition. Since I was determined to get higher education from abroad, my mother first sold her whole jewellery for my graduation and my father sold his small 5 marlas house in an undeveloped urban area of Islamabad without thinking for a while that it was our only remaining shelter after the devastation of our native village. The limited monthly salary of my father is now the only source of income for our whole family. For my parents, it is the best in-
vestment they have made throughout their life. I am dual national and at least had no problem to stay and work in Europe as long as I wanted. Despite this fact, I came back to Pakistan on 25th July 2012 with determination to serve happily my country in telecom sector. I have applied so far in many telecom companies (sent CV to almost 150 companies), including President PTCL, but did not receive any response yet. None of them even bothered to acknowledge receipt of my application. I received calls only from two private companies but they regretted to recruit me saying that they want experienced engineers. I do not know how to get experience without getting a job. I even told them that I was ready to accept a small salary up to Rs.20000/- per month. I have also sent applications to the President of Pakistan, the Prime Minister, the Chairman Senate, the Minister of State for Science and Technology and to the Chief Minister Punjab, but since I am a simple “paindoo” and not the son of a VIP, I did not get any acknowledgement from any corner. Little by little, I am losing hope desperately to get a job in Pakistan, a country of VIP’s, and I am advised by my class fellows, relatives and other contacts, even by my former teachers having PhD degrees, to go back to London where I might get a suitable job keeping in view my credentials.
Warid to get back Wateen shares Warid Telecom is intending to acquire all of the issued ordinary shares held by the other shareholders of the Company at a proposed purchase price of Rs4.5 per ordinary share; WTI currently holds 54 percent of the total ordinary share capital of the Company
meeting and will be appointing an independent committee of the Board of Directors to consider the offer further and to make a decision that is in the best interests of all shareholders.”
sions under Regulation 30-A(i), and the Code of Corporate Governance set out in their respective Listing Regulations. Mr Naeem Zamindar, CEO Wateen Telecom, said, “Wateen Telecom has always been committed to Pakistan and the growth of the telecoms sector. The company’s Board of Directors will be reviewing this offer in its next
For the proposed purchase of Wateen, WTI has appointed Arif Habib Limited as the Purchase Agent, who will oversee and manage the buy-back process on behalf of WTI. It’s also pertinent to mention here, Abu Dhabi Group, the largest Conglomerate, holds the complete shares of Warid Telecom, which were bought by Singtel in the recent past.
arid Telecom, the name of quality services in the Pakistan telecommunication market all set to get back all the shares held by other shareholders. Warid, which is also known as the youth brand on its way to unprecedented success, aims to expand its operations in Pakistan with huge investment in the pipeline. Wateen Telecom’s Board of Directors and Management were informed through an official communique that the company’s largest majority shareholder, Warid Telecom International LLC, UAE (WTI), is intending to acquire all of the issued ordinary shares held by the other shareholders of the Company at a proposed purchase price of Rs4.5 per ordinary share, and consequent de-listing from the Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad stock exchanges. WTI currently holds 54 percent of the total issued ordinary share capital of the Company. “WTI’s buy-back of the shares reflects its strong commitment to Wateen and its local operations, and enables a restructuring,” said Mr David Burlison, a representative of WTI, in his communique to the Board of Wateen Telecom. He added that “WTI believes that the de-listing provides the shareholders with an exit from the business at a
return of value which is in excess of that which they would receive on an orderly disposal of the business,” he added. The Company has conveyed its intention to the stock exchanges in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, as well the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan in accordance with the Voluntary De-Listing provi-
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QMobile floods market with sophisticated mobiles
Karachi: With a greater number of Pakistani consumers shifting from basic mobile phones to more sophisticated devices, one local company seems to be making the most of out the increased appetite for cellular multitasking. QMobile – the first Pakistani mobile phone company – has introduced phones packed with highend features at very competitive prices to the Pakistani market, and it seems to be doing great business. This Karachi-based company was set up by Mian Pervez Akhtar of Allied Electronics Industries – an importer, assembler and distributor of LG products in Pakistan – around five years ago. According to our sources, QMobile’s revenues have witnessed a phe-
nomenal boost since then: for the year ended June 30, 2012, its revenues stood at Rs761 million – up by a staggering 85.8% over the previous year. However, the company operates with a different business model as compared to companies like Samsung and Nokia: although it calls itself a mobile phone company, QMobile does not manufacture its own devices; instead, it imports them from vendors in China, and sells them under its own brand. The same phones are sold in India for example under the Micromax label. QMobile’s growth has taken measured steps. The company started with selling basic mobile phones: “Their low-end devices still account for most
of their revenues,” an industry source says. QMobile has a large customer base in rural Pakistan, which accounts for more than 65% of the population. It entered the smartphone segment relatively recently. Its product range now includes phones with touchscreen features, QWERTY input and WiFi-accessibility. It has also launched a series of smartphones powered by the Android operating system, which is the most commonly used smartphone platform today. QMobile has built itself a strong image in the market, because it provides fairly high-end features at prices affordable for most Pakistanis: you can now buy a branded Android smartphone for as low as Rs6,500, complete with a warranty, thanks to QMobile. This may well be the primary driver behind QMobile’s growth. “Basic phones constituted about 90% of Pakistan’s mobile phone market five years ago, but this equation is changing now,” an industry source said. “Consumers are shifting from basic mobile phones to feature phones and smartphones, and today they account for more than 20% of the market. Out of that, smartphones alone account for more than 10% of the market,” he said. QMobile claims to be the number two brand in the country: and industry sources say that in the absence of any accurately verifiable numbers,
Ufone – PCB announce ‘King of Speed’ trials
Islamabad: Ufone – Pakistan Cricket Board announced the schedule for trials of “King of Speed”, a talent hunt which will reveal the best fast bowling talent. King of Speed camps will be set up in 10 cities across Pakistan from 13th – 21st
April 2013. The trials will be held in two phases, potential bowlers will be registered at their respective stations and the top two bowlers with most potential from each camp will represent their respective cities and move onto the second phase which will be held in Lahore and Karachi. To facilitate this grand activity PCB will extend full support during the selection process in each of the selected cities and will provide speed detecting guns for
the selection of candidates. After the completion of round two, the three players selected via wild card will join WasimAkram along with bowlers from the Pakistan National team in the National bowling camp to be hosted in Karachi. Trials for round 1 will be carried out in GarhiKhudaBaksh& Multan on the 13th, in Faisalabad on the 14th, in Karachi & Islamabad on the 15th, in Peshawar on the 16th, in Quetta & Abbottabad on the 17th,
PTCL connects Election offices of ECP Islamabad: Playing its part as Pakistan’s leading and national telecommunication carrier, PTCL has extended its full support for the preparation of upcoming elections in the country. In this regard, PTCL has suc-
cessfully connected 535 Election offices of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) using the flagship voice and broadband range of services including wireline and wireless broadband. Some remote sites
have been connected via VSAT technology. More than 500 central, district and regional offices of Returning Officers (ROs) of ECP are being connected through PTCL network and additional locations will also
Ufone announces results of ShahCar offer
Islamabad: Ufone announced 20 lucky winners of the ShahCar Offer 2013. The much awaited results are finally out which will once again make 20 lucky winners dreams a reality. In order to qualify for the lucky draw customers simply required to buy a Ufone SIM, use an existing Ufone SIM or simply port in to Ufone’s network and consume a mini-
mum balance of Rs.300 between the 7th of Feb till 31st March 2013 to get a chance to be a part of the ShahCar offer 2013 lucky draw. On every consumption of the said balance a customer would get another entry in the lucky draw, hence the more credit used would increase his/her probability to win. The lucky winners for the Shahcar offer 2013 are: Abdul
Sattar from Karachi, Muhammad Khalid Jameel from Faisalabad, Muhammad Tariq from Okara, Mohammad Ishaq Naeem from Jhang, Muhammad Tariq from Bhakar, Muhammad Siddique from Taxila, Muhammad Imran from Sahiwal, Kashif Iqbal from Hyderabad, Shahzad Anjum from Lahore, Muhammad Asghar from Kasur, Abdul Jabar
in AJK (Mirpur) on the 18th& Lahore on the 19thof April 2013 Top 20 fast bowlers from across Pakistan will join round 2 of trials, which is scheduled to be held on Sunday 21 April, 2013 at National Stadium, Karachi and Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. As already announced Ufone will give away a grand prize of Rs.One Million in lieu of the Ufone Challenge to the bowler who achieves the fastest bowling speed above 145 kmph.
this may be so in terms of the volumes of units it sells. A heavy marketing campaign has also helped the company build a strong brand name. “QMobile is a success story, especially in terms of branding,” a telecom consultant said. Its advertising budget is higher than even that of market leader Nokia, an official revealed. This is one of the main reasons behind the brand’s success. The company has even used product placement as an advertising technique to promote its products. Take, for example, Bulbulay: a primetime sitcom, which often promotes QMobile products, one source pointed out. “This kind of advertising does not cost much, and earns the company valuable marketing: that too in prime time hours,” he said. Moreover, QMobile has always used Pakistan’s hottest celebrities in advertising its products. Pop singers Atif Aslam and Abrarul Haq have promoted QMobile phones in the past. Iman Ali has modeled for them. Hugely popular television celebrity Fawwad Khan is now promoting their top-tier Noir smartphones. All these factors have helped QMobile make a name for itself as being in a league apart from the cheap Chinese copies of popular handsets currently circulating in the market. It has achieved a measure of respect as a legitimate name in the cellular phone industry.
Pakistan receives 33,310 telecom complaints in 2012
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said that it received 33,310 complaints from users against telecommunication operators in 2012, of which 99 percent complaints were addressed and resolved. The PTA said that telecommunication consumers registered the complains through various channels, including online, e-mail, hotline, written complaints and faxes sent to PTA headquarter addresses and zonal offices. These consumer complaints were against mobile operators, fixed line, wireless, broadband, LDIs and other telecommunication licensed operators. PTA said that 71 percent of rebe connected shortly. It is a ceived complaints were against mobile unique capability of PTCL to operators, while 27 percent were bring forth Telecom Sys- against fixed-line incumbent PTCL. tems Integration to render services for customer like ECP with a demand for the widest possible national coverage. Islamabad: Copyright issues may be resolved with mutual consultation so the rights of copyright owners could be safeguarded according to the law. Director General Intellectual Propfrom Lahore, Shahid Akhtar erty Rights Pakistan (IPO-Pakistan) from Bhai Phero, Muhammad Tarik Feroze at a meeting in connection Buta from Sargodha, Noor ul with copyright issues asked concerned Qamar from Swabi, Rashida IP experts to keep liaison with the all quarters and make it poskausor from Karachi, Muham- concerned sible to resolve the issues of copyright mad Hassan Tariq from La- infringement on priority basis. The representatives of telecom ophore, Shafique al Rehman from erators assured to respect copyrights Bhawalnagr, Shahid Maqbool and would help to resolve issues in this from Lahore, Muhammad connection amicably. They will check Nasir from Gujrawanla and- the metadata provided by the comAbdul Satar from Sheikhpura plainant and proceed accordingly, they added.
‘Copyright issues to be resolved with mutual consultation’
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | f la re .p k
An employee holds an Apple iPod touch handset installed with Nanoveu's EyeFly3D plastic screen protector during the launch of the product in Singapore.
Models pose with LG Electronics' new smartphone Optimus G Pro during a press conference in Seoul.
MLB baseball player Prince Fielder (L) of the Detroit Tigers with his wife Chanel (2nd L), along with fellow player CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees (R) and his wife Amber, pose for a photo taken by former baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. (back to camera) during the NBA basketball game.
Customers Robin and Dan Wong test a camera in the reopened Jessops photography shop on Oxford Street in London.
TeliaSonera's new CEO, Marie Ehrling (2nd L), arrives at the company's annual general shareholders meeting in central Stockholm.
This handout photograph taken by Google Street View shows a Google car mounted with a street view camera as it drives through a street in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture.
Stage performers hold up Samsung Electronics Co's latest Galaxy S4 phones during its launch at the Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Dolores Carasquilla, who suffers from a chronic bone disease, talks on the phone as she sits in her wheelchair chained to bars next to the regional government building in Valencia.
A girl uses her smartphone while walking on the platform of a BTS train station in Bangkok. A recent Facebook-sponsored study showed smartphone owners are often connected all day.
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US urges China to probe, halt cyber spying New York: Beijing must take steps to investigate and halt cybercrime, a top US official said, warning the international community cannot tolerate the widespread hacking coming from China. "This is not solely a national security concern or a concern of the US government," National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told. "Increasingly, US businesses are speaking out about their serious concerns about sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information... through cyber-intrusions emanating from China at a very large scale." In his speech in New York, Donilon called on China to recognize that cybercrime poses a serious threat
to the reputation of Chinese industry. "Beijing should take serious steps to investigate and put a stop to these activities," he said, addingWashington wants "China to engage with us in a constructive direct dialogue to establish acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace." Last month, US lawmakers called for stiffer US action against Beijing for cyber spying and the massive theft of US industrial secrets, allegedly by the Chinese military. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said it was "beyond a shadow of a doubt" the Chinese military was behind a growing wave of hacking attacks on US businesses and institutions.
BB faces crucial test with U.S. launch of Z10
NE W S
EU regulator monitors Apple iPad and iPhone distribution
The European Union is looking into potential antitrust violations involving the distribution of Apple Inc's iPhones and iPads, after receiving what sources said were informal complaints from telecoms operators. The complaints involve handset subsidies and marketing that the world's most valuable technology corporation sign-off with operators that carry its smartphones and tablets, and also includes subsidies that carriers pay to Apple, one of the three sources told. The source insisted on anonymity because contracts with carriers are business secrets. "Apple insists on a certain level of subsidies and marketing for the iPhone," said the source, who declined to identify the companies that had approached the Commission.
U.S. and European operators pay hefty subsidies to smartphone makers including Apple, offering customers an attractive discount on devices in exchange for tying them into lucrative two-year wireless contracts. Historically, Apple has been able to command high-
erators on pricing announcements. Since 2012, however, Samsung Electronics unseated Apple as the world's most-used smartphone brand, which industry experts say will erode the U.S. corporations' ability to negotiate the best subsidies and
er fees for its devices because of its market dominance. It also tended to tightly regulate launch prices for its devices, while rival handset makers with less market share tended to defer to op-
marketing support. U.S. regulators are unlikely to launch their own investigation into Apple's industry practices because of a different regulatory approach, and also recognition
that the company's own market clout is diminishing. "They're one failure to innovate away, or one innovation by somebody else away, from being in a very different spot," said a U.S. telecom industry lobbyist close to both carriers and device manufacturers, but who asked not to be named due to a lack of authorization to speak to the media. "Apple is an important, powerful and innovative company but I don't think they've got the kind of market power that maybe some in Europe are alleging where it would rise to the level of running afoul of the antitrust laws," the person said. A Commission spokesman said that EU competition regulators had been informed about concerns over Apple and its distribution practices. Three people familiar with the matter said that several telecoms companies had aired their grievances to the Commission.
Microsoft releases law enforcement report on cloud data
Nearly two months after its formal unveiling, BlackBerry's new Z10 smartphone goes on sale in the hypercompetitive U.S. market, a crucial proving ground for the company's ambition to re-establish itself as an industry leader. BlackBerry, which is already selling the new touchscreen smartphone in about 25 countries, aims to make the Z10's new operating system the clear No. 3 platform on the market, a realistic but still difficult challenge, analysts say. BlackBerry once ruled the U.S. smartphone market, but it has fallen badly in recent years as devices powered by Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems dominate sales both in North America and overseas. The BlackBerry 10 operating system will now slug it out with Microsoft's Windows 8 platform to secure the No. 3 market position. But by most accounts BlackBerry has a tough fight ahead. It not only has to
win back the hearts and minds of consumers, but the timing is hardly ideal, with the Samsung Galaxy S4, expected to go on sale by the end of April, generating a lot of buzz. "We believe BlackBerry's launch in the strategically important U.S. market will run into intense competition as Samsung, Apple, HTC and Nokia refresh their line-ups," Raymond James analyst Steven Li said in a note to clients. Despite the buzz around other devices, some expect the Z10 to do well in the United States. Best Buy's head of mobile sales, Scott Anderson, said the retailer has gauged demand for the Z10 based on sales at Best Buy stores in Canada. "We have fairly consistently increased the allocation of it to our stores as it has got more and more buzz. Even though we aren't releasing any numbers, we do put this in the realm of a serious iconic launch," he said.
Microsoft said it received more than 11,000 U.S. law enforcement requests for information or content data of users of its products in 2012, according to a report issued recently. The company released customer content on about 1,500 of the requests, according to the 2012 Law Enforcement Requests Report, which outlines lawful requests made for information on users of its Xbox, Outlook, Hotmail, Skype and other services. The company said nearly all of the requests were in response to lawful warrants from U.S. courts. In addition, it received up to 1,000 National Security Letters in 2012 from the FBI and other senior officials
authorized to issue the demands for user data, according to the company's report. The company issued data impacting up to 2,000 user accounts. Microsoft, in its report, said the letters force Microsoft to provide "the name, address, length of service, and local and long distance toll billing records" of users of its services. In 2012, law enforcement agencies globally made 70,665 requests, according to the report. The information released to investigators impacted a total of 122,015 accounts. In addition, the company said it issued 14 disclosures of customer content to governments outside the United States, releasing information to governments
S. Arabia mulls banning messenger apps
entrepreneur. The move is hardly surprising, as the Wahhabi kingdom already targeted BlackBerry a few years ago, when it was concerned its messaging service could be used by dissidents, or, God forbid, women talking about lace undergarments. In the meantime BlackBerry chose to shoot itself in the foot and die a slow death, but iOS and Android apps have takGoogle chairman Eric en its place. Schmidt warned that India When they banned was lagging badly behind in harnessing the power of the Internet because of its failure to invest in high-speed telecom networks. Schmidt, on a trip to New Delhi, highlighted the relatively small proportion of Indians who have online access -- an estimated 150 BlackBerry messaging, the million out of 1.2 billion, Saudis claimed they were with only about 20 million concerned about the en- using high-speed broadcrypted nature of commu- band. The solution he pronications, which hindered the country's ability to fight posed appeared simple and terrorism and crime. Then has been acknowledged by again we are talking about a the government, but rollcountry that still sentences out has been slow in a counpeople to death for witch- try that is unable to provide craft. basic services such as pow-
Saudi Arabia might pull the plug on a number of popular messenger applications such as Viber, Skype and WhatsApp. The trouble with instant messaging apps is that they can't be censored and that's not what the House of Saud likes to hear.
Apple buys indoor GPS company
Apple has bought the indoor GPS mapping firm wifiSLAM for 20 million dollars, The Wall Street Journal reported, in a move seen as a challenge to Googleâ€™s dominance of mobile mapping software. WifSLAMâ€™s technology could allow Apple to pinpoint the location of users inside buildings to within 2.5 metres â€” an asset that could be valuable to advertisers wishing to target mall shoppers. Google already has an
extensive catalogue of public floor plans which it used to map the interior of public buildings for users of its Google Maps service. Apple tried to challenge the dominance of Google Maps when it released its own mapping software with the launch of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 last year. However the software was widely criticized for being inaccurate and confusing and Apple was forced to issue an apology to users and recommend using third-party products.
The country's Communications and Information Technology Commission is working with application developers on the question. We are not entirely convinced that the Saudi request to open up the apps to censorship will go down well with developers, especially Viber, which was created by an American-Israeli
in Brazil, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand. The report, the first of its kind issued by Microsoft, follows a similar data request transparency report issued earlier this month from rival Google (NSDQ:GOOG). Google's report sheds light on the control users and enterprises have on data stored in cloudbased systems. Microsoft's report outlines data requests for both the company's online and cloud services, wrote Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs at Microsoft, in an analysis of the report. It will be released every six months, according to Smith. Microsoft said it released
data on 11 law enforcement requests for information relating to Microsoft's enterprise customers. Smith wrote that Microsoft sought the customer's consent before complying with the requests or disclosing the information pursuant to specific contractual arrangements that addressed the issue. "In general, we believe that law enforcement requests for information from an enterprise customer are best directed to that customer rather than a tech company that happens to host that customer's data," Smith wrote. "That way, the customer's legal department can engage directly with law enforcement personnel to address the issue."
India a laggard in Internet revolution: Google boss
er or sewage to hundreds of millions of citizens. "Take fibreoptic cables and run them everywhere in the ground that you can imagine... Those fibreoptic cables will last 20, 30, 40 years and scale to infinite bandwidth," he told a Google-organised conference in New Delhi. "The Internet feels here like in America in 1994," he added. While a mobile phone revolution has led to an explosion in handset ownership, with calls at some of the lowest rates in the world, the development of high-speed connections enabling Internet browsing has also been slow.
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India refuses to extend Vodafone unit licences
India's government has told the Indian unit of British mobile phone giant Vodafone that its licences for three big cities cannot be extended and it will have to bid again, the company said, The government has also refused to extend the licences of India's mobile carrier Bharti Airtel, the sector leader by subscribers, in the same three lucrative urban centres, according to local media. "Vodafone is deeply disappointed with the summary rejection of its request for extension of licenses in the Delhi, Mum-
bai and Kolkata service areas," the company said in an emailed statement. The refusal to extend the licences is one of a raft of regulatory issues faced by mobile operators in the world's secondlargest cellular market by subscribers after China. Vodafone, the second largest carrier, and Bharti, have been at war with the Congress-led government over its demand that they bid again for spectrum in the three cities where they have been operating for nearly two decades. Their licences are due to expire in November 2014. "Unless you participate in auctions and get your bid confirmed, you would not be entitled to a a wireless licence," the telecom ministry told Vodafone, according to local media.
Egypt arrests scuba divers accused of cutting Internet cable The Egyptian military has arrested three scuba divers accused of cutting an undersea Internet cable off the coast of the northern city of Alexandria, it said. The three had been spotted on board a small boat and attempted to flee ashore, but the navy gave chase and eventually caught up and arrested them, the military said on its Facebook page. Pictures of three men with their hands bound were posted on the website, but there were no other details about their identity or about possible motives for the act of sabotage. Three oxygen tanks were found aboard the boat but the divers' wetsuits were thought to have been thrown into the sea, the statement said. Under questioning,
the captured men claimed they had cut the cable by mistake, said Alexandria's security director Amin Ezz al-Din, quoted by the official MENA news agency. The men said they were salvaging shipwrecks to sell when they spotted the cable and tried to take it, he said. The navy had been acting on information from Telecom Egypt which reported that the SMW-4 undersea cable which provides broadband Internet to the country had been cut. The arrests come after many Internet users in Egypt reported service disruptions during the past few days. In 2008, severed underwater cables disrupted Internet access in Egypt and several other countries.
Android gains US share at BB 10 apps touch the Apple expense: survey 10k mark Smartphones using the Android platform boosted their US market share in recent months, extending their lead over Apple's iPhone, a new survey shows. Android, the free mobile operating system from Google, accounted for 51.2 percent of US smartphone sales in the three-month period ending in February, said the survey from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Android added 5.9 percentage points from a year earlier, while Apple's share fell 3.5 points to 43.5 percent. Windows Phone, boosted by the new operating system introduced last year from Microsoft, increased its share to 4.1 percent, according to the survey released Monday. BlackBerry,, which introduced a new smartphone platform in late January but started selling its new phones in the US market only in late March, saw its market share tumbled to just
0.7 percent, the report showed. Verizon was the top carrier with 35 percent of smartphones sold in the period, followed by AT&T (26.7 percent) and Sprint (15 percent). Kantar analyst MaryAnn Parlato said Samsung, the largest Android smartphone maker, has been continuing to rise, particularly among Sprint customers. "Of those who changed their phone over the last year to a Samsung smartphone, 19 percent had previously owned a Samsung featurephone, 15 percent owned a HTC smartphone, 14 percent owned an LG featurephone, 10 percent owned a Samsung smartphone and nine percent owned a BlackBerry," she said. "It's apparent that Samsung is successful at capturing users from across the competitor set and not just gaining from their own loyalists."
Great news for the fans of the BlackBerry 10 platform is that the number of apps in the BlackBerry store has just reached 100,000. Of course, numbers don’t tell the whole tale but still it’s quite an achievement for a store which came into existence just 7 weeks prior to reaching the milestone. The news also came just a day before the Z10 smartphone hit the allso-important US market. The milestone was achieved sooner than any of the platform’s rivals including Windows Phone, which is currently being declared its biggest competitor. Unlike Microsoft’s platform though, it at least had 70,000 apps to its name
prior to its release including the abysmal Android ones. Windows Phone app market still has an upper hand in terms of quality apps and at the end of the day, they are what matter most. Martyn Mallick, Vice President of Global Alliances at Blackberry mentioned that the response to the BlackBerry 10 platform and applications has been outstanding. Customers are thrilled with the applications already available, and the catalog just keeps growing, now with more than 100,000 apps. Top brands and application providers are joining us every day and are seeing the benefits of being early supporters of the new platform.
India hits Nokia with tax demand, court stays order
Struggling Finnish phone giant Nokia said Indian tax officials had slapped the company with a tax demand for a reported $363 million, but a court stayed the payment order. Nokia, which vowed to contest the tax order "vigorously", is the latest multinational to be embroiled in a tax row with Indian authorities, who are chasing alleged tax delinquents to reduce a ballooning budget deficit. Nokia declined to state the sum being sought but tax officials said it totalled 20 billion rupees ($363 million) spanning five financial years from 2006-07, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. Nokia "is in full compliance with local laws as well as the bilaterally negotiated tax treaty between the governments of India and Finland, and will defend itself vigorously", the company said in an emailed statement. It said it "remains willing to cooperate fully with Indian tax authorities" and looked forward to
quickly resolving the dispute. Nokia said the Delhi High Court last week granted its request for a stay on the tax claim "till further orders". The alleged tax evasion involves software royalty payments to Nokia's parent, on which 10 percent tax should have been deducted and paid to Indian authorities, the Press Trust of India said.
Taxmen last month raided one of Nokia's manufacturing plants in the southern city of Chennai as part of its investigation. Nokia, which began operations in India in the mid1990s, had protested to India over the raid, slamming the action as "excessive" and "inconsistent with Indian standards of fair play". India -- one of the world's fastest-
growing mobile phone markets -- is Nokia's second-largest market, with the Chennai factory producing over 20 different models. British mobile network firm Vodafone is fighting a multi-billion-dollar tax bill from Indian tax authorities over its 2007 purchase of a stake in a domestic telecommunications company. Royal Dutch Shell and Cadbury are among other companies also involved in tax disputes. India's finance minister P. Chidambaram has vowed to clamp down on tax evasion to help to lower the widening deficit. But in the face of alarm among international investors about what they see as arbitrary tax demands, he has also said he wants "clarity on tax laws" and for taxes to be collected in a "non-adversarial" way. Nokia lost its position as the world's biggest mobile phone maker to Samsung last year after dominating the market for more than a decade, and it now lags smartphone rivals such as Apple.
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Micromax wants deal with Ericsson after court order Tablets fueling surge in India's Micromax promised to try to work out a patent deal with Ericsson after the Swedish equipment-maker sued the leading domestic handset maker for alleged patent infringement. The company issued the statement after an Indian court Monday gave an interim ruling in favour of Ericsson, which had filed an $18million suit against Micromax, accusing it of using its patented technology to make mobile phones. The suit marks the first high-profile Indian patent litigation case amid a number worldwide, notably between
Apple Inc of the United States and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. The court told Micromax to work out what is known as a Fair, Reasonable and NonDiscriminatory, or FRAND, licence agreement with Ericsson. Handset makers often
rely on technologies owned by other firms to make their mobile phones and conclude a FRAND licence agreement when doing so. "Micromax is committed to negotiating a FRAND licence with Ericsson as Ericsson has undertaken to provide" such a licence to Micromax," the Indian company said in an emailed statement. Micromax was also told to pay Ericsson royalties of up to two percent of the sale price of the disputed handset devices and deposit the sum with the court. A spokesman for Ericsson
Apple in court in China over 'Siri' claim Apple appeared in a Shanghai court, accused by a Chinese firm of copying software used for the "Siri" personal assistant on its hugely popular iPhones. The Californian company's products are big sellers in China, and chief executive Tim Cook said in January he expects it to surpass the US as the firm's largest market, but the relationship is sometimes troubled. Shanghai's Zhizhen Network Technology Co. claims Apple infringed its patent for voice recognition software, and the two companies were summoned to present evidence at a pre-trial hearing, representatives of the Chinese firm said. The legal challenge comes after Apple last year paid $60 million to Chinese computer maker Shenzhen Proview
Technology to settle a longrunning dispute over the "iPad" trademark, whose ownership was claimed by both companies. State media have also attacked Apple in recent days, with the People's Daily urging consumers in a commentary to "strike away Apple's unparalleled arrogance" for alleged double standards in customer service and returns policies. Apple has denied those accusations in statements to Chinese media. Zhizhen says it patented its "Xiao i Robot"
software in 2004, while Apple's Siri, which made its debut with the release of the iPhone 4S in 2011, was first developed in 2007. Siri, described by Apple as an "intelligent personal assistant", responds to a user's commands through voice recognition software. The Chinese company's product operates in a similar way and works on Apple's iOS system as well as rival Android. It has wide application in areas including telecommunications, finance and ecommerce and Zhizhen
Yahoo Plan DailyMotion Buy-Out While obviously not the pinnacle of videosharing sites with that title wrapped up for the foreseeable future, France Telecom-owned DailyMotion are regarded as one of the biggest in the world (according to some statistics, 12th, with an estimated 116m users monthly), and appear to have become a sought-after property by another company high-up in its online market. American search engine giants Yahoo! have revealed their intention to launch a bid for the online video service, looking to claim
a ‘controlling stake’ in the business, primarily as a means of enhancing their presence in the European video market (in particular DailyMotion’s core markets of France and Turkey). According to sources close to the matter, Yahoo would attempt to purchase as much as 75% of ‘streaming website’ (valued at an estimated $300m, meaning a potential buying price of $225m), whilst retaining the option of purchasing the remaining 25% from France Telecom (who also own telecommunications
was not immediately available for comment. But The Economic Times, a leading Indian financial daily, quoted the Swedish company's lawyer, Pratibha Singh, as saying: "This case marks the arrival of big-ticket patent litigation in India." The two sides had been negotiating an agreement for over three years but had been unable to agree on a price for the technology, the newspaper said. Micromax, which is India's biggest handset maker and sells phones in over a dozen countries, declined to comment further. claims more than 100 million users in China, according to a statement. "The company will ask Apple to stop manufacturing and selling products using its patent rights, once Apple's infringement is confirmed," Si Weijiang, a lawyer representing Zhizhen, told. "We don't exclude the possibility of demanding compensation in the future," he said. In court Apple denied the allegations and unsuccessfully asked for the case to be rejected, he added. Apple did not respond to requests for comment. The full case is scheduled to be heard in July, Zhizhen spokeswoman Mei Li told. "We surely have confidence, our lawyers also told us they have confidence, but of course we will have to see how the judge will rule," she said. giant Orange).
smart devices: study
Tablet computers fueled growth in 2012 in the market for "smart connected devices," which crossed the threshold of one billion units for the first time, a study showed. A report by the research firm IDC said worldwide shipments of these devices - personal computers, tablets and smartphones -- grew 29.1 percent in 2012 to 1.2 billion units with a value of $576.9 billion. The expansion was largely driven by 78.4 percent growth in tablet shipments, which hit 128 million in 2012. IDC said sales of desktop and portable personal computers fell 4.1 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, for the year, while smartphones were up 46 percent. Looking ahead, IDC forecast tablet shipments will surpass desktop PCs in 2013 and portable PCs in 2014. It predicted tablet sales would grow another 48.7 percent this year to 190 million units. The smartphone market is expected to grow 27.2 percent to 918.5 million units, IDC said, and sales of tradi-
tional PCs will struggle again, especially in emerging economies. "In emerging markets, consumer spending typically starts with mobile phones and, in many cases, moves to tablets before PCs," said IDC analyst Megha Saini. "The pressure on the PC market is significantly increasing and we can see longer replacement cycles coming into effect very soon and that, too, will put downward pressure on PC sales." IDC said Apple closed the gap with market leader Samsung in the fourth quarter, as the combination of Apple's iPhone 5 and iPad Mini brought Apple up to 20.3 percent market share versus 21.2 percent for Samsung for these devices. But because Apple devices are pricier, the US firm had 30.7 percent of revenues to 20.4 percent for Samsung. IDC predicts the worldwide smart connected device space will continue to surge with shipments hitting 2.2 billion units and revenues of $814.3 billion in 2017.
WiMAX player halts 4G auction in Bahrain TRA, Bahrain’s regulator, has stopped a multi-band spectrum auction after a successful appeal by Menatelecom, a local WiMAX operator. Under earlier revised auction rules, TRA scrapped open bidding in favour of restricting participation to the kingdom’s three mobile operators – Batelco, Kuwait’s Zain and Viva Bahrain (an affiliate of Saudi Telecom). Menatelecom, which runs a nationwide WiMAX net-
work – and is an investment subsidiary of Kuwait Finance House (Bahrain) – objected to the change and took legal action against Bahrain’s regulator. The auction, due to start on 31 March, has now been halted indefinitely. Menetalecom has already announced its intention to rollout a nationwide LTE network, based on TDD technology, reusing its existing 3.5GHz frequencies. Huawei was unveiled as its TD-LTE supplier in January.
Such a deal would become the first major takeover from Yahoo since hiring current CEO Marissa Mayer last year, and would potentially add to a video presence which sees Yahoo’s collection of services rank 10th in a market dominated by Google-owned YouTube. None of the parties involved have passed comment on the matter, however, currently denying that a deal is taking place, as Dailymotion’s managing director Roland Hamilton wrote in an e-mail: “We are unable to confirm, deny or comment on speculation regarding potential talks between Yahoo and Orange at this time.”
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | f la re .p k
Ambani brothers bury hatchet with telecom deal
India's billionaire Ambani brothers, who fought a very public feud for spoils of their father's business empire, signed Tuesday a $220-million deal in the first tangible sign of a corporate reconciliation. Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom unit of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, signed the agreement with Reliance Communications, the flagship firm of the Anil Ambani group, to share their fibreoptic communications networks. The long rumoured pact is the "first in an intended comprehensive framework of business co-operation" between Reliance Jio and RCom, to use each other's
infrastructure across Indian cities, the companies said. This will provide "optimal utilisation of existing and future infrastructure of both companies on a reciprocal basis", they added in separate but identical statements. There have been increasing signs of a warming of ties between the brothers since their fight for control of Reliance erupted after their rags-to-riches father, Dhirubhai, died in 2002 without leaving a will. "It is a positive sign that the brothers are keen to work together," said a fund manager with a state-run brokerage firm, who asked to remain unnamed. The pair ended up split-
PC market losing more ground to tablets: survey
Sales of traditional desktop and mobile personal computers are expected to drop 7.6 percent this year as consumers shift to tablets and other devices, a market tracker said. The report by the research firm Gartner said all connected devices -- PCs, tablets and mobile phones - are on pace to grow nine percent this year to 2.4 billion units, but that the mix is changing. A proliferation of lower-priced tablets with increased power is accelerating the shift from PCs to tablets, said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. "While there will be some
individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device," she said. "As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis." The traditional PC market of notebooks and desktop units is expected to see a 7.6 percent decline in 2013 to 315 million units. That will be offset in part by so-called ultramobile PCs -- the lightest and thinnest -- expected
French agency ordered removal of article: Wikimedia
The foundation behind Wikipedia has accused the French DCRI domestic intelligence agency of forcing a volunteer to remove an article because it was deemed to contain military secrets. The article on the free online encyclopedia, created in July 2009, dealt with a military radar station in Puy-de-Dome in south-central France. The Wikimedia Foundation said it was contacted on March 4 by the DCRI, which said the article on the French language Wikipedia "contains
classified military information and that publication of such information violates the French penal code". "The DCRI demanded removal of the article in its entirety," the US-based foundation said on its website. Wikimedia said it refused and asked for more information from the French authorities, which never came. Then, the DCRI contacted a Wikipedia volunteer in France and "insisted that he use his administrative rights to immediately remove the article, or face
ting the Reliance group left by their father that was India's most valuable listed company. After a protracted court case that saw their mother, Kokilaben, act as peacemaker, the brothers agreed to bury the hatchet and tear up a non-competition agreement that prevented them from entering the same sectors. In 2011, Mukesh and Anil came together to dedicate a memorial to their father, and their mother declared the enmity over, telling reporters: "There is love between the brothers." Tuesday's agreement, while small in value, was the first tangible evidence of an end to the business rift between Mukesh, India's wealthiest man, and his younger sibling Anil. News of the agreement heightened speculation among analysts about further collaboration between the brothers as well as about a possible merger of the two Reliance telecom companies. RCom's shares leapt as much as 17.2 percent to a
high of 66.9 rupees after the news before retracing some of their gains to close up nearly 11 percent at 63.3 rupees. Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio is unlisted. The deal will help Reliance Jio Infocomm roll out its high-speed fourthgeneration (4G) services. Mukesh Ambani is planning to establish an ultrafast 4G telecommunications carrier later in 2013. Analysts say sharing fibre-optic networks and other infrastructure such as telecom towers could prove mutually beneficial by helping Mukesh reduce costs at the same time as boosting the fortunes of Anil's debtladen group. RCom will have reciprocal access to the optic fibre infrastructure which Reliance Jio will build in the future, the companies said. "Both brothers have a presence in telecom. Their working together makes sense at a time when the cost of doing business is high and the economic environment is tough," said Sonam Udasi, head of research with IDBI Capital.
to double to 23.6 million units, Gartner said. Gartner said worldwide tablet shipments would jump 69.8 percent this year to 197 million units. "Lower prices, form factor variety, cloud update and consumers' addiction to apps will be the key drivers in the tablet market," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "Growth in the tablet segment will not be limited to mature markets alone. Users in emerging markets who are looking for a companion to their mobile phone will increasingly choose a tablet as their first computing device and not a PC." For all devices, the Google Android system was the most popular in 2012 with 22 percent of the 2.2 billion devices. The Windows operating system was used on 15.6 percent and Apple's iOS on 10 percent. For 2013, Gartner said Android's share is likely to rise to nearly 36 percent, to 15 percent for Windows and 12 percent for Apple.
Dropbox now available in Yahoo mail
serious and immediate reprisals," Wikimedia said. "Under the shadow of these threats he removed the article." According to the French interior ministry, the article concerned "the organisation of the national defence's nuclear component". Wikimedia France said the volunteer, who had nothing to do with the article in question, was threatened with detention and possible charges. The French ministry however denied making threats, saying it had simply informed the volunteer about "the risk of legal action" against himself and Wikipedia France.
Bangalore: Yahoo recently integrated the popular cloud storage service Dropbox with Yahoo Mail. Dropbox lets users store files like photos, videos, documents online, and share them. "This integration allows you to share and store files more easily, whether they are vacation photos or important documents like tax returns and research papers," said David McDowell, senior director of product management, Yahoo! Mail, in a blog post. The attachments received on Yahoo Mail can now be saved to Dropbox, and files in Dropbox can be attached to Yahoo Mail. Large attachments that are more than 25MB can also be attached to Yahoo Mail but sent via Dropbox. Other major email service providers like Gmail and Outlook already have similar options that allow users to store files in the cloud. Google Drive that is integrated with Gmail allows free storage of up to 5GB, while Skydrive of Microsoft has a free storage capacity of 7GB. Dropbox has a free storage space starting at 2GB, and can be increased as a form of incentive.
Sales of web-ready digital cameras up in Asia
A woman takes photos of her friend using a smartphone at the Merlion Park in Singapore.
Sales of digital cameras that enable users to immediately post pictures on the web have risen sharply in Asia despite stiff competition from smartphones, an industry survey showed. Market research company GfK said sales of WiFienabled cameras in 13 major Asian markets including Japan and China rose 52 percent from the year before to 8.44 million units in 2012 with a total value of $2.74 billion. While WiFi-enabled digital stills cameras have been around since 2005, GfK said sales have only picked up in the past two years as manufacturers widened the range of models available and prices fell due to competition. There are currently 160 models of WiFi-ready cam-
eras in the market, it said. "The introduction of the WiFi feature in cameras is definitely a right step forward to stimulate and boost the camera market in this Internet age," Gerard Tan, account director for digital technology at GfK Asia, said in a statement. Another emerging battleground is the market for WiFi-enabled "mirrorless" cameras, which can be made nearly as small as compact cameras but with picture quality that rivals that of their bulkier DSLR counterparts, the report said. The GfK survey showed an eight-fold increase in the sale of WiFi-enabled mirrorless cameras last year compared to 2011, with a total of 765,600 units sold in the 13 countries surveyed.
Broadcom, SK Telecom launch world’s first 5G Wi-Fi hotspot router
ly and extended battery life. Broadcom’s TurboQAM technology implements the highest data-rate 256-QAM mode in 2.4 GHz for faster throughputs. The new Wi-Fi router will assist SK Telecom to improve its revenue this year from KRW 16.301 trillion in 2012. Advanced beamforming, Low-Density Parity Check (LDPC) code and SpaceTime Block Code (STBC) support for better coverage and more reliable connectivity. By integrating Broadcom’s BCM4708 and BCM4360 into its newest platform, SK Telecom will ensure reliable connectivity to its customers by offloading data traffic to an IP network via 5G Wi-Fi connection. Choi Jin-sung, executive vice president and head of ICT R&D Division, SK Telecom, said: “By partnering with Broadcom, SK Telecom will provide an upgraded Wi-Fi experience for customers.”
Broadcom and SK Telecom have announced the launch of 5G Wi-Fi hotspot router. Main benefits of the world’s first 5G Wi-Fi hotspot router include significant range, capacity and power advantages, said Broadcom in a statement. With more than 26 million telecommunications subscribers, SK Telecom can alleviate cellular spectrum crunch by offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi networks. Broadcom’s 5G Wi-Fi offers three times faster and up to six times more power efficiency than previous generations of Wi-Fi. Products powered by 5G Wi-Fi provide broader coverage and allow consumers to experience faster video streaming and connect multiple devices simultaneous-
shifts to next Huawei expects growth China generation mobile networks and dedespite U.S. setback mand from European
Shenzhen: A Huawei Technologies Co. executive said the company's core wireless-network business won't see U.S. growth this year as it has been effectively shut out of the country due to security concerns. But the Chinese telecomequipment supplier still expects growth elsewhere as
customers remains solid. In a recent interview, Bob Cai, vice president in charge of Huawei's wireless-network marketing, said the unit that builds mobile network infrastructure—one of the company's main operations—will likely see growth of at least 10 percent this year, after 11 percent growth in 2012.
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ITU launches third annual Young Innovators' competition ITU has launched the third edition of its annual Young Innovators' Competition offering social technopreneurs the opportunity to present their ideas to industry leaders at ITU Telecom World 2013 in Bangkok this November, as well as winning funding, mentorship and ongoing support. Open to 18-26 year-olds worldwide, the Young Innovators' Competition is looking for concrete solutions using cutting-edge technology to one of six
Global Challenges developed in partnership with specialised UN agencies and leading private sector players: Improve employment opportunities for young people and migrant workers, Reduce foot and water wastage at individual and retail level, Facilitate access to public services for the elderly, Improve natural disaster prediction and response, Improve road safety for both drivers and pedestrians and Protect sensitive personal data and in-
spire the creation of local digital content. The competition seeks pragmatic, market-oriented, scalable solutions making use of connected technologies, such as augmented reality, mobile apps, 3D printing or geospatial tracking. Submissions may be either in the form of a concept, wellresearched or documented ideas which have not yet been implemented, or a start-up, which is already up and running but in need of funding to take it to the
The web is becoming just another app
Individual apps are replacing the web browser for the majority of smartphone and tablet features. The research, undertaken by Flurry Analytics to understand how the smartphone market has grown and developed over the past five years, draws information from over 300,000 smartphone and tablet apps and from more than 1 billion monthly active smart devices. In terms of usage behavior and trends, in the US
at least, Safari dominates the mobile browser space but it turns out that the browser is being slowly abandoned in favor of specific apps. According to the data, 80 percent of time spent on iOS and Androidconnected devices (smartphones and tablets) is spent using apps. The remaining 20 percent of the time is spent browsing. The data also shows that the average US smartphone or tablet owner spends 2 hours and 38 minutes a day
using their device and that over 50 of those minutes (32 percent of time spent) are spent gaming, which is now the number-one app category. Facebook is the second most popular app or destination, accounting for 18 percent of time and, because Flurry now sees a web browser as a type of app in its own right, Apple's Safari browser is the third most popular destination, accounting for 12 percent of time spent every day -that's more than all other social media destinations combined (6 percent of total time spent per day). Looking globally, Flurry also notes that as well as huge growth in the smartphone and tablet user base over the five years that it has been gathering data, it has also seen a continuing rise in the average number of apps consumers use on a
Idea asked to pay Rs 3,900 cr in tax
In what could be the first attempt by the income-tax department to bring corporate demergers under the tax net, two Aditya Birla group companies—Idea Cellular and AdityaBirla Telecom — have been asked to pay Rs3,900 crore in taxes for the demerger of the telecom business that took place in 2009. "The I-T department is treating the transfer of licence, assets and liabilities from Aditya Birla Telecom Ltd to Idea Cellular BSE -2.73 percent as a slump sale, which is subject to capital gains tax," a person close to the development told ET NOW, which was the first to report the development. Idea Cellular has been issued a tax demand order of Rs1,500 crore on business income arising out of the transfer of telecom licences and other assets from Aditya Birla Telecom as part of the demerger, while ABTL, which is a subsidiary of Idea Cellular, has been served with
a tax demand of Rs2,400 crore. Idea confirmed that it had received the tax orders, but said the demands are not justified. "They are inconsistent with established tax laws and past precedents. The company believes the demands are unjustified and based on an erroneous interpretation of the current tax laws and the facts of the case," the 111telco said, adding that it will challenge the orders. Tax experts buy Idea's argument, and say using the provisions of the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) on court-approved demergers will set a wrong precedent. "The law was amended to make mergers and de-mergers taxneutral, if they complied with certain conditions. Attempts by the tax office to tax such transactions will only be a negative move at a time when restructuring is a business inevitability," said DineshKanabar,
next stage. Ten finalists selected by a committee of experts will win the chance to attend ITU Telecom World 2013. Finalists will work with ITU's partners from both public and private sectors to develop their initiatives and refine their solutions within the global market in the run-up to ITU Telecom World 2013. Prize money in the form of seed funding will be awarded up to $10,000 to implement and bring to scale winning startups and up to $5,000 to realise winning concepts. The deadline for initial submissions is 30 June. daily basis. Android and iOS devices launch on average 7.9 different apps a day, compared with 7.5 in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 7.2 in the fourth quarter of 2010. However, the biggest surprise from the report is that it appears, in the case of mobile, that the traditional concept of the internet could already be on its deathbed. "[W]e believe that the web will change and adapt to the reality of smartphones and tablets. Websites will look and behave more like apps. Websites will be optimized for user experience first and search engine optimization second. This supports the trend of mobile first and web second, which brings both mobile app and user experience design to the mobile web," said the company's Simon Khalaf in a blog post to accompany the report.
deputy CEO of KPMG India. In 2009, ABTL transferred its telecom licence for the Bihar circle, along with other assets and liabilities, to its parent, Idea Cellular. Both the Gujarat and Bombay High Courts approved the arrangement, which valued the transaction atRs2,069 crore. "The transaction involves a scheme of restructuring between a wholly owned subsidiary and a parent company with the sole objective of administrative consolidation of a telecom licence of one service area in the parent company, without any financial transaction or transfer of funds," Idea said. Kalpesh Desai, Partner at BMR & Associates, said the new approach of the I-T authorities would make business reorganisations tougher for companies. "The Indian revenue authorities seem to have taken a view that all transactions must be implemented at arms length price even if these are merely internal group reorganisations (without any 'real' income). This approach will increase the risk for group reorganisations and increase transaction costs." Parthasarathi Shome, who was appointed by the government to review the controversial GAAR provisions, said in his panel's final report, "An illustrative list of tax mitigation or a negative list for the purposes of invoking GAAR, as mentioned below, should be specified- for instance amalgamations and de-mergers (as defined in the Act) as approved by the High Court."
Hong Kong's dropped call
Competition is supposed to benefit the consumer. So when Hong Kong's government proposes a new policy that purports to increase competition but hurts consumers, questions should be raised—especially as a Chinese telecom giant is pushing for the change. Most governments simply renew contracts for mobile phone frequencies as they expire, as Hong Kong has long done. But China Mobile—the world's largest phone carrier with 710 million subscribers—wants its own spectrum, instead of renting from an existing license holder. So the city's telecom regulator has announced a plan to take back one-third of the 3G spectrum currently held by four existing licence holders and put it up for auction again. One can reasonably ask, what's wrong with allowing another vendor into the game? The city's telecom market is among the world's most mature and competitive, with more than two cellular accounts per resident.
Competition is supposed to benefit the consumer. So when Hong Kong's government proposes a new policy that purports to increase competition but hurts consumers, questions should be raised—especially as a Chinese telecom giant is pushing for the change. Most governments simply renew contracts for mobile phone frequencies as they expire, as Hong Kong has long done. But China Mobile—the world's largest phone carrier with 710 million subscribers—wants its own spectrum, instead of renting from an existing license holder. So the city's telecom regulator has announced a plan to take back one-third of the 3G spectrum currently held by four existing licence holders and put it up for auction again. One can reasonably ask, what's wrong with allowing another vendor into the game? The city's telecom market is among the world's most mature and competitive, with more than two cellular accounts per resident.
The race for Myanmar's telecoms networks got even hotter when the creation of two powerhouse consortia was announced at the closing of the pre-qualification round for two network licenses. The world's two biggest mobile providers, Vodafone and China Mobile, have joined forces in an attempt to access the country's burgeoning market. Meanwhile Digicel, an Irish telecoms company with interest in Myanmar since 2008, has joined with Serge Pun's local firm Yoma Strategic Holdings and US-Hungarian billionaire George Soros' Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd. “Digicel has been successful in entering recently liberalized markets and driving teledensity in underserved countries across the globe,” said Dennis O’Brien, the company's owner, in a statement following the announcement. “With current mobile penetration below 10 per-
cent in Myanmar, we are committed to rolling out a world-class telecommunications network and have submitted a pre-qualification application to the government of Myanmar.” Soros also said the liberalization of the telecoms market in Myanmar will serve as an important economic stimulus for the country. The telecoms licenses will be announced in June and will allow the operators to build and operate a mobile network for 15 years. “The licensing round is also an opportunity to accelerate the pace of Myanmar’s social and economic development through mass-market adoption of mobile services, similar to the mobile-led transformation underway within many other Asian and African countries,” said Vodafone and China Mobile in a joint statement. Other mobile operators in the running include SingTel and Norway's Telenor.
Telecom giants gang up for Myanmar licenses
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Apps help parents monitor children's Internet use
Facebook starts charging for sending texts to celebrities Social networking giant Facebook has started charging its British users up to 10 pounds to send messages to celebrities and people who are not in friend's list. The site said the move aims to stop users being bombarded with messages from strangers. Those who want to contact a non-friends can now either pay a fee of around 71p to send the message directly to a person's inbox along with an automatic alert, or send the mes-
sage for free to a less visible folder. Facebookers can still communicate with friends and people with whom they share mutual friends for free, the Independent reports. According to the paper, users can pay the fee online instantly with a credit or debit card, but under-18s are barred from doing so. They are also blocked from receiving unsolicited messages.
Microsoft to establish innovation centre in China
Microsoft is expected to establish an innovation center in south China's Hainan Province, the first of its kind on the Chinese mainland. An agreement in this regard was signed between Microsoft and the Hainan provincial government. Microsoft will also build a "Microsoft IT Academy" in Hainan to boost the training of IT experts, the report said. Microsoft founder, Bill Gates is currently in Hainan attending the Boao Forum for Asia. Based on Microsoft's leading technology platform, the Microsoft Innovation Centre will attract software
With smartphone and tablet users getting younger, new apps can help parents of 2-to-13-year-olds monitor and control their children's use of the Internet. A Pew Research Center study shows that more than one-third of American teenagers own a smartphone, up from more than a fifth in 2011. For nearly half of these users, the phone is their main way of getting online, making it difficult for parents to supervise their behavior. "When you have a smartphone, you basically have the Internet in your pocket wherever you are - away
from your parents' eyes," said Anooj Shah, a partner in Toronto-based company Kytephone, which develops apps. Kytephone's namesake app allows parents to control the apps and sites their children use and the people they receive texts and calls from. The company released Kytetime for 13-to-17-yearolds. The new app has many of the same features as Kytephone but does not include the ability to block calls. Earlier this month, Net Nanny, a monitoring software company, released a
Tablet PCs, smartphones sales to grow 9pc in 2013: Gartner Driven by strong uptake of smartphones and tablet PCs, global sales of devices is expected to grow 9 percent to total 2.4 billion units in 2013 from 2012, research firm Gartner said. Device shipments are forecast to continue to grow, reaching more than 2.9 billion units in 2017, but the mix of these devices will significantly change over the forecast period, it said in a statement. The proliferation of lower-priced tablets and their growing capability is accelerating the shift from PCs to tablets. As a result, the traditional PC market of notebooks and desk-based units is expected to decline 7.6 percent in 2013. This is not a temporary trend induced by a more austere econom-
ic environment, it is a re- 2012 shipments of 116 milflection of a long-term lion units. "Lower prices, change in user behaviour, form factor variety, cloud
enterprises in the fields of tourism and agriculture in Hainan, Li Guoliang, deputy governor of Hainan said. Li said the government hopes to nurture an ecologyrelated industrial software chain worth 5 billion yuan ($798 million). Microsoft will carry out strategic cooperation with Hainan regarding technoGartner said. logical development, softBeginning in 2013, ulware training and intellectutramobiles will help offset al property rights protection, this decline, so that sales of according to a memorantraditional PCs and ultradum of understanding inked mobiles combined show a by the Hainan provincial gov3.5 percent decline in 2013, ernment and Microsoft (ChiGartner said. na) Co. Ltd on the sidelines of Worldwide tablet shipthe ongoing Boao Forum for ments are forecast to total Asia. 197 million units in 2013, a Microsoft Group Vice 69.8 percent increase from President Orlando Ayala said global tourism hot spots are moving to the Asia-Pacific region, adding the company's cooperation with Hainan will prop up the province's efforts Flipboard 2.0, the latest version of the popular news to become a major interna- aggregation, digital magazine application, gives the app tional tourist destination. a makeover that lets each user become the editor of their own magazine. The first version of Flipboard, back in 2010, essentially transformed one's Twitter and Facebook feeds into a digital magazine; later the app added integration from other sources such as Instagram, Tumblr, and Linkedin as well as bringing in content from certain media sources specially formatted for the application. Flipboard 2.0 essentially transforms the experience
update and consumers' addiction to apps will be the key drivers in the tablet market," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. Growth in the tablet segment will not be limited to mature markets alone as users in emerging markets also increasingly choose a tablet as their first computing device and not a PC,
tions, for $4.99. The company is also introducing Net Nanny Social, a subscription, Web-based tool to help parents monitor problems such as cyberbullying, sexual predators and identity theft on social networks including Facebook (FB.O) and Twitter. The service costs $19.99 per year. For parents of 2-to-8year-olds, Boston-based Playrific has a free app with a locked browser that allows only content suitable for children, including educational videos, interactive games and books. Atwal added. Smartphones are also becoming more affordable, driving adoption in emerging markets and the prepaid segment in mature markets. Of the 1.875 billion mobile phones expected to be sold in 2013, one billion units are forecast to be smartphones, compared with 675 million smartphone units in 2012. In the shares of operating systems (OSs) in device sales, the shift to mobile and the fight for the third ecosystem becomes more evident, according to Gartner. In the shares of operating systems (OS) in device sales, Android continues to be the dominant OS in the device market, buoyed by strong growth in the smartphone market. Competition for the second spot will be between Apple's iOS/Mac OS and Microsoft Windows, it said.
Flipboard 2.0 lets everyone be an editor
of the app from discovery to content curation. The new updates essentially keep the original experience but also allow users to create their own magazines, based on themes of their choice, which they can choose to either share or keep private. In order to create their own magazine within the app, users simply press the "+" sign shown at the bottom of the graphic which then allows you to 'flip' the content, say tweets for example, into a magazine, or magazines. Once users have selected this action it is automatically organized into an 'editorial style' spread with a lead 'cover' image. Users can make changes such as adding soundtracks or making slight modifications to the cover. This newly created 'magazine' can then be shared if the user so wishes. Flipboard has a base of around 50 million users.
iPhone outdated: CEO BlackBerry
selling the Z10 touchscreen BlackBerry; more than six weeks after BlackBerry launched the devices else-
Google's new 'Gmail' compose feature draws complaints Internet search giant Google is facing backlash for changing the way users write emails on Gmail. With the change, users now have to compose their email in a new window that pops up on top of the inbox. Earlier, previously, users were switched to a new page to write their email. Google has been experimenting with the pop-up feature since October and said it is faster and simpler than the previous way of writing emails on Gmail. However, many users don't think highly of the new feature. Many have taken to Twitter to complain about how much they dislike the change and are even considering trying out different email services. According to the report,
browser app for Apple Inc's iOS devices to filter Web content and block profanity. "Smartphones and tablets have added new technology, with new challenges (for parents) - full Web browsing capability, unlimited texting, access to hundreds of thousands of good, bad and malicious apps," said Russ Warner, chief executive officer of the Salt Lake City-based company. The Android version of Net Nanny, which sells for $12.99, can control which apps a child uses. The app is also available for iOS devices, with fewer applica-
users can still switch back to the old way of writing emails with just a few clicks. Simply press the "Compose" button on the left side of the screen. When the new compose box pops up, click on the down-arrow icon at the bottom Apple's iPhone is outright of the window. Sedated, says BlackBerry lect "Temporarily switch CEO Thorsten Heins. back to old compose". Heins made the comment
the BlackBerry won't be released in the US until two or three months from now. He previously said it would be eight to 10 weeks, but now he said it could be delayed by two more weeks. Heins said the iPhone was revolutionary five years ago, but he said it's now "just kind of sitting there." Apple spokeswoman Nat-alie Kerris declined comment. But delay in selling the new keypad BlackBerry - the Q10 complicates the firm's efforts to hang on to customers tempted by the iPhone and a range of derecently on the eve of the where. vices running Google's Anmuch-delayed US launch Heins also said that a droid operating system. of the new touchscreen new keyboard version of BlackBerry. AT&T begins
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Etisalat crosses initial stages Samsung, Nokia top brands to get top-level domain in emerging markets
Etisalat has said that it gone though initial stages of a procedure to get its own Top-Level which means the approval could pave the way for Etisalat to use “etisalat” in Arabic letters as its domain extension. “As one of the most innovative companies in the Middle East, it makes sense for Etisalat to progress toward getting a Top-Level Domain before virtually anyone else,” said Ahmed Bin Ali, Group Senior VicePresident, Corporate Communications, Etisalat Group. “Being a pioneer of the telecoms industry has been essential to our success and we plan to continue to be a leader in building an online brand.” In the past, Top-Level Domains have been restricted to generic strings, such as “com” and “net”, and country codes, such as “ae” for the UAE and “uk” for the United Kingdom. Changes to the rules have enabled businesses, governments and communities to apply for new domain names, using letters from languages including Arabic, Korean and Chinese.
“These changes are a natural step in the internet’s evolution and they will promote the diversity of language and culture and give billions of people a more convenient way to access the web in their native tongues,” Mr Bin Ali said. “Giving more Arabic speakers access to our web sites will help us build relations with communities in some of our operating countries.” Since earlier this month, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the global regulator of web addresses, has released the initial evaluations of around 60 applicants. Etisalat passed its first application for the Top-Level Domain “etisalat” in Arabic letters on Friday. The UAE telecoms operator also applied for the TLD “etisalat” in English. The initial evaluation of this application will be released later this year. Etisalat can expect to see more companies and government organisations all over the world follow its lead to secure dedicated Top-Level Domains as they become the mark of entities that are serious about their futures.
Despite the dominance of the US tech giant Apple in the west because of its premium brand status, its rival Samsung and Nokia continue to lure the mobile buyers in the emerging markets like India, Brazil, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. According to a study by marketing technology company Upstream, Samsung and Nokia with 32 percent and 22 percent market shares respectively are the top mobile brands in the emerging markets. Apple remains on third position. The report hints at the new Samsung smartphone GalaxyS4 and new Nokia handsets could challenge Apple in the west in the backdrop of their success in these emerging markets. The 2013 Emerging Markets Mobile Attitudes Report from surveyed 3,670 adults in Brazil, India, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. Nokia which is losing ground to its rival in the west continues to be a favorite brand in Nigerians (37 per cent) and second favorite in Brazil after Samsung. The report said that the price point pays an important role in choosing a mobile handset. For most of the users this factor takes precedence over the brand value. “Almost a third of consumers (27 per cent) with less purchasing power will ultimately bypass their favorite brands and buy devices with similar functionality, but at a cheaper price” the report says.
There is however a strong craving for high end smartphones but only 16 per cent are willing to spend more than $450 on a device. The report finds that brand desirability cannot guarantee success in these new markets. According to the report, mobile is the most used device in these markets. It holds more significance than laptops, tablets or desktop PCs. The report shows that 60 per cent of consumers are prepared to spend up to $5 every month on mobile applications, and in Brazil, one of the fastest growing mobile markets, 14 per cent of consumers would pay $10 or above every month. The report reveals that health and educational contents are accessed most in these countries. “Over half of all Nigerians (56 per cent), 40 per cent of Indians and over a third of Brazilians (37 per cent) would like to access content or applications relating to health services”, it says.
Apple gets closer to Samsung Nokia Siemens deploys with 20.3pc shipment Tango 4G service
The US tech giant Apple has narrowed the gap with its arch rival South Korea’s Samsung in the fourth quarter of 2012 on Apple's iPhone 5 and iPad Mini which brought Apple up to 20.3 percent unit shipment share versus 21.2 percent for Samsung according to research firm IDC. IDC report said that on a revenue basis for the fourth quarter, Apple continued to dominate with 30.7 percent share versus 20.4 percent share for Samsung. According to IDC’s Smart Connected Device Tracker, worldwide shipments of smart connected devices grew 29.1 percent year over year in 2012, crossing 1 billion units shipped with a value of $576.9 billion. The market expansion was largely driven by 78.4 percent yearover-year growth in tablet shipments, which surpassed 128 million in 2012.
Going forward, IDC expects that tablet shipments will surpass desktop PCs in 2013 and portable PCs in 2014. In 2013, worldwide desktop PC shipments are expected to drop by 4.3 percent and portable PCs to maintain a flat growth of 0.9 percent. The tablet market, on the other hand, is expected to reach a new high of 190 million shipment units with year-onyear growth of 48.7 percent while the smartphone market is expected to grow 27.2 percent to 918.5 million units. From a regional perspective, the smart connected device volume in emerging markets grew by 41.3 percent in 2012 with the tablet volume growing by 111.3 percent and smartphone volume by 69.7 percent year over- year. Mature markets, on the other hand, grew by 15.6 percent and saw a huge plunge in the PC market in the year 2012. By the end of year 2017, IDC predicts that the tablet and smartphone markets will have a huge growth potential in the emerging markets. During this time, tablet unit shipments are expected to increase by a factor of 3 with a shipment value of $125 billion dollars while smartphone unit shipments are expected to double and reach a shipment value of $462 billion dollars. Portable PCs, on the other hand will show a moderate single-digit growth while desktop PCs are expected to consistently decline year over year with almost no growth in 2017.
Tango, Luxembourg’s innovative telco operator, has become the country’s first to offer 4G mobile broadband services and provide personal mobile data service plans. Nokia Siemens Networks implemented its Liquid Core network and its Circuit Switched FallBack (CSFB) system as the sole core supplier for the launch of the Tango 4G, LTE (long term evolution), services. “We recently launched two services that are first for Luxembourg: 4G ultra-fast data and personalized data tariffs in addition to providing congestion-free services from our existing GSM and 3G networks,” said Didier Rouma, CEO, Tango. “Nokia Siemens Networks helped us to achieve these important goals. The company’s core network powered the launch of 4G services and to increase overall network capacity to meet the challenge of rising data traffic.” “In addition to implementing our Liquid Core network, we implemented subscriber data management system for Tango. Without differentiating between data services, it becomes difficult for operators to efficiently manage the growth in network traffic,” said Filip Rommelaere, head of customer team Begacom Group at Nokia Siemens Networks. “Our packet core network platform and sub-
scriber data management solution help Tango efficiently manage data traffic and offer people greater choice in terms of the service they receive.” Nokia Siemens Networks implemented its Liquid Core-based Evolved Packet Core (EPC) platform, including Flexi NS (Network Server) and Flexi NG (Network Gateway) for the operator to replace outdated equipment and launch the LTE services. In addition to providing its Mobile Softswitching (MSS) that manages traditional voice calls, Nokia Siemens Networks implemented its CSFB voice solution. The CSFB solution enabled smartphones of 4G users to fallback to GSM and 3G networks from LTE so that subscribers enjoy voice calls alongside text messaging (SMS) and ultra-fast data services.
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Fr e e d o w n l o a d | f l ar e . p k
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | f l a r e. p k
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | f l a r e. p k
Above prices are subject to change as per market
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | f l a r e. p k
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | fl a r e . pk
Above prices are subject to change as per market
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | fl a r e . pk
Above prices are subject to change as per market
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | f l a r e .p k
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | f l a r e. p k
Above prices are subject to change as per market
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | f l a re . p k
Above prices are subject to change as per market
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | f l a r e .p k
Fr e e d o w n l o a d | f l a r e. p k
Free download | flare.pk
Korg announces new KROSS keyboard
When it comes to electronic keyboards, there are different brands to choose from, and Korg has been an established name in this area for a long, long time already. Well, Korg's latest addition to their electronic keyboard range has been called the Kross, where it is a mobile, affordable, keyboard workstation with audio/MIDI recording capabilities, and can operate on AC power or battery power (with the latter requiring half a dozen AA batteries to run), in addition to a vast selection of cutting-edge sounds. You will be able to choose from 61 keys or 88 fully-weighted keys, where it also holds the distinction of being the first battery-powered, full-featured Korg keyboard workstation.
Now, the $149.95 Solar-Lighted Umbrella is definitely something that you might want to consider assuming you have a yard or garden large enough to fit it in. I guess it goes without saying that those who do not own landed property and are currently living in apartments, you can rule having the Solar-Lighted Umbrella around, since your balcony might not be large enough to accommodate it, either. It would be easy to assume that the Solar-Lighted Umbrella is pretty much self-explanatory, where it comes with integrated solar lights that help create a lovely mood and setting when dusk falls. Sporting a large 9' canopy that cranks open in a jiffy and speedily, the steel support pole is sturdy and stable
Ferrari by Logic3 FS1 Air speaker
Magic Movers Electronic Wand
When you hear of a name like Ferrari by Logic3, you know for sure that this is no ripoff, but rather, it is a collaboration between one of the most successful stories in motorsports racing along with an audio company that always wants to deliver nothing but the best to its customers. Well, their latest collaboration has resulted in what they call the FS1 Air speaker dock, where this particular speaker dock will come with AirPlay technology which enables it to stream music wirelessly from iTunes or Apple devices. Just what kind of hardware does the FS1 Air offer? Well, it boasts of a sophisticated design that was clearly inspired by the Scuderia Ferrari racing team, achieving a balance between the GT Car's innovative lines, creases and curves along the way.
There is nothing quite like a bunch of rowdy kids in your home to tire yourself out a whole lot more compared to you completing a marathon. After all, these kids do seem to be bundles of inexhaustible energy, and since the world is constantly on the lookout for different sources of renewable energy, why not harness what your progeny have to offer? Of course, to do so in an inhumane manner is unforgivable, which is why we have to settle for a second best solution, that is, with the $21.99 Magic Movers Electronic Wand. Basically, the Magic Movers Electronic Wand will not be able to harness the energy from your kids, but what it does is make sure that the little ones will be able to expend as much energy as possible
iPad Document Scanner
iCarta 2-Bluetooth Toilet Paper Holder
The iPad is a tablet that has achieved its fair share of accolades, and you can basically find an app that does just about anything you want to with a tablet on it. Well, peripherals for the iPad have not been entirely the most interesting market to look at, as majority of the peripherals rolled out for it tend to be protective cases and covers, including those that come with a built-in keyboard so that you have a pseudo-Ultrabook of sorts on the go. Well, the $149.95 iPad Document Scanner is certainly something else altogether. In a nutshell, the iPad Document Scanner functions as a device that is capable of scanning documents straight to an iPad. This scanner will be able to feed pictures as well as documents automatically
I'm not one to enjoy talking about potty habits. Personally, I don't actually go to the bathroom (although I challenge anyone to prove otherwise) My husband and daughter on the other hand, are true professionals. They have preferred toilet paper, favorite air fresheners and each one has a stack of magazines a mile high. Each of them can tie up a bathroom for 20-30 minutes easily. Well this next gadget isn't going to help matters any. Check out the iCarta2 Bluetooth Stereo Toilet Paper Holder, this nifty little gadget allows you to listen to your favorite tunes while taking a shâ€Ś um, shower! Thats it! while taking a shower, or any other restroom activities that a little musical entertainment might add some enjoyment to. The iCarta will wirelessly stream your music from up to 10 feet away (leaving your device far from the steaming shâ€Ś oh yeah
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G-Technology announces brand
Self-Portraits With Ease
G-Technology has just announced the spanking new G-Drive Pro that boasts of Thunderbolt capability, where this could very well be your next purchase candidate when it comes to a compact, desktop external hard drive which will offer hard drive capacity alongside the benefits of SSD-like performance. In addition, it will be able to take full advantage of the speed and power of Thunderbolt. By leveraging on G-Technology's well-known G-Drive design, the new G-Drive Pro with Thunderbolt is capable of delivering sustained data transfer rates of up to 480MB/s, and as we all know, that would mean it is up to three times faster compared to standard issue 3.5-inch desktop external hard drives.
Check out the pictures on your phone. I am willing to bet that you have at least one self-portrait. Maybe it is you, or maybe you and someone else. But you know that look. Your arm is outstretched to one side and you are usually not centered. Don't get me wrong, the 'flip' option some phone cameras has helps. But you still have to stretch your arm out to get the photo. Not really a natural pose. What all self-portrait takers need is a Remote Shutter from Gizmon. Compatible with iPhone 3GS through 5, iPad2 and new iPad and iPod touch (gen. 4+) – simply plug in to the headphone jack and you can remotely click away.
The Wireless Smartphone Photo Printer
The New Lytro Camera
This is the printer that connects wirelessly to an iPhone or Android-powered phone and prints vibrant color photographs. An iPhone running a free app transmits pictures over a home Wi-Fi network to the printer, allowing you to print from anywhere in the home. In less than a minute and without ink cartridges, it prints 4" x 6" borderless photographs at 300 dpi resolution in up to 256 gradations and 16.7 million colors. The pictures are printed on patented paper embedded with yellow, magenta, and cyan dye crystals, producing rich, vibrant photographs that are waterproof and resist fingerprints, dust, and scratches. It can also print pictures directly from PictBridge-enabled cameras. Includes paper cartridge for 10 prints; additional paper cartridges sold below.
Photographs are an important part of my life. I admit I'm the one that has a camera everywhere I go, no, I don't drag my giant Nikon with me to every walk in the park, but I almost always have at least a point and shoot camera in my pocket… you just never know when that magical shot will reveal itself, if you love pictures, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Check out the new Lytro camera, and although it gives a fun and almost toy-like appearance, it is everything but. Touting the ability to focus “after the fact,” this camera actually captures all planes of light in a given picture, this allows you to take a truly instantaneous shot, without waiting for focus or for shutter delay.
Paparazzo: iPhone Flash-tastic
SD card with Built in USB
The iPhone is far from perfect, but I have to admit its a pretty handy tool. I remember not so long ago that I often missed out on pictures or video of a whole host of things, from my daughters first steps, to an amazing bar fight and what to this day, I swear was an alien abduction. I simply didnt have a camera with me. Now that I have an iPhone I am prepared. I just wish the flash was a little more, well, professional. Check out the Paparazzo concept, designed with fun in mind, the Paparazzo was meant to pick up where your stand alone iPhone leaves off. With a retro look and feel this flash accessory is easy to use and will give you professional results not only in your front and rear facing picture taking, but in your video shots as well.
I had to put my camera in the shop again. Who would have thought I'd have so many problems with a high end Nikon? Stupid problems really… the latest was the USB connection that I use to download thousands of pictures on a weekly basis became loose and failed to maintain the connection with my computer. The guy at the shop said I should never use the USB and that I should get a card reader. Really? That's disappointing. In my search for a card reader, I found this neat little item, and while it's not very new, I somehow had never heard of it. (Don't ask me how that happened.) Check out a Sandisk SD card that is hinged, and folds down, revealing a USB adaptor, what a great idea! Now I can eliminate the USB cord all together and simply pop the card out of the camera and offload my pics right to my PC.
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There's that classic problem with trilogies: after the intrigue and excitement of the first instalment, the follow-up must wrestle with moving the plot forward in a meaningful way, while avoiding those grand revelations so often saved up for the third and final entry. It's unfortunate that The Tyranny of King Washington - The Betrayal (Ep. 2) is the very epitome of a plodding second act. It makes no effort to expand on the mysteries raised by its alternate-universe setting, nor does it offer up much in the way of action from its dull assortment of characters. And worst of all, there's little to be seen of the enigmatic and evil George Washington, the very villain who brought The Infamy (Ep. 1) to life. Accuracy is not one of the power's strong points. While you can flap around almost endlessly if you don't mind where you're going, trying to direct Connor along the rooftops is massively frustrating. The icons that let you know where you can fly to are often clumped together too closely, making them difficult to pick out when you're in the middle of fast-paced motion. There's an endless battle between you and the camera as you try to highlight the place you want to go to, only to miss it and end up somewhere else, or on the ground. More useful is the ability to home in on targets from afar and land a sneaky kill, though Boston wasn't designed for such actions, so your attack is often blocked by an errant chimney.
The power itself is based on the abilities of a eagle. Like in The Infamy, Connor drinks a hallucinogenic tea and embarks on a strange, otherworldly drug-trip-cum-tutorial that's as clumsy as it is weird. The Eagle power is the only real nod to Connor's Native American heritage that featured so strongly in the first episode, which is something of a disappointment-Retro-game-homages are as popular as ever, but too many fail to capture the magic of their inspirations. To call Guacamelee! anything other than an homage is downright uninformed. However, it's surprising just how well it manages to both cite its source material and use those inspirations to form a game with a fresh and distinct identity. Those in the know will quickly recognize hints of Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, and even Portal, but these references never quite dominate the unlikely setting of a dimensionally disturbed re-creation of rural Mexico. They've inspired parts of the world, and to a larger extent, the gameplay, but Guacamelee stands tall thanks to its brilliant art style, witty writing, and a steady pace, of which the biggest flaw is that the fun comes to an end sooner than any game of this caliber should. His 2D crusade sees you ascending mountains, exploring caverns, and platforming among the tree-tops, but you'll spend a lot of time smacking enemies around and tossing them into blunt objects along the way. From these two types of attacks spring dozens of opportunities for tactical and offensive variety. Combo attacking and juggling enemies in midair are encouraged, and the right approach lets Juan take out a halfdozen enemies before touching the ground. His skill set evolves so rapidly that it's largely up to you to discover his hidden potential, but the game is good about teaching you the fundamentals of each maneuver by ramping up the challenges accordingly after each acquisition. Though it demands precision, Guacamelee hardly punishes failure. In fact, it practically encourages you to take chances by being so forgiving. When Juan plummets off a cliff or platform, he's magically whisked back to safety without penalty. If he happens to run out of health, he's revived at the last checkpoint, the frequently encountered shops that auto-save your game and refill Juan's health.
Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel is a mostly competent, wholly soulless consumer product, the kind that might briefly satisfy your craving for action because it's new, if not particularly special or memorable. The third Army of Two game usually functions just fine, and its decent thirdperson shooting might even be enough to keep you gunning down one nameless grunt after another until there are no more grunts to gun down. But any spark the series has shown has been stripped away in favor of homogeneity. Like its two new protagonists, The Devil's Cartel blends into the background, unrecognizable among all the brown shooters that have come before it.
The path winding toward that bomb has Alpha and Bravo making their way through the usual places you visit when dealing with gaming's many drug cartels: dusty brown streets littered with cars that exist purely to catch on fire, weathered Mexican villages with graffiti scrawled across the walls, scrap yards loaded with rust-coated bins and barrels, and so forth. The two stop here and there to remind you of their mild "bro"ness by accusing each other of being gay, or grunting some nondescript action game dialogue, like "Watch out for ambushes!" For better or for worse, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel lets the action do most of the talking. What a shame, too: blinging out your weapon in the last Army of Two game was a cheeky, self-aware delight. There are no more soda-can muzzles, screwdriver suppressors, or diamond-studded grenades-just the usual shrug-worthy scopes, suppressors, and so forth. You earn money for such enhancements by killing, which is to say, you needn't pay too much attention to this system in battle, given that you rake in enough dough to keep your gear effective. But if you prefer to exploit the economy and earn more money per kill, you can try for more melee backstabs (always a gory delight, thanks to some dramatic