Thursday, April 28, 2011

Billboards and mobile towers still to be shifted on Solar Power

Punjab government has failed to shift mobile towers and billboards from electric power to solar power. Although Telecom Sector in Pakistan is struggling hard for cost-cutting of infrastructure and for energy conservation, shifting 12,000 mobile towers and 700 billboards across Punjab from electric to solar power is a big deal.

Last year Punjab government intimated mobile service providers and advertising agencies to shift their power source from electric to solar after 30th June 2010. However, on the intervention of federal government, Punjab I&P department extended deadline for telecom companies. Around 50 to 60 megawatts of electricity could be saved by converting the power source, but neither Punjab government nor Ministry of Environment has managed to implement the plan fully. Earlier in a joint respond filed to MoIT (Ministry of Information and Telecommunication) , telecom operators had expressed their inability to shift their towers on solar energy. “You know, Punjab government has made an unrealistic demand. It is quite impossible for the industry to shift all its towers on solar energy due to shortage of solar cells in the market”, stated an official of the telecom sector.

This plan is yet to be implemented, but ministry of Water and power put forwarded new energy conservation measures for the upcoming six months on 13th April 2011. Federal Minister of water and power, Naveed Qamar was briefing National assembly about the measures, he said, “Power supply to billboards and decorative lightings to commercials would be cut off”. A telecom company official said that move to convert BTS towers from electric power supply to solar energy was “like a bomb shell” on the telecom industry. “Everyone is bewildered and clueless. We are bound to follow the guidelines of the PTA and the federal ministry. Notices from the Punjab government were beyond understanding,” he added.

Shifting BTS sites from electric to solar energy needs heavy investment from both government and operators. However:

* We should not forget the efforts of Telecom sector in this regard. Warid Telecom was the first one to deploy Solar Powered Macro Base Station (BTS) in Pakistan in 2008.It has enabled Warid telecom to increase its service range in the far flung areas where electricity in not available.
* Telenor Pakistan is the first one to complete largest solar-powered communication network in Universal Service Fund-assisted areas.
* Zong is working aggressively towards the solar solutions. The company is near to complete 100 solar cells sites.
* Out of 50 solar power cell sites 47 are in the USF-assisted areas of Mirpur Khas and Bahawalpur. The other sites are deployed in Islamabad and Khyber pukhtoonkhawah.
* Mobilink and Ufone have also signed agreement for tower sharing which will help in elimination of carbon footprint and energy conservation.

Since converting the energy source from electric to solar power is a highly expensive plan, government should play its part practically rather than enforcing it illogically. Either government should subsidize the project or assist Telco’s by launching soft taxation policies.

For original post click here
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

One SIM card against ONE NIC-An impractical decision.

Following article got published on ""
Last week Interior Minister Rehman Malik ordered to block 5000 unregistered SIMs in Pakistan by 12:00 on that night.He passed these direction while he was visiting Karachi in order to address the ever deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi.
As expected, no operator took note of his direction whereas, PTA responded very firmly on the issue of blocking 5000 SIMs without any procedure. One of the news channels, it said, Rehman Malik’s statement to block 5000 SIMs over night is ridiculous. We have already blocked some 602,234 stolen mobilephones during last 3 years”.
Authority further said, “There are more than 100 million SIMs operating in the country and the mobilephones carrying Multiple IMEI numbers can’t be deactivated without proper verification. It is impossible to eliminate SIMs which are issued on fake names and the ones which are unverified.
The interior minister has once again issued directions to block 1 million SIMs along with the re-verification of entire customer base in Pakistan. Besides, it has asked the authority and the cellular companies to issue one SIM to each subscriber.
Currently, a subscriber with a valid NIC can buy 10 SIMs of each operator in his/her name The same phenomenon has swelled the cellular customerbase to 100 million active/inactive users across the country.
Analysts say, Abrupt blocking of SIMs will hinder the swift growth of telecom sector but will bring no good to the current prevailing security issues regarding unregistered SIMs. Moreover, mobile service operators are protesting against the new policy of issuing one SIM card over one NIC because;
  • There are number of revenue generating young users under the age of 18 who have the limitation to have their SIM cards registered in the name of elderly people of their families.
  • Females who are adults, but married, have their SIMs card registered in the name of their husbands.
  • Telecom sector is the only industry in Pakistan which is contributing a major chunk to the national exchequer, thus maximum revenue to the country. Creating obstacles in its growth by implementing such impractical policies will cause a great loss to the country’s economy.
  • As per the previous laws formed by PTA, customers were facilitated to keep ten SIMs of each operator at one time. Due to this facility, customers were able to avail many different packages of various service providers. It greatly enhanced the proliferation of network providers across the country. Blocking the SIMs will cause only a business loss and will not be able to prevent increasing crime rate which is being associated with unregistered SIMs.
  • According to Rehman Malik’s new policy SIMs will not be available in the markets, shops or authorized franchises. Customer will have to submit his/her details and SIM will be delivered at home by government representative. It looks so ridiculous, Is it practically possible to deliver physically the SIM cards at the door step of thousands of subscribers on daily basis?
Moreover a high level meeting held on Tuesday in ministry of interior in which following things were observed:
  • A lot of mobile phones with same IMEI numbers are available in the markets which are difficult to trace if used in terrorist activities.
  • The meeting emphasized, on stopping the sale of all phones, bearing the same IMEI numbers. All service providers were asked to identify the consumers holding phones with duplicate/multiple IMEI numbers against one sim within 10 days.
  • It was decided in the meeting that all prepaid Sims should be verified in 30 days and SIMs with IMEI numbers need to be synchronized with the help of service provider and NADRA.
  • Nobody can import phones without authorization of PTA.
  • In order to get import license importer must submit phone’s specifications including IMEI numbers of SIMs and phones to PTA.
The only Solution:
As government is equally responsible in all the mess resulted by unauthorized SIMs, government should facilitate the re-registration process by funding it, instead of forming policies which have no practical value. There should be a deadline for both operators and subscribers for re-registering each and every SIM. As soon as the deadline ends; all the un-authorized SIMs should be blocked. In the end we will be left with all working and registered SIMs as per the desire of Rehman Malik!
P.S The above post was appeared in ApnaTime .
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I am a writer now!

Getting a job would be this much easy for me i never expected. There must be some special blessings of Allah on me.(Alhamdullilah).I have been appointed as a writer in Telecom magazine MORE/ as a writer.ApnaTime publishes news about telecom industry of Paksitan.Yes its totally a different field as compared to what i have been writing uptil now,but once again thanks to Allah that i have been blessed with very kind Staff and owners. they don't shrug you off by taking you as a "young/fresh writer".You are equally encouraged and appreciated on your quality work.Everything including the environment is according to my mood and standards. You just come, do your own work by putting in all your efforts and in the end of day go back to your home without developing grudges against anyone.

I was thinking to post my entries of ApnaTime here as well.I just need a suggestion.should i make a separate blog for my ApnaTime stories or i should keep sharing here? I think getting traffic for me on new blog will be quite difficult, so i should move on with my posts on the same blog.What do you say?

I gained more confidence when i saw my stories being published without any "Editing".Seriously editing pulls your heart down :D! As I'm only a week old in ApnaTime,they haven't yet created my account, so all my stories there are without my name :( "weeps". They have told me that from tomorrow all my stories will bear my name on them! *proud* :P

As far as I know two of my articles will also get published in "MORE MAGAZINE" this month.Its circulation is in many cities including Karachi, Lahore,Islamabad and Peshawar. so hey,you all just don't forget to purchase a copy of "MORE".It costs only RS 150/- ;)
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Makro Customers, Beware!

No doubt shopping under one roof is not only a luxury but becoming an unavoidable part of today’s fast and hasty life. When there are numerous competing brands, all providing same quality in same rates, then it become quite difficult for the customers to make choices. At such times super stores like MAKRO HABIB come forward to play their role. They make shopping easy and transform it into fun. You can on the spot compare rates of all your favorite brands and can also avail any package, if announced on the other brand. I personally believe that choosing from thousand varieties possess an entertainment value in it. Moreover it is also a healthy job for your mind to work out in the limited time and picking up the best option for you and your family.

Makro is a Dutch chain of large-scale wholesale supermarkets having a strong presence in many countries around the world. In Pakistan it appeared as a joint venture between house of Habib and Makro Pakistan. Makro has occupied the major position in the market of Pakistan and has managed to spread its roots across the major cities. Apparently it is making shopping easier, but the case is terrific on the other way round. Makro is playing dirty, so all the Makro customers, be ware! I have always loved to shop at Makro but it was last Sunday when I had a little argument with their management on the “Rates fraud” I caught in there. They have pasted different price tags for the same products at different stalls. It is not only confusing but a very tiresome activity to go back on different stalls for comparing prices of the very same item again and again. Sometimes they even sell on higher prices than the mentioned bottle/product prices by the company. Moreover they are also looting customers by their modern bill systems. We had always noticed that our bill is higher than we expected but we would ignore every time. Last time I noticed that to thug customers they enter the code of every item in the computer system which is detected by a machine. Obviously it is time saving technology for us and for them, but this is the very stage where they make arrangements for looting their customers. It is quite difficult, infact impossible for the customers to keep a check on the bill when there are thousands of small and big items they have purchased. They enter one item twice and sometimes thrice in the bill. For instance, we bought 2 7Ups bottles. They entered both by their codes and in quantity section, 2 was mentioned, below they added the prices again and in quantity section, mentioned 1.This was the one extra bottle which we never bought. They do similar frauds more easily in small products which go unnoticed like toothpastes, tooth brushes, soaps etc.

They were not willing to hear our complaint until we threatened to call media. I doubt if they were afraid by media or they did not want to lose a customer who gives them a business of more than RS/-10,000-12,000 per month. Makro Habib has criminal records and keeps coming in news time to time. This January Makro was raided by PSQCA when substandard and unregistered products were seized. Sometime back they were blamed to sell dead fish on the name of “Alive”. Last year in Ramadan they were caught selling fresh vegetables, fruits, and other raw material on double prices than the market prices.

This is a little effort by me to save all of my readers from the Makro frauds. Next time, whenever you go there for shopping, keep a pen and a paper in your purse/bag and make your bill yourself on the every item you add up in your shopping cart. This little tip can prevent you from a big mess and a nerve tautening job resulting in tallying your bill and the products purchased after returning home from Makro.

Enjoy shopping, but with a clever mind!
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Be realistic.Cricket fever is over!

It is over. The smiles, the laughter, the thrill, everything is over. We lost a big victory. We got a big defeat. All is luck, though luck does not bind you to struggle. Even luck changes itself for those who strive hard. God helps those who help themselves. I wouldn’t suggest the idea that match was fixed neither I doubt anyone’s loyalty in Afridi Elevens. But we should accept that Pakistan DID NOT play well. The team which deserved victory more than us has got its fruit.

We are happy that our team Captain, our hero, AFRIDI made his way into Semi-Finals which none of us had expected. But for us, losing from India is a bigger trauma than losing the world cup. Whatever the grudges we may have with our team and captain, I really appreciate Afridi’s sportsmanship. He doesn’t fear his fans’ backlash. “When people give you so much love, you should also be strong enough to bear their criticism”, says Shahid Afridi.

I wish we could win from India. But how could we? I have accepted that we are a nation who has got defeated from India in every ground. We watch their movies, dance on their tunes, imitate their religious activities with proud and have added Hindi words in our language. So why do we think that these eleven members will clean us from all our corrupt habits, just by winning a Cricket Match? I mean why on earth we call Indians, a traditional opponent in cricket (only)? If we consider them our opponent then we should prove it by our actions in all the fields. I seriously don’t like these double standards. Other than cricket we love them in their every style. Hilarious isn’t it?

18 crore people prayed for only one thing, one agenda but no prayer could reach high. As a Muslim we believe that nothing can change fortune except prayers, but why still we couldn’t win? Why our prayers weren’t heard? May be we were unconsciously expecting and believing “Card readers, seers, and so called future-predicting parrots”, more than what Allah has taught us? I heard people saying that, “Pakistan has been winning all the matches until now, seems the famous Indian parrot predicted rightly and Pakistan will definitely bring world cup to home.” TV channels, analysts and anchors were busy promoting their card readers and seers. Is that what Islam has taught us? I personally believe that Allah only rejected our prayers to make us believe once again that it is only the Great Allah who has control on both obvious and hidden. No one else can peep into future. If we had won, than definitely our belief on the Indian parrot would get stronger. We have lost but, Allah might have hidden a lesson for us in it. The lesson I discovered with my limited thinking is what I shared with you. What lesson do you discover?

For now it is over, yes. But has left a question for us. Has the unity, the love, the peace and the brotherhood which we showed during world cup been over too? “Though Afridi couldn’t win the world cup, but for 30 days, he made this country a nation”-Ramiz Raja.
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