Half of Pakistanis including women have access to a cell phone together with rural areas (two-thirds in urban areas) while more than 86 per cent of men have their own cell phone, 40 per cent of women do. -- File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Every minute roughly 11 Pakistanis become a part of the cellular community and more than 430,000 SMS messages and 160,000 voice minutes are being exchanged in less than one minute.

The telecommunications sector contributes 3 per cent to the country’s GDP whereas the total telecom sector revenue reached at Rs. 357.7 billion in the year 2009-10 compared to Rs. 333 billion in the previous year.

This is despite the fact that the cellular industry in the country is paying the highest taxes in comparison to the entire region.

According to official sources,incomes of 6 out of every 1,000 persons in the country are tied with the telecom sector.

This is not only a moment of joy but also a reaffirmation to the common Pakistani man and woman that access to technology is not a privilege limited to the elite, but a right that is available to them that is accessible and affordable.

Half of Pakistanis including women have access to a cell phone together with rural areas (two-thirds in urban areas) while more than 86 per cent of men have their own cell phone, 40 per cent of women do.

These figures suggest a much higher access to cell phone (available in the household or within the extended family) than the figures for regular usage.

Talking to APP an official in Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said basic data services such as SMS, are used by 40.2pc cell phone users with higher usage in urban areas (45 per cent) than in rural (36.7 per cent). SMS usage is also more frequent among men.

He said internet usage remains low and is concentrated in urban areas. Internet and e-mail are more accessed used at home.

Close to two-thirds of Pakistanis (60.8 per cent) have their own prepaid mobile phones, he went on to add.

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