Pakistan first to get G4 rank in South Asia

Updated 24 Apr 2020

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Out of the 38 economies in Asia-Pacific, only eight per cent states have managed to achieve G4 status.
Out of the 38 economies in Asia-Pacific, only eight per cent states have managed to achieve G4 status.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been ranked as a 4th Generation Regulator (G4) by the International Tele­communication Union (ITU), becoming the only country in South Asia to have achieved the status.

Out of the 38 economies in Asia-Pacific, only eight per cent states have managed to achieve G4 status.

In the ITU report titled “Global ICT Regulatory Out­look 2020 (GIRO)”, Pakis­t­­an scored 88 out of 100. This means that Pakistan’s ICT regulations are led by econ­omic and social policy go­­a­ls. Pakistan is also amo­ng the top five regulators in the entire Asia-Pacific reg­ion with a global rank of 48.

The GIRO is built on data provided by 193 countries, which forms the basis of ‘ICT Reg­ulatory Tracker’. The tra­ck­­er, developed by ITU, is an evidence-based tool that helps decision-makers and regulators monitor the rapid evolution of ICT regulation.

The report further said that Pakistan had scored full marks (20/20) for regulatory authority, 19/22 for regulatory mandate, 22/30 for regulatory reg­ime and 27/28 for competition frame­­work. Pakistan’s journey towards collaborative regulation has also been highlighted as a special feature in the report.

Meanwhile, the Pak­is­tan Telecommunication Autho­rity (PTA) has said that it would continue to achieve new international benchmarks by showing its commitment to protect consumer interests and enha­nce public-private collaborations for the digital transformation and socio-economic benefit of Pakistan.

In another developm­ent, the PTA has extended the deadline for blocking of IMEI to additional 30 days for all GSMA valid devices and IMEIs seen on mobile networks but currently not registered with the PTA.

The decision to extend the deadline for blocking of unregistered mobile sets under Device Identification Reg­i­­stration and Blocking Sys­tem (DIRBS) has been taken to give relief and facilitate the public and ensure social distancing during this time.

The blocking of such mobile devices will continue from May 19 and will be communicated via SMS.

All mobile devices being connected to local networks using local SIM are subject to registration with­­in 60 days from the first use of devices on local mobile networks. How­­­ever, due to extraordinary circumstan­ces, bloc­king of non-registered device IMEIs, which were to be blocked between March 18 and May 18, will now start from May 19.

Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2020