ISLAMABAD: The chief executive officer of Jazz Pakistan’s parent company has stressed that storing data within the country will help drive digitalisation, create jobs and protect the data from falling into the wrong hands.

“By keeping the data within Pakistan, new employment opportunities can be created for engineers to develop innovative digital services,” Kaan Terzioglu, CEO of Amsterdam-based Veon Group, told Dawn.

He hoped this would also encourage strategic investments in data centres and promote local app development. “The other aim is to safeguard local data from falling into the wrong hands if much of it is stored in unknown locations outside the country,” he said, insisting that Jazz was working to achieve the objective by investing in local data centres.

Jazz launched a data centre in Islamabad last year with an investment of over $8 million. Mr Terzioglu emphasised the importance of data sovereignty and describe it as a key priority for Pakistani leaders.

He also stressed on promoting artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. “The ones who have access to it will have a chance to survive and thrive. The ones who do not will just become replaceable,” he said.

On introducing the next-generation 5G cellular technology in Pakistan, he underscored the need to spread 4G for all instead of going for its successor for a few. He urged the government to devise a mechanism to reduce smartphone prices in the country.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2023

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