From the pre-historic smoke signals to messenger pigeons, we have come a long way to witness and live in a world where the communication has evolved to new heights. Information and Communication Technology has the potential to strategically develop any business, organization, community, and even a country.
The recent pandemic has given us ample evidence regarding the effective use of ICTs to minimize the negative aspects of the global deadly virus. It has affected millions of lives all over the world. If we compare the Spanish Flu with COVID-19 pandemic, we can highlight one difference specifically and that is how we communicated at the time.
COVID-19 has immensely impacted the telecommunication sector and its implications on the communication services required in today’s digital world. Telecommunication service providers are assisting local and global entities, who are striving to defend the common people from the pandemic while fighting on the frontlines.
Knowledge management or knowledge sharing has turned out to be the most important aspect of the telecommunication services, as virus-related information is shared by medical specialists with the affected communities around the world. Internet and mobile communication have allowed international organizations like the World Health Organization to prepare the world against the pandemic and communicate strategies to stay safe in the most efficient manner possible. In comparison to the Spanish Flu, the world is now much more prepared, adaptive, and quick to counter off COVID-19. Why? Because of connectivity and timely communication of learnings and experience from various countries.
Telcos are innovating to support the communication infrastructure and services of the country to get through this pandemic. By utilizing the latest technology and combining expertise, people are being enabled through effective communication, online healthcare information, and instant access to doctors. Mobile operators in Pakistan like Ufone, Mobilink, and Telenor offered new packages to support people who are at home and require precautionary measures to be taken in order to stay safe and informed. Not only that, but people also need to be connected to their families and loved ones on these trying times.
These service providers also offered indirect services to help their consumers stay at home and observe social distancing as the Corona cases are soaring high in the first few months of the pandemic in Pakistan. Telecom service providers offered attractive, affordable, and improved internet services to motivate their consumers to stay home and stay safe.
Small Medium Enterprises and e-commerce platforms are direct beneficiaries of such low-cost internet services as they adapted to online shopping solutions to provide quick service and assistance to the citizens of Pakistan.
PTCL, being the national telco, pioneered in ICT innovation as it empowered its consumers in education, healthcare, entertainment, and most of all maintaining connectivity throughout Pakistan. PTCL, through its Smart TV and Smart TV App, provides online educational content to its customers such as PTV Teleschool channel with features like ‘Time Shift TV’ that allows to rewind the live channel feed up to 3 hours of time with play, pause, and rewind option, along with ‘TV on Demand’ feature that allows watching last 7 days of recording with play, pause, rewind, and bookmark features. It also offers ‘Taleem Gher’ Subscription Video on Demand bundle and free online video lectures for children. These facilities contribute directly to the education delivery system as the COVID-19 forced everyone to stay at home. Healthcare services were digitally empowered as PTCL offered service throughout the nation with continuous internet service and connectivity. Similarly, PTCL also innovated their entertainment portals by offering access to Netflix to offer more ease and convenience to their consumers, who can pay their subscription fee at a fixed price through PTCL bill.
According to the technology experts at PTCL, they have been driven to innovate regarding their services and accelerate digital footprint to serve customers in all corners of the country. The national company is, not only contributing to the Digital Pakistan vision but is also committed to empowering the society by innovating its core connectivity services as time passes.