Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Get Free Minutes With Every Zong Recharge

Zong Bara Recharge Get Free Minutes With Every Zong RechargeZong is offering this new incentive for its customers, through which they can win reward (in shape of free air-time) with each recharge till May 15th, 2010. Customers can use this air-time for on-net calls.
Reward Levels:
  • Rs 50-99 (Rewards 10% Validity 5 Days)
  • Rs 100-299 (Rewards 20% Validity 5 Days)
  • Rs. 300-499 (Rewards 30% Validity 7 Days)
  • Rs. 500-999 (Rewards 50% Validity 7 Days)
  • Rs. Rs. 1000 (Rewards 100% Validity 10 Days)
For instance you recharged Rs. 350 into your Zong number, in this case you qualify for 30 percent air-time, meaning that air time of Rs. 105 will be added into your account.
You can use this air-time for on-net calls with-in 7 days
How to get Rewards:
If you have qualified for rewards, simply type ‘sub’ & SMS on 313 (charges Rs. 0.01+tax) & enjoy free min.

Manage Your Zong Prepaid Numbers with E-Care

Screenshot3 Manage Your Zong Prepaid Numbers with E Care

Screenshot Manage Your Zong Prepaid Numbers with E CareHere Zong comes with another exciting portal for their users who have access to the internet.
It is something like Telenor’s Web self service but with more options and feature than of Telenor’s web self service.
Named as Zong’s E-Care web portal, which was previously available for only postpaid customers is now accessible for Zong prepaid users too – to manage their Zong Numbers and various related setting .
Located at http://ecare.zong.com.pk:8080/aiecare/index.jsp
How to Register:
All you need is your Zong Number and CNIC – that’s it. And when you login Zong will use your registered name against your Zong connection.
Screenshot2 Manage Your Zong Prepaid Numbers with E Care
Screenshot6 Manage Your Zong Prepaid Numbers with E Care
Once logged in, you can perform plenty of tweaking with your Zong number. You will have full control over whatever you want to play with your Zong Number.
Monthly bill details is only for postpaid customers, however, for prepaid customers there is account recharge history with full details of recharging.
Click on payment history, choose month and click submit: Remember that Zong E-care service will use popup window to show your account recharge history, so allow your browser to let Zong E care site to launch popups.
Screenshot4 Manage Your Zong Prepaid Numbers with E Care
Other features include, account usage details, where you can see your call records, SMS records etc with complete details. I haven’t seen Warid or even Telenor providing account history with these much details even to their postpaid customers on their webportals.
But there is one odd thing here with Zong, it gives account history details for prepaid customers for only last fifteen(15) days. And yes Zong Ecare will use popup windows here too to show up your chosen history details.
Other amazing part of Zong E care is that it can show you remaining Free minutes or Free SMS, or even remaining GPRS package details, with expiry or next package deduction details. Its free YaY.
z Manage Your Zong Prepaid Numbers with E Care
Zong Ecare offer you this facility for recharging any Zong account of friend or  family or your own Zong account using Card Recharge option, just type Zong number and PIN number of scratch card – and you are done.
Screenshot5 Manage Your Zong Prepaid Numbers with E Care
Services activation/deactivation options, settings change, package conversion, lost sim blocking, friend and family options are all other features of Zong E Care – Please note that Normal VAS charges apply for using these features as per Zong Policy.
Zong has done better than Telenor and Warid’s web-portals in terms of features, but Zong may lack behind if we talk about design and user experience.

Mobilink & UNESCO Driving Female Literacy Through Connectivity

Mobilink has announced the expansion of the SMS-based literacy project in partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Launched last year with a view to reshaping lives through connectivity, the SMS-based literacy program is a joint venture between Mobilink and UNESCO with a local NGO, Bunyad as the implementing partner.
In the pilot, the 250 learners received informative text messages daily in Urdu and were expected to respond. In the second part, the participants were evaluated on a periodic basis to assess gains in knowledge and learning. The program was conducted with the help of 10 teachers enlisted by Bunyad.
It was found that at the beginning of the program 57% of the girls were graded ‘C’ and only 28% of the girls managed to score an ‘A’. However, near the end of the project the situation reversed with percentage of girls receiving a ‘C’ dropped to only 11% whereas more than 60% of the girls were awarded an ‘A’.
The program teachers also report a stark improvement in the confidence of the young girls as owning a mobile phone made a difference to their sense of security.
Addressing the media, Rashid Khan, President and CEO, Mobilink, shared that the 5 month pilot project conducted with 250 adolescent girls in Punjab has shown a marked improvement in their reading and writing skills. Khan announced to expansion of the program to include another 1,000 girls to understand the impact of replicating the project on a larger scale. “The cell phone holds the key to social development by its very nature and we want to make sure that women are an integral part of this revolution,” Khan added.
Warren Mellor, Country Director UNESCO stated, that Pakistan is the signatory of Dakar Framework of Action for EFA, held in Dakar, Senegal in April, 2000 and Pakistan has committed to achieve 86% literacy rate by 2015. UNESCO Islamabad has successfully run a very innovative programme with BUNYAD Foundation, Lahore and Mobilink.
Mr. Mellor extended special thanks to the respected media fraternity for attending the forum and helping in promoting such a noble cause. Mr. Mellor said that a mass scale literacy drive is the need of the day, and using modern cellular technology can help us to achieve our goal very rapidly.

AGP is Asked to Audit Privatization Deals, Including PTCL

The Privatization Commission (PC) has approached the Auditor General of Pakistan’s (AGP) office requesting to arrange special audit of 12 major privatization transactions, including PTCL, reported Daily Times citing official sources.
Newspaper reports that the present government while taking over the charge after election had decided to investigate the privatization transactions, which were completed during the Musharraf’s tenure.
In house review of the transactions has revealed that these transactions need in depth audit so that it could be established that due care was not done and that resulted in losses to the national exchequer.
After completion of privatization transactions so far, some 190 cases have been filed against such transactions or buyers have filed cases against the government, as transparency was the main issue.
Some Rs 7.6 billion of privatization proceeds, over $1 billion PTCL privatization proceeds, have been facing delay due to the technical and legal lacunas left in the privatization agreements signed with the buyers.
Although the Privatization Law provides special protection against the privatization transactions completed, however, the special audit would try to determine how care was done for determination of reserve price of the national entities and how the valuation of such national assets was determined.
Via Daily Times

Telenor Secures 1 Million MNP Customers

mobile shop 300x225 Telenor Secures 1 Million MNP CustomersTelenor Pakistan has attracted one million customers through Mobile Number Portability (MNP), since the MNP service started back in March 2007, confirmed us sources at the company.
Having said this, Telenor has become the first operator in the country to achieve the landmark. Looks Telenor’s plan for relying on MNP went successful.
As per un-confirmed stats, from Pakistan MNP Database, a total of 2.4 million customers have availed the service till February 2010.
For last one year, as the tariffs had hit the bottom line, cellular companies heavily invested in MNP offerings. For this they are giving away huge incentives for customers of other networks to port-in. The war is still on – and may continue for another couple of quarters.
We were unable to get MNP subscriber stats for other companies.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Orient Becomes Official Distributor of Samsung Home Appliances

IMG 83691 300x199 Orient Becomes Official Distributor of Samsung Home AppliancesSamsung Electronics Co. Ltd is now introducing new range of Home Appliances, along with appointing “Orient Group of Companies.” as the new official distributor for Home-Appliances across Pakistan. A press conference and media lunch was recently held in this regards, at a Country Club in Lahore.
The General Manager Samsung Pakistan, Mr. Steve Han said, “There is a huge potential for growth in Home electronics market of Pakistan, which has attracted many players from the international electronics industry Samsung has a firm resolve and robust plans for investing in developing countries.  It considers Pakistan as a promising market, with a vast population and sustainable economic growth Thus, the demand and competition in Pakistan is increasing as the customers seek to reduce domestic work-pressure by using more innovative appliances.
Mr. Ahmed Fazal, Director Marketing, ORIENT Group of Companies expressed his views and stated, “We are confident to partner with Samsung Electronics feel that these Home Appliances’ are brilliantly manufactured and will fulfill the needs of our consumers. We thank Mr. Steve for having trust in our company and together we will gain success”. A separate Samsung Dealer event will be arranged on the next day product introductions.
Orient Group of Companies has a team of qualified and experienced professionals for promoting innovative electronic products, through a swift dealers network across Pakistan. This collaboration will enable Samsung to proactively enhance its services and streamline distribution all over the country. This introductory press-conference was chaired by the General Manager-Samsung Pakistan, Mr. Steve Han along with the Senior Manager-Samsung Electronics, Mr. Injae Lee, while the Home Appliances Category Head, Mr. Babaer Ali Kazmi also addressed the media.
Baber Ali Kazmi, Home appliance category Head Samsung Electronics also stared, ‘Samsung Home Appliances are very economical and affordable for our consumer, at the same time maintaing a level of quality and style we believe that Orient Group of Companies will surpass our expectations when they will be handling Samsung products in the market”.
He added further that ‘Samsung has launched a new range of Air-conditioner, Refrigerator, Vacumm Cleaner, Washing Machine and Microwave ovens. These new products have already proved to be among the best on a global scale and have been customized as per local needs Samsung side-by-side refrigerator comes with a powerful Twin-Cooling feature, while the “Virus-Doctor” technology in the New Air-Conditioner protects your home from Swine-Flu and other infectious viruses. Moreover, the new automatic washing machine, features and especially precise Voltage control.

Wateen has got Amazingly Awful Official Homepage

wateen website2 Wateen has got Amazingly Awful Official Homepage

fficial page of any corporation/company is mirror to the online world. But sometimes people don’t care about this fact and just let it go down with the passage of time.
Right now, we have Wateen as our case study. Just in case you don’t know their official webpage address, it is www.wateen.com but in case if you don’t know it, let’s try googleing it.
Google returned www.wateen.com too. Lets Click on results, and Pop in. See what’s in store for us.
wateen website11 Wateen has got Amazingly Awful Official Homepage
You find nothing there but just one Corporate Site Link and Brown colored background – Wow!! Nice work people. I feel like sitting in a barber shop now!!.
By the way, Wateen’s home page is this way for last few days now.
But have you ever seen someone telling you numeric url of corporate website? Wateen does give you one. Their corporate website address is “”. What a MIRROR!!!!!

Microsoft is Relying on Adsense to Promote IE in Pakistan

Microsoft Pakistan is apparently worried about declining market share of Internet Explorer in Pakistan, which has dropped down from 75.07 percent in July 2008 to 52.79 percent in March 2010.
For the purpose, Microsoft is promoting IE 8 in the country, through a campaign that is heavily advertised on Google Adsense and interestingly not on its own Ad network.
Microsoft Google Microsoft is Relying on Adsense to Promote IE in Pakistan
One may argue that it’s a cross network promotion campaign, but what for those who are Mozilla users and are on Bing?
Internet Browser Microsoft is Relying on Adsense to Promote IE in Pakistan
It Merits mentioning here that Microsoft has previously used Adsense for promoting their other products as well, including their search engine Bing.
Campaign asks users to download IE8, in order to enter into a contest that can win you shirts, caps, bags and Notebooks. To view details click here.
Watch terms and conditions which say: Personal data which you provide when you enter the contest may be used for future Microsoft marketing activity.

Telenor Karo Mumkin – Play Your Part

karo mumkin1 Telenor Karo Mumkin   Play Your Part

In ‘Matrix’ (the movie), you remember Morpheus telling Neo that nothing in this world is impossible, anything that hits your mind is possible, has a meaning for all of us -particularly during a time when we are feeling low and not up to the mark.
As we covered before, Telenor recently launched this campaign called Karo Mumkin, and company is asking whole of Pakistan to participate through bringing their ideas for bettering Pakistan.
Motive behind campaign is apparent, Telenor Pakistan wants you to think and bring the best of your work forward in order to achieve glorified Pakistan.
Some might think that their ideas are not do-able, or it looks too un-realistic in current situation, but we have examples from past when undo-able was achieved with honor by combined human force, and at times by a single person.
So guys here is the time to re-collect your vision, thoughts and brain – think the way you want Pakistan to be, and share it with Telenor.

Mobile Companies agree to Share Their Towers

Cellular companies have agreed upon long awaited tower sharing concept, that was somewhat being implemented at small scale earlier.
Our sources at cellular companies have confirmed us that all cellular companies have agreed to make tower sharing mandatory, if new BTS deployment is in 100 meter radius of any existing site in urban areas or with-in 500 meter radius in rural areas.
With ongoing recession and particularly the power crisis, cellular firms were keenly looking into tower sharing possibilities, which was previously ignored for multiple reasons.
Earlier, back in 2007/08, cellular firms first voiced about tower sharing, however, major players were then reluctant to share their towers. With time, when cellular companies are somewhat similar in network strength, feasibility has tremendously increased for sharing tower and infrastructure.
These days, fuel for un-interrupted power supply is the leading expense for cellular companies. According to a senior official at network company, fuel expense for one mobile company can go as high as Rs. 250 million per year.
It is expected that WLL companies will follow the suit. A group has been formed that will recommend the procedures for sharing towers for WLL companies operating in Pakistan.

Pakistan Gets 1st Google Certified Analytics Professional

Mohsin Khawaja has secured Google Analytics Certification, first instance of it’s kind in the country.
Web Anaytics allows you to Maximize the ROI (Return on Investment) of your Website. Analytics data offers a wealth of information about what visitors are doing on your website: what they’re reading, how they navigate, what they’re buying, and what they’re ignoring.
By capturing, analyzing, and taking action on this gold mine of information, you can tune your website for maximum performance.
Those who want to follow Mohsin, should go through Google Analytics Course and reading the various questions and problems in Help Center before attempting the exam.
Check out the these resources for preparation at: http://www.google.com/analytics/education.html

Phones worth $100m imported in current FY

Mobile phones worth $103 million were imported into the country during the first eight months of the current fiscal year, Geo News reported Sunday.
The mobile phones imports are three percent in excess of that of last fiscal year.
According to statistics issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), machinery and products used in telecom sector worth at least $476.3 million were imported during the first eight months of the current fiscal year, which is 7 percent less than that in the corresponding period last year.
However, telecom machinery and products worth $65.7 million were imported in February 2010 alone, which is 114 percent ahead of February 2009 figure and 18 percent less against that in January 2009.

Moody’s Extends the Review on Mobilink’s Ratings

Moody’s Investors Service has today extended the review for possible downgrade on Pakistan Mobilink Communications Limited (“Mobilink”) B2 local currency corporate family rating and Caa1 senior unsecured bond rating.
The extension of the review period reflects Moody’s ongoing concerns about Mobilink’s ability to meet its covenants under bank loan agreements particularly when covenants, as currently structured, step down in June 2010.
Moody’s would anticipate that Mobilink obtain any necessary consents for covenant amendments from lenders, including lines backed by the Export Credit Agencies, prior to the next test date. In addition, Moody’s also expects Mobilink’s parent, Orascom Telecom Holdings (“Orascom Telecom” — rated B2/negative) to forgo cash payment of management fees, as it did in 2009.
“The non-payment of management fees — equivalent to 6-7% of revenues — will provide Mobilink with additional liquid resources for debt service,” says Laura Acres, a Moody’s Vice President and Senior Credit Officer. “However, in the absence of any covenant amendment, it is Moody’s view that Mobilink will be unlikely to comply with the aggressive step down in covenant measures and as such the ratings will be pressured,” adds Acres, also Moody’s Lead Analyst for Mobilink.
The review will focus on Mobilink’s ability to negotiate covenants amendments with its bank creditors such that it can adhere to covenants without financial support from Orascom Telecom. Any failure to obtain a permanent amendment beyond the June 2010 test date will result in negative rating action for Mobilink. The review will also continue to examine the liquidity position of Orascom Telecom given Mobilink’s reliance on it for capital injections which are likely to be required in the event that covenants are not amended.
The last rating action was on 20th November 2009 when Mobilink’s B2 corporate family rating and Caa1 senior unsecured bond rating were placed on review for possible downgrade following a similar action on Orascom Telecom and the concern on Mobilink’s ability to comply with the bank loan covenants.
Via iStockAnalyst

Telenor Kicks Off 1st Ever Global Branding Campaign in Asia

Telenor Group today announced the launch of its first ever corporate branding campaign. Under the slogan ‘Built around People’, the campaign reinforces Telenor’s belief that people are at the heart of its business.
To be officially launched on March 25th, the campaign includes extensive advertising on key pan-Asian TV channels, print and digital media. The campaign will run for a three month period, and feature employees from Telenor Group’s mobile operations in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand.
“By using our own employees as brand ambassadors, we are reflecting our own beliefs and living our values,“ said Hilde Tonne, Excecutive Vice President and Head of Communication & Corporate Responsibility in Telenor Group. “As a global telecommunications company, built around people also means that we need to understand local business, local needs and to be part of the societies we are in.”
“Telenor Group is the world’s 6th largest mobile operator. That the group’s first ever corporporate branding campaign is launched in Asia, reflects the growing importance of this region,” said Sigve Brekke, Exceutive Vice President in Telenor Group, and head of Asian Operations.
Since entering Asia 14 years ago, the Telenor Group has developed its position from a new entrant to a leading regional telecommunications player. In Asia, Telenor Group has 75 million subscribers, positioning it as the second largest multi-market operator in the region.
“We have made significant acheivements since we entered into Asia in 1996. Now it is time for Telenor Group to highten our visibility and provide a better understanding of our contribution to Asia,” said Sigve Brekke. “This campaign is the celebration of our business philosophy and what Telenor Group has come to represent today. Our success is built on a commitment to putting people and their needs first.”
The employees that participate in the branding campaign were selected based on a competition amongst the 20 000 employees working in the Telenor Group companies in Asia. The employees were asked to submit audition films talking about what “built around people” meant to them and their company. Based on the input, 26 people where invited to Kuala Lumpur to attend in the final photoshoots.

Warid Brings ‘Sim Jagao’ Offer

print Ad 27 x 4 1 182x300 Warid Brings Sim Jagao Offer Those Warid customers, who have not used their SIM since January 01, 2010, can re-activate their SIMs right away and win Rs.30 in their accounts as free activation balance.
Not only this, they can also get free balance equal to 50% of their first recharge for three months. So the more a customer recharges the more balance he can get.
Another exciting feature is that the customer can enjoy facility of two numbers in their F&F list, one of Warid and one of any other network with the charges as low as Rs. 1 + Tax/min.
This offer is valid till 15th June 2010.
On lighter note, did you notice print ad given here? Yes, Saima – the film star has stepped in Modeling, and even better – with a Telecom company.
So let’s expect rock n roll in upcoming adverts!!!

Capitalizing the Interactive Media – Telenor Easy Paisa

easypaisa logo Capitalizing the Interactive Media – Telenor Easy PaisaConnectivity is the language of time. From workplaces to home dealings, one wants to enjoy absolute connectivity. But the connectivity we want to talk about is in terms of access and in terms of staying connected with the telecom operators of your choice!
How delightful it is to ask your service provider about which celebrity they are planning to sign in future, telling them that their service needs a service, asking about their whereabouts, recruitment and just about everything! That’s what these social networking websites have done to the traditional concepts of sales and marketing.
Telenor’s easypaisa is one service which has come to the ground level and helped change its customers’ life by providing him ease and freedom in life. The brand manifested itself through a common man in several of its ads which have been actively promoted on mediums such as Facebook and Youtube.
For easypaisa platforms on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and online competitions are sources of domestic and global connectivity. A further manifestation of easypaisa’s commitment to this revolutionary medium is its tradition of regular Events like ‘Bloggers Meet-up’ which have become a regular tradition in many cities of the country and Telenor stands as one of the biggest organizers of such events.
This all helps in giving users opportunities to stay bonded to a podium from where they can shout as loud as they want!
The usage and utilization of such podiums is yet to reach its pinnacle. Masses will get educated with time, and then only will we be able to feel what power these social networking websites hold in them.
So if you want to get interactive with easypaisa you can join them on the following social networks.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Iphone VS. Nexus.

   The nexus between HTC and Google has finally borne fruit in the form of Nexus One, which was   announced amidst much fanfare on Tuesday, January 5. Since, Nexus One is the famed "Google Phone" and the leaked specs had the juice to take on the iPhone head-on, comparisons between the two had begun right from the early days of the Nexus One saga. This dates back to November, 2009 when the first signs of the device had appeared (read   leaked by Michael Arrington of TechCrunch). By the last week of 2009 we were told that the phone would be announced at a January 5 event - and that is what has happened.

Now, the reason for comparing the Nexus One to the current ayatollah of smartphones, the iPhone, is only because if there is one device that can match up to the dynamics of the iPhone it has to be the Nexus One. Of course, there are other worthy candidates like the Motorola Droid and the Xperia X10 (both Android) from Sony Ericsson that deserve a second look. But then the Nexus One is THE Google Phone and expectations from it will always remain sky high. Yeah we might sound biased, but no, we are not!
Let's now take a look at things where the Nexus One simply obliterates the iPhone. To maintain sanity and objectivity, we will also list the areas where the iPhone can still beat the crap out of the Nexus One. Fair enough, I presume.


When they launched the iPhone in 2007, a resolution of 320x480 was insane. Remember, these were the days of the N95s and the P1i's, where QVGA resolutions ruled the roost. 240x320 was the best you could get and I remember looking at the N73 once and my jaw dropped when I saw the screen resolution of the now outdated phone. Just when I was sure that mobile phone screens couldn't get any better, they launch the iPhone. If that wasn't enough, they add multitouch to it, something unheard of then.

Fast forward to 2010 and almost three years later, while Apple is still stuck at 320x480, the likes of Symbian S60 have moved to 360x640 and the Nexus One with a 800x480 pixel screen makes the iPhone screen look pedestrian. Add to it the fact that the Nexus One boasts of an AMOLED screen, which further tilts the scale in favour of the Google Phone. Another thing that should not be forgotten is that the Nexus One has a larger 3.7- inch display. The extra few inches does boost your ego by 10x, doesn't it? (Warning: Proximity to HTC HD2 users not recommended for Nexus One users) So, if you bought the iPhone for the sole reason that it had a kick-ass screen, it's time to change your phone!


This was a grey area in the iPhones armour during the time of the 2G and the 3G iterations of the device. In the company of the 3.2 and 5 megapixels of the world, the iPhones 2 megapixel camera was simply outdated. It did not have autofocus or flash and some even termed it a bad job at making a pinhole camera. To add insult to injury, it was incapable of capturing videos unless you jailbreak the phone and defy Apple's command. With the arrival of the 3GS in 2009, Apple played catch-up with the world and managed to cram in a 3.2 megapixel camera. This took far better pictures and supported video recording as well, that too at a very decent VGA resolution.

The first generation Nexus One already boasts of a 5 megapixel camera, with LED flash and autofocus and at least on paper should take far better pictures than the iPhone. The video recording too is better (not by much though). The Nexus One is capable of recording videos in D1 (720x480) resolution at 20FPS. While we are yet to see how the videos turn out, this is still better than what the 3GS can do now.

Operating System

To start with, this is not an iPhone OS Vs Android battle but why the Nexus One is simply a more open platform as compared to the OSX platform of the iPhone. Apple's policy of not allowing developers to make apps that mimic the core functionality of their own existing apps viz. the calendar, browser and even an e-mail client is not applicable to Android. This throws in a lot of options for the consumer. I don't need 200 different apps to fart online! Give me a better e-mail client or at least the choice to switch between the applications of my choice.

Similar is the case with browsers. Who wouldn't love to see Opera Mobile run on an iPhone? Yes, the existing browser on the iPhone is quite capable, but then, all we are asking for is a choice! Apart from this, from what we hear from primary reports, the Nexus One seems to work a lot faster than the iPhone - even with the phone multitasking. While this might be attributed to the higher Clock speed of the Snapdragon processor inside the Nexus One, we should not forget hat the iPhone 3GS too is powered by a very competent ARM Cortex A8 processor, which by no means is a laggard.

Voice Commands

Whats the big deal huh? The iPhone already has it. I can just say in the artistes name and the iPhone will play it for me. I can even call my friend by simply saying her pet name on my iPhone. And that's where it all comes to an abrupt halt. The Nexus One's biggest and probably the most praiseworthy feature is the amazing speech to text ability it possesses. Too bored to type in your e-mail or update your facebook status or even tweet? Simply say it aloud and the phone will type it for you! While watching the launch of the phone on Tuesday, if there was a feature for which there was a collective applause, this was it. Who needs a physical keyboard if this works the way it is supposed to work? However, we will still take the voice commands with a pinch of salt as we Indians tend to have accent issues. If Google has taken care of that part as well (I'm quite sure they would have), this is something that would make even Swype look passe' and so 2009!
Application Approval

While this does not have anything to do with the iPhone and the Nexus One directly, the eco system in which both operate are important. iPhone's app store was a revolutionary initiative. Whatever we see now in the form of the Android Market and the Ovi Store and the BlackBerry AppWorld are nothing but copies of Apple's idea of a centralised app store.

While the app store has been a roaring success, it still suffers from a "fascist" app approval process. The Android Market on the other hand has lesser apps and from a developer point of view, the process of approval is far less tedious. Also, thanks to the open platform, Android guys have a lot less to bother about than the ones who affix the stamp of approval at Cupertino.

Replaceable battery

So you love your iPhone very much and use it 24/7. But one fine day you realise you haven't turned off the phone in two years and that the battery inside it (yes there's one in there) needs to be replaced. Under normal circumstances (read, if you use a normal phone), you buy a new battery, open the lid at the back and replace it and continue what you were doing. But hey, this is Apple, we do things differently here. If your battery goes kaput on the iPhone all you need to do is to drag yourself to the nearest Apple Store (or a dealer in India) to have the battery replaced. This is because Apple thinks batteries are immovable objects and should remain inside till it meets its fate. The Nexus One happens to fall under the "normal phones" category and if you ever feel you've had enough of its battery, go ahead and get a new one.

Other Bits

It's 2010 but iPhone cannot send files via Bluetooth. That's a serious shortcoming from Apple. Not good when you see the chai wala transferring song after song on his 4k Chinese phone. How many iPhone users might have shied away from a mass Bluetooth file sharing session? If you're an iPhone user, haven't you experienced that at least once? C'mon, tell us the truth! Also, unlike in the Nexus One, the Bluetooth and the WiFi menus are separate in the iPhone. Maybe Apple doesn't want you to use Bluetooth says the little conspiracy theorist in me.

iPhone Gets Back at the Nexus One

Now for the bits where the Nexus One still doesn't match the iPhone and unless Google (or anyone else for that matter) doesn't make something outright revolutionary, every other "killer" phone will remain a wannabe iPhone. Hell, there are some who believe that even Apple cannot bring in anything more revolutionary now.

Exchange Support

For some strange reason, folks over at Google think that all of the humanity who has access to emails only use Gmail and for the same reason, will not need to sync their calendars with Exchange. The Nexus simply cannot do it - and for many, this feature is crucial enough to make it a deal breaker. Then there are issues with syncing contacts with exchange according to many users. Not good, especially for a smartphone of this calibre. The iPhone does this all with aplomb.


Let's face it; this has to be the most revolutionary feature ever to arrive on a mobile phone so far. The Nexus One is capable of doing it, but it does not, in its current form. Also, the way multitouch has been implemented on the iPhone is right up there amongst the best you will ever see on any computing device. The Nexus One has a long way to go before it achieves the sophistication and the user friendliness of Apple's famed multitouch. To be fair to the Nexus One, its current UI is nothing short of spectacular - but with multitouch, it would have been much better!


With over 90,000 apps to choose from, the iPhone App Store by far dominates anything that tried to come close. The overall quality of applications too is said to be better on the Apple App Store. For sheer size and freedom of choice, nothing beats the Apple App Store. The Nexus One on the other hand has its very own Android Market that boasts of over 20,000 applications. The Nexus also has this rather crippling "feature" that allows users to store applications ONLY on the ROM memory. You cannot as of now install it to your memory card. This can limit the number of applications you can install on the phone. What is the point of having 20,000 apps if you cannot install most of them? This issue, a piracy protection feature according to Google, would be disabled in a future firmware update.


The Nexus One is a great phone. In terms of sheer features and the things you can do with it, the iPhone is no match to the Nexus One. However, contrary to expectations, the Google Phone doesn't present anything revolutionary. Except for the great speech to text feature there is nothing "new" that would make us term the phone an iconic device.

The iPhone on the other hand is still the best at what it does. The Nexus One might be faster and better equipped, but the iPhone doesn't trail by much. Even though Google's superphone is right up there at the forefront of the iPhone killers of the past, Apple's iPhone, with all its flaws still stands tall. If that wasn't enough, they're already working on the fourth generation iPhone, which should be out in a few months. If the NEXUS One obliterates the iPhone now, the roles could well be reversed in a matter of a few months!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mobilinkers to Get Bonuses.

As we know that Mobilink employees have gone through tough and uncertain phases in past 2 years or so due to cut-throat competition in telecom GSM service providers.
But here is some good news for Mobilinkers, who are receiving Bonus for Year 2009, most probably anytime today. Every employee is excited and interested to have an email about the monetary figure of individual bonus from HR Department.
In the last two years Mobilink havent paid Bonus to their employees due to untold reasons. Mobilink has also fired many employees in the name of low-performance and attitudes. Left overs are believed to be good-performers and having good attitudes towards meeting company goals and individual objectives.

PTA is Launching its Urdu Website.

PTA Urdu website PTA is Launching its Urdu Website Tomorrow
PTA is launching Urdu version of its website .  Website is told to be exactly the same in terms of content, but in Urdu language.
We are told that PTA is officially launching Urdu website tomorrow in a ceremony, reportedly, Sardar Latif Khosa, Minister for IT and Telecom is going to inaugurate the website.
But if you want to view website before that, access it here: http://urdu.pta.gov.pk
In terms of technologies, Urdu version is using PHP as programming language and MySQL for database. Permalink structure is going to be the same as they are for English version. Fonts are pretty understandable, but could be even better.
PTA’s website’s permalink (or urls) are real problem for many users, for instance, these links are created based on user sessions and can’t be re-used after a set period of time.
However, a good step by PTA indeed.
Looks PTA has just flipped the page for Urdu version, and meanwhile Pakistani Flag in the header was treated in same manner.
Thanks to Shahzad Khan for pointing out on ProPakistani Facebook Page.
PTA Site PTA is Launching its Urdu Website Tomorrow

JAZZ Apna Hai – Mobilink’s New Tag Line

Our sources in Mobilink informed us that Mobilink is going to re-launch their prepaid brand JAZZ with a new taglines and that will be from NO SAMJHOTA to APNA HAI.
Recently we had reported that Mobilink’s management asked its franchises to remove all banners/posters and pamphlets containing “No Samjhota” tagline.
The mystery for removing No Samjhota ads has been resolved for now, but Mobilink’s move to change its tag-line is not comprehended by the experts, especially when Ali Zafar is going pretty smooth with all Jazz campaigns.
If this change is only in the tag-line, with no re-launch, no new services, then it is going to be evident that issue was related with Quality of Service, or maybe PTA had asked them to do so.
On lighter note, Mobilink is in Samjhota now with PTA by removing No Samjhota from its ads.

Server Up time Vs Network Up Time [Hosting]

Imagine if you have good number of sponsors and high traffic for your blog, one day your loyal customers visit your website and find it inaccessible, what would they think of your site? You would lose huge traffic, business and Search Engine Ranking.
A serious blogger needs to select reliable web host, providing state of art services to their clients. We consider many factors while selecting the web host. One important factor that we may ignore or pay less attention to it is the server up time.
Today in this article we are going to unveil the reality of server up time, network uptime and its myth.
What is Server Uptime:-
Server uptime is the time throughout the month, when server is able to process the all traffic requests. If you are looking for some site and it is not responding, it means either server is partially down or completely not responding.
Providing 100% uptime for server is difficult but not impossible. One has to hire highly skilled staff and deploy good infrastructure to achieve 100 percent up time.
Web Hosts’ Claim- A Hidden Reality:-
Before finalizing the webhost selection, please do inquire their uptime. Industry standards for server uptime are 99.99%, while some companies are providing 100% uptime. Don’t go for anything below this. Server maintenance and update is such a factor which can’t be avoided and this is the case with every webhost. But with proper planning and management, webhost can curtail this maintenance time.
If we calculate the industry standard up time, it means that;
Total number of minutes in a month x (100-uptime%)/100
= (30days x 24hours) x 60min x (100-99.5)/100
= 43200 x (0.5)/100
= 216 minutes (max downtime).
What about figures below than industry standard uptime like 99% and 98.5% up time? You would have unbearable loss in terms of business and traffic.
Can you afford this much down time? Answer is no. Do remember that high speed network and stable server time is also considered in Google Page Rank.
Some webhost play dirty game and use jugglery of words. They confuse their customers and claim in their SLA (Service level agreement) that they are guaranteeing 100% network up time. Don’t confuse the “Server Uptime” and “Network Uptime” terminologies.
What is Network Up Time?
Network uptime means that their network (Lan, Wan) will be up all time despite the fact that one of their server in network is down. Because they committed for network up time not the server uptime. So when you talk to them they will reply you with the reality that they haven’t committed the server uptime.
Some host even clarifies the situation that network maintenance will be included in this down time or they will take some extra time for this issue.
Before selecting any host for your blog or website do check their server uptime from WebHostingStuff;  monitored for at least six months and then analyze their previous trend towards their commitment. If they have occasional down time which may occur due to reboot, security patch or some update, and consistent up time then it’s ok to go with them – otherwise keep hunting for another good host.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

All you Need to Know about Bluetooth!

Due to widespread use of computers and electronic gadgets, every tabletop is now a maze of wires connecting computers, peripherals and other devices. Experienced by all of us, the mess of wires is the most unwanted, nevertheless the most unavoidable impediment on our desks.
Bluetooth technology provides a solution by interconnecting these devices over an inexpensive yet reliable radio link. In the coming years it is expected that the entire electronic gadgetry will feature a Bluetooth wireless link to take over any sorts of inter-device communication leaving out desks with no wires but power cables.
What exactly is Bluetooth technology?
Bluetooth is nothing but a communication protocol (set of rules required to send digital information over a digital communication channel; the language two electronic devices use to communicate) defining the short-range communication standard among two (or more) radio enabled devices. Brought into being by a couple of research students at Lund University (Sweden) in collaboration with Ericsson, Bluetooth standard in now maintained by SIG (Special Interest Group of Bluetooth) formed in 1988 when IBM, Intel, Nokia and Toshiba joined Ericsson in the venture.
Where did it get its name from?
The name comes from a Viking ‘Herald Blatand’ or Herald the Blue Tooth who was the king of Denmark back in 900AD. King Bluetooth is attributed with uniting the Scandinavia specially Denmark and Norway into a single kingdom and bringing in Christianity all over; the time when most of the Europe was divided into religion-centered territories.
The Bluetooth Technology is metaphorically named after the king as it sets a standard for communication regardless of manufacturer and the device itself.
Where does it falls under the wireless network classes:
Bluetooth falls under the WPAN (wireless personal area network) classification among the wireless network classes.
The Architecture:
For Bluetooth communication there must be a connection between devices before the data can be transferred (unlike IrDA, the infrared communication). The communication is always based on a master-slave principle for setting up the connection. This means that control signaling is responsibility of only one device, not both. However, it must be noted that master and slave can switch sides; it’s just a matter of which device was rendered discoverable and which device discovered the other while the connection was being made.
Though the connection is wireless, it is automatic and that’s the best feature of it if we compare it with its competitors, and also one of the leading reason behind Bluetooth’s increasing popularity.
The devices to communicate form a piconet (a PAN sub-class). In a piconet, two or more devices can be connected to the network but they share the same medium (The designated radio bandwidth in case of Bluetooth communication).  For a Bluetooth piconet, the master communicates with all the slaves (maximum 7 slaves can be connected to one master, making a total of 8 devices in the piconet, the number 8 automatically makes sense to anybody even slightly familiar with computer basics) and creates a point to multipoint setup.
Now, two question might pound one’s mind, how the devices establish a connection and how do they share the same medium?
Creating a Bluetooth Connection
As u must have noticed while making a connection among two Bluetooth devices, both the devices recognize each other’s type (desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, Smartphone, PDA etc). This is because every Bluetooth chipset is assigned with a unique 48-bit ID code (MAC address for those who can understand the term) managed be the IEEE. These codes are divided into ranges each specifying the type a device may fall into.
Whenever Bluetooth is powered on (and set Discoverable), the device sends out signals broadcasting its ID code. Since Bluetooth protocol specifies a low power transmitter, the radio range, as already stated, is a mere 10m approx. This makes other Bluetooth devices in equally near vicinity to receive the signals.
Consider a home environment with certain free band devices in operation. Now if you have a comparative exposure of working these electronics, u must have experienced that sometimes they interfere with each other because they work at a specified frequency. That’s why they are tunable to adjust operating frequency in case there is a clash between two. For ease of communication and automatic connectivity, a Bluetooth user can never have been faced down to rectify the connectivity issues. Frequency hopping is the technique guiding the easy way out (not to mention modern cordless phones which themselves support frequency hopping to avoid interference).

Frequency hopping is a technique that makes a device to frequently change its operating frequency. Frequently means hundreds of times a second (Bluetooth specifies frequency hop of 1600 times a second). A Bluetooth Master randomly selects 79 channels of the ISM band, lets the Slave know about the selected channels and then the two devices communicate hopping about these 79 channels. The technique practically eliminates any chance of interference. Because if an interference occurs, it remains for 1/1600=0.625 microseconds; distorting an amount of data that can easily be corrected by error correction techniques present in every digital communication system.
Note: Most of the hard facts are extracted from Houda Labiod’s book ‘Wi-Fi Bluetooth ZigBee and WiMAX’, Dreamtech Software Team’s ‘Cracking the Code’, Kurt Franklin’s ‘How Bluetooth works’ and Intel’s journal ‘Introduction to Bluetooth wireless technology’.

New Packages for PTCL EVO

ptcl1 New Packages for PTCL EVO

In a latest move PTCL has come up with new EVO volume based packages starting from 799 per month.
Off course the prices are very attractive but don’t get too excited because the volume limits are much disappointing, as the 799/month package is only offering you 1GB volume per month. PTCL on one hand offering prepaid packages with 30 days validity & speeds up to 3.1 Mbps and on other hand the volume cap is only 1GB, a normal user can exceed this limit within 2 hours or less
So if you are light user, and consumes EVO while only on the go, there are good reasons to use it for low priced packages now.
On other hands, with increasing EVO subscriber base, quality remains a concern for broadband (business) users.
  • If you exceed your subscribed volume quota, additional usage will be charged on per MB basis.
  • Utilized data volume will not be carried forward to the next month.

Telenor Advocates Telcos’ Consolidation in Pakistan

Terming low ARPU as the main cause for not getting high returns and sizeable growth, Jon Eddy Abdullah, Telenor Pakistan’s Chief Executive, urged telecom companies in Pakistan merging/acquiring, even before the launch of 3G in the country.
In an interview with Financial Times, Telenor Pakistan’s chief said that five operators in one market are too many; he wished 3 telecom companies operating at most, just like in many other global market.
Jon Eddy didn’t comment when asked if Telenor’s can be part of any speculation consolidation, however, he did mention that all operators may talk to each other for any possible merger/acquisition.
In response to a question on third generation technology, Mr. Abdullah said the government would need to offer incentives to existing operators for moving towards 3G.
Telenor has invested $2bn in Pakistan since it arrived, but Mr Abdullah said a move to 3G needed to be thought through. “The question comes to basics. We spent $290m on a 2G licence in 2004. We are years away from recouping that investment.”
Telenor had entered into Pakistani market exactly 5 years ago.

Telenor Celebrates its 5th Anniversary with Karo Mumkin

Telenor Pakistan has launched the ‘Karo Mumkin’ campaign with the aim to position itself as a leader in innovation, and provide the people of Pakistan with a platform for inspiration and realization of possibilities. The campaign is designed to showcase the vision of Telenor Pakistan which seeks to explore new business opportunities in telecommunications, financial services and media. The occasion also marks Telenor Pakistan’s 5th anniversary.
Director Marketing Telenor Pakistan Usman Javaid introduced the ‘Karo Mumkin’ campaign. “Everyone has an idea or a dream that they wish to transform into reality. With its products and services, Telenor Pakistan hopes to inspire hope and self-belief in the people of Pakistan. Just recently, Telenor Pakistan transformed an opportunity into an achievement by launching the country’s first real mobile banking service, easypaisa. In the same tradition, we aspire to extend this faith to everyone that any possibility can be realized if pursued with commitment, confidence and belief,” said Usman.
Ever since its launch on 15 March 2005, Telenor Pakistan has been a driving force in changing the local market to the customers’ advantage. In the past five years, the company has introduced a number of revolutionary first’s, has created the second largest mobile network in Pakistan, and provides the country’s widest EDGE-enabled GPRS connectivity with a strong rural foot-print.
Telenor is the largest European investor in Pakistan having invested more than $2 billion, and has several corporate responsibility initiatives to its credit.
The ‘Karo Mumkin’ campaign invites people to realize possibilities by coming forward and sharing ideas. Participants can register on the ‘Karo Mumkin’ web portal and respond to the question “Where do you see Pakistan in the future?” An idea that best describes the future Pakistan will be selected by a national jury of specialists as well as public voting and aired on the “Karo Mumkin” TV show.
To participate entrants need to visit the webportal www.telenor.com.pk/karomumkin or send an SMS to 576 or call 0345-555 5540. Entries must be sent in before 31st March 2010.
Charges for sending an SMS are Re1 plus tax per min for IVR and 50 paisa plus tax per SMS. For calls, standard charges apply as per package plans.

Behavior of Pakistani Internet Users: BBC Survey

Few days ago, we mentioned BBC’s Survey report that evaluated 27,000 respondents from across the world to calculate their thoughts and behavior for internet access and its usability.
Thanks to BBC, we got hold of summary report that reveals several facts about internet users in the world. We have extracted information for Pakistani Internet users, and it is as following:
  • Dependence on the internet appears to be less pronounced in Pakistan than elsewhere
  • Of web users in Pakistan, 79 per cent agree they could cope without the internet.
  • Pakistani’s are much less likely than average to agree the internet has increased their freedom (55%)
  • 46 per cent Pakistanis think Internet is their fundamental right
  • 22 percent Pakistani users access internet for music and films, and they this is what they use internet for.
  • Internet users in Pakistan are much more likely to agree that the internet is a good place to find a romantic partner (60%)
  • Pakistani respondents find the internet to be a safe place for expressing opinions (58% agree).

Mobilink Posts Decreased YoY Revenues and EBITDA

Orascom Telecom Holding reported net loss for the fourth quarter of 2009, as high as $46 million due to unfavorable events in Algeria and a tax-rate increase in Pakistan.
The company didn’t give a fourth-quarter comparative figure in its statement and issued only combined financial figures for year 2009.
Orascom Telecom net profit in the third quarter of 2009 was almost $181 million. The company’s 2009 net profit was $318 million.
Total number of subscribers reached 93 million, up 19% from a year earlier.
“Income was mainly impacted by the unfavorable events that took place in Algeria, as well as the increase in the tax rate in Pakistan,” said OT statement.
The company said its net revenue for 2009 was $5.07 billion, a decrease of 4.9 % from last year.
Orascom was bombarded with $600 million tax claim and penalties for the fiscal years 2004 to 2007 despite the fact that Orascom Telecom Algeria, or OTA, was tax exempt until mid-2007, the company said in November.
“We are keen to stay in Algeria; it is one of our main assets and until this incident we were very happy there. However, we need to understand if our investment is welcome there or not. If not, we will consider other options,” said Orascom Telecom’s Chairman Naguib Sawiris in the statement.
Orascom Telecom is in a one-year dispute with France Telecom over their stakes in Mobinil, Egypt’s largest mobile operator by market subscribers.
OT has operations in countries including Algeria, Pakistan, Tunisia, Bangladesh and North Korea.
Mobilink’s Financial Stats for 2009

Mobilink Financial stats 2009 Mobilink Posts Decreased YoY Revenues and EBITDA
Mobilink Financial stats 2009 01 Mobilink Posts Decreased YoY Revenues and EBITDA
Mobilink’s YoY revenues decreased by 12.3 percent in USD, however it remained stable in local currency with 0.7 percent decrease. EBITDA for Mobilink decreased by 9.2% in local currency vs a decrease of 22% in US$.
The ARPU in Q4 ’09 increased by 3.2% (in PKR) as compared to Q3 09. Churn in Q4 09 decreased by 6.6  as compared to the same period in 2008, whereas the subscriber base grew by 8.1%, boasting a total subscriber base of 30.8 Million for 2009.
Capital expenditure in 2009 reached US$ 157 Million, a decrease of 71% over the previous year’s figure of US$ 537 Million.
Orascom claims that According to internal reporting, Mobilink’s market share reached 40.5% in 2009.
Orascom’s Earning Report for 2009 can be downloaded by clicking this link – PDF File (1.1 MB) Right Click and Select “Save Target as”

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Best Research Project in Telecom & IT Awarded

PTA Awards 300x175 Best Research Project in Telecom & IT Awarded
Winners of Best Research Project on IT and Telecom receiving their Gold Medals from Secretary Cabinet Division Abdul Rauf Chaudhry. Chairman PTA Dr. Muhammad Yaseen, Member (Finance) PTA, Syed Nasrul Karim Ghaznavi and Member (Technical) PTA, Dr. Khawar Siddique khokhar are also seen
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has awarded gold medals with cash prizes to 12 students of various educational institutes of the country for the best research projects on IT & telecom for the year 2009.
Secretary Cabinet Division, Abdul Rauf Chaudhry presented gold medals to the winners of the competition during a ceremony held at PTA Headquarters. Chairman PTA, Dr. Mohammed Yaseen, Member (Finance) PTA, Syed Nasrul Karim Ghaznavi, Member (Technical) PTA, Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar were also present on the occasion.
The event was attended by faculty members of the universities, parents of the awardees and representatives of the industry.
These gold medals have been awarded on the basis of a competition among accredited national universities called by PTA in April 2009 for the best research projects on IT & telecom. Various educational institutes responded to this call and nominated their students for the competition. Total 18 research projects were received from different universities which were later on scrutinized and evaluated by a PTA committee through a transparent procedure of marking. On the basis of highest obtained marks four research projects were selected for the award of Rs.50,000/- each and gold medals for the 12 participants of these projects.
Just to mention, PTA’s Essay Writing competition (announced a year ago) is still to be concluded, in which hundreds of students had participated.

Mobilink Mysteriously Takes Down No Samjhota ads from Franchises

no samjhota Mobilink Mysteriously Takes Down No Samjhota ads from Franchises We are told by several Mobilink Franchisers that they have received orders for immediate removal of all “No Samjhota Tag-lined”marketing material.
Unlike usual clearance of marketing material, which Mobilink follows during campaign re-launch or campaign expiry, Franchisers were asked to remove all banners/ brochures and to destroy them.
A Mobilink franchiser while speaking with ProPakistani confirmed that a text message was sent from management asking to remove all marketing material that has “No Samjhota” tag line on it. Furthermore, text message asked to destroy all such banners/posters.
Mobilink has decided not to comment on this situation.
However, an insider at Mobilink linked this move with expected action from PTA against poor quality of service. It merits mentioning here that PTA is due to decide Show Cause Notice served to all five cellular operators.

Do You want Govt to Ban Night Packages?

To know what masses think about the possible ban of night packages, we thought of conducting a quick poll. Question is very simple: Do you want the Government to ban night packages?
Post Your Comments.

Free Calls from Mobile Phones to Toll Free Numbers Proposed

PTA is working out on a mechanism which will enable mobile phone users to call toll free number for free of charge. Currently, toll free numbers (numbers starting with 0800) are not free for Mobile phone users.
A toll-free or freephone number is a special telephone number, in which the called party is usually charged the cost of the calls by the telephone operator, instead of calling party.
PTA had defined this mechanism, in which service providers use to pay for the calls made to toll-free numbers (on behalf of customer). However, any cross-network calls that involved inter-connect charges (Rs. 0.90 per min) were not borne by the service provider.
For the purpose, PTA has asked industry’s input on this matter, while proposing following options:
Option I – Service Provider Pays to Mobile Operators
In this option, the services providers (like PTCL) will pay origination charges equivalent to mobile termination rate (i.e. existing Rs. 0.90/min.) to mobile operators against toll-free calls originated from Mobile Numbers.
The cellular mobile operators will not be allowed to impose any charge on their subscribers, who can enjoy free calling to toll-free numbers.
However, the said regime will increase the costs of service providers (like PTCL) which may rationalize the charging from toll-free users (such as Banks) to cover their costs.
Option II – Toll-Free Number User (Banks) Pays to Mobile Operators via Service Providers

This option is similar to option one with the exception that the cost of mobile termination rate will be borne by users of toll-free numbers (i.e. the Bank) instead of service providers (like PTCL).
The rationale behind this approach is to facilitate the end-users by making calls to toll-free numbers free of cost (whether dialed from fixed-line or mobile networks) and to put the extra financial burden on the beneficiaries i.e. users of toll-free numbers (i.e. bank).

Warid Down by 2.6 Million Customers, Ufone at 3rd Slot Again

Cellular phone subscribers’ base has witnessed a significant contraction by 2.22 percent in January as the result of ongoing data correction process.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) latest statistics show a decline of 2.17 million users in the overall sector, which reduced the teledensity of the country by 1.4 percent to 58.20 percent by the end of January 2010.
Warid remained the worst effected operator as it lost 2.65 million customers in total in January, taking it back to 4th slot in terms of subscribers.
The number of total subscribers in Pakistan now stands at 95.4 million after reducing from 97.57 million in a month.

Ufone’s PR Head Gets APNS Award for 2005-06

Moazzam Ali Khan Ufone Ufones PR Head Gets APNS Award for 2005 06
Moazzam Ali Khan, Head Public Relation, Ufone
Moazzam Ali Khan, Head of Public Relation, Ufone has won best APNS public relation award for the year 2005-06, in a ceremony held last night at Islamabad.
An APNS official while speaking with ProPakistani said that Ufone did the best in terms of Relations with media and customers during the mentioned period. “Moazzam Ali Khan, Head of Public Relation was nominated by Ufone to receive the award”, confirmed the official.
APNS awards are given to journalists, newspapers, advertising and PR agencies for the outstanding efforts during the year.
For more coverage on 20th APNS awards, visit this link

Share the way You want Pakistan to be – Telenor’s Karo Mumkin

karo mumkin Share the way You want Pakistan to be – Telenors Karo Mumkin
Telenor Pakistan wants you to share your thoughts and opinions for for the promising future of the Pakistan.
Idea is very simple; Telenor wants Pakistanis to connect with each others’ ideas, at a platform governed by the company. Users can post ideas through SMS, call, Telenor’s website and via postal mail.
Telenor is maintaining the list of all ideas (category wise) on its website. Along with it has success stories, inspirational videos and  images.
All ideas will be discussed and evaluated by a panel of Pakistani intellectuals through the nationwide television coverage.
One winning idea will be selected & recognized through the “Telenor Karo Mumkin” show.
Through Karo Mumkin, Telenor intends to achieve CSR goals and first hand relation with its customers. A good click to start with, however to calculate the effectiveness we will have to wait for the results and changes that this campaign will bring for the society.
You got something interesting? Share it here:
SMS/CALL: 576 (for telenor customers only)
CALL: 0345-555-5540 (For all networks)
PO Box: 345 Lahore
Or through this page: http://www.telenor.com.pk/karomumkin/?page_id=341
You can send entries before 31st March, 2010
You can post your idea in following categories:
  • Education
  • Human Capital
  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Technology
  • Business
  • Support
  • Entertainment
One suggestion: Posting ideas through website is little hard to understand, one click submission should be enabled so that non-techy persons can share their thoughts with further ease.

Official: Warid Gets a CEO

Muneer Farooqui Official: Warid Gets a CEO
Mr. Muneer Farooqui, CEO, Warid Telecom
As anticipated, Warid Telecom today announced that its Board of Directors have appointed Mr. Muneer Farooqui as company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Prior to the appointment he served as Chief Executive Officer of Warid Bangladesh. He has with him almost 20 years of experience mainly in Telecom Industry of Pakistan and abroad.
Commenting on the appointment of the new Chief Executive, Mr. Bashir A. Tahir, CEO Warid International said “We are pleased to appoint Mr. Muneer Farooqui as Warid Telecom’s new Chief Executive Officer. He is a talented and seasoned professional and his unparalleled leadership expertise and extensive experience will enable Warid Pakistan to reach new heights. We have some great expansion plans and, on behalf of the Board, I warmly welcome him and wish him great success.”
“I am truly delighted to have the opportunity to contribute towards Warid Pakistan’s progress. In less than 5 years, Warid family has grown over 18 million customers with a substantial market share of almost 20%. Certainly it is tremendous progress and I seriously think that Pakistan’s cellular market has a lot of potential. I believe quality of service and customer care are the two important areas where we can get competitive edge. I am confident and determined that Warid Pakistan is fully positioned to set excellence benchmarks for the market.” said Mr. Muneer Farooqui, CEO Warid Pakistan.
Mr. Farooqui started his professional journey in the telecommunication arena in 1993 and served in various capacities till 2004. In May 2004 at the time of inception of the company, Mr. Farooqui joined Warid Telecom as part of the core team in the capacity of GM Customer Service.  In January 2006, Mr. Farooqui was given a challenging task of leading and creating the team and operations for Warid Bangladesh. He is a result oriented professional who demonstrates support for innovation and organizational changes to enhance organizational effectiveness.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Zong Offers Monthly, Forthnghtly and Weekly SMS Packages

Zong is now offering Monthly, Fortnightly and Weekly SMS Packages for Rs. 80, Rs. 50 and Rs. 10 plus taxes respectively.
Earlier, Zong was offering Daily SMS packages, which customers had to re-new on daily basis. Now they can enjoy SMS facility for longer duration without re-subscribing each day. Keep reading for details
Monthly SMS Bundle
  • Price: Rs. 80 plus tax
  • How to Subscribe: Send Sub to 700 and reply with 4
  • Daily Limit: 500 SMS
  • Duration: 30 Days
Fortnightly SMS Bundle
  • Price: Rs. 50 plus tax
  • How to Subscribe: Send Sub to 700 and reply with 3
  • Daily Limit: 500 SMS
  • Duration: 15 Days
Weekly SMS Package
  • Price: Rs. 10 plus tax
  • How to Subscribe: Send Sub to 700 and reply with 2
  • Limit: 1000 SMS a week (No Daily Limit)
  • Duration: 7 Days
Daily SMS Package
  • Price: Rs. 3.99 plus tax
  • How to Subscribe: Send Sub to 700 and reply with 1
  • Limit: 500 SMS plus 100 MMS
  • Duration: 24 hours

Zong introduces ‘Achi Sim’

sim Zong introduces Achi Sim

Zong came up with a new sales promotion named as “Achi Sim”, The promotion comes with a bundle of attractions, i.e. your desired number, free minutes and free value added services.
What will you get?
Buying the Achi Sim can get you:
  • Your desired number for free.
  • Free Airtime of Rupees 450 i.e. 300 Minutes Valid for 1 year.
  • One Free Ringtone
  • One Free Dialtune
  • One Free Wallpaper
  • Cost of the Sim is Rs. 300.
  • Free minutes will be allocated on monthly basis i.e. 25 minutes/month.
  • Desired number will be allocated only if available.
  • Free Minutes are only valid for On-net calls.
  • This is a Limited time offer.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.

Champions – iPhone Application for Cricket Updates

mzl.myntimfq.480x480 75 Champions   iPhone Application for Cricket Updates

Ever wanted to remain in touch with cricket happening while on the go? Here is the best way to do that if you own an iPhone.
Champions is a cricket application that gives you the power to get up-to-date game information quickly and easily. Our aim was to provide easy to use interface and a fun interactive way to see and follow your cricket.
Application is already available at Apple Store, and its Free!
  • Easy to read summary panels
  • Games schedule
  • Ball-by-Ball coverage
  • Full scorecard
Deen Soft, the developers of this game have got plans to add further features into application in coming months.

Telenor Delivers 1st Site for USF’s Mirpur Khas Project

USF Telenor1 300x206 Telenor Delivers 1st Site for USFs Mirpur Khas Project
CEO USF, Parvez Iftikhar (Center) inaugurating the site, CTO, Telenor Pakistan Khalid Shehzad (Right) and Sub–Regional Head, Gulf Pakistan NSN, Veqar ul Islam (Left) are also seen in the picture
CEO USF Parvez Iftikhar inaugurated the first of 28 off-grid sites planned throughout the country, at a distant location -  almost 7 hour drive from the main city of Karachi and at least an hour and a half from the nearest town – Umarkot, the site lies in the deep interiors of the Sindh province.
At the occasion, Iftikhar appreciated Telenor Pakistan’s initiative to leverage off grid solution by NSN to offer telecom services to communication deprived areas.
“We are extremely pleased with the progress thus far and look forward to opportunities that enable mobile connectivity to the unserved and underserved population of the country and that too using a renewable energy solution,” he added.
“Telenor Pakistan continues to work towards our commitment to extend the power of telecommunications to the remotest corners of the country,” said Khalid Shehzad, Chief Technology Officer, Telenor Pakistan.
Universal Service Fund and Telenor Pakistan entered in the contract to provide basic telephony and data services in un-served areas of Mirpurkhas Sindh on 13th March 2009.

Women and Mobile – A Global Opportunity

0021 Women and Mobile   A Global Opportunity

0031 181x300 Women and Mobile   A Global OpportunityJust yesterday, International Women’s Day was celebrated; we got little late in getting the approval for publishing this report and preparing our article, but let’s catch the frame before we are too late.
We had briefly reported about this study“Women and Mobile: A Global Opportunity”, jointly prepared by GSMA Development Fund, Cherie Blaire Foundation for Women and Vital Wave Consulting that focuses on issues like gender gap in mobile phone usage, potential market, prospects with respect to women – with a focus on low and middle income countries.
The report gathered its data through field research, and surveys of 2000 women in four countries (Bolivia, Egypt, India and Kenya). Along with, it took in-depth reviews from telco leaders, organizations working for women, processed case studies from across the world.
Report primarily found:
“A woman is still 21% less likely to own a mobile phone than a man. This figure increases to 23% if she lives in Africa, 24% if she lives in the Middle East, and 37% if she lives in South Asia. Closing this gender gap would bring the benefits of mobile phones to an additional 300 million women.”
To narrow down the understanding of behaviors and mobile ownership, researchers divided women, who were surveyed, into five demographic groups, which were:
  • Household Income
  • Urban /Rural location
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Education Level
Report found that household income and weather a woman lives in an urban area or rural location have the most influence over women’s mobile ownership rates.
Report found that there are nearly half billion women in low and middle-income countries who access mobile phones through borrowing, while there are another two hundred and fifty million women who are yet to use mobile phone for the first time.
0012 Women and Mobile   A Global Opportunity

The Mobile Gender Gap
The study, in investigating this mobile ownership gender gap, notes some of the reasons why it exists, and quantifying what the gap means for women around the world:
“To quantify the gender gap, one must understand the breakdown of male and female subscribers. Today, 1.4 billion, or 48% of the 2.9 billion males in low and middle income countries, benefit from mobile phone ownership. In contrast, just 1.1 billion, or 38% of the 2.9 billion females in these countries have mobile phones. This equals a mobile phone gender gap of 300 million women. Of the remaining 3.3. Billion citizens of low and middle-income countries, there are 750 million females, or 26% of all female who could – but do not yet – benefit from mobile communications.” (Meaning that others are outside of mobile network coverage, or are under the age of 14 or over the age of 74).
Report states that if telecommunications providers close the gender gap in mobile phone penetration, worldwide telecommunications revenue would increase by US $13 billion.
Report said that South Asia, Middle East and Africa are hot spots for eliminating the gender gap.
Case Studies
Many of the case studies, from across the world, show evidence of the power of mobiles for women in developing countries.
Report discusses a case study of Mobilink Pakistan that worked with UNESCO and a local NGO for the boost of girls’ remote education through SMS. These girls were given low-cost mobile phones and prepaid connections. While teachers were trained to send text messages in Urdu, these girls remained in touch with their courses and interesting information through SMS.
Report says that programme organizers had encountered resistance from portents and community leaders in the start, however, they resistance softened as the locals understood the nature and benefits of programme.
Report notes that exams taken through SMS showed notably good results. Girls and other family members started using other features of mobile phone such as calculator.
The report concludes with an action plan for how to get mobiles to women. It advises:
  • To realize this opportunity, that comes with less-numbered mobile ownership of women
  • To specifically address women in segmentation strategies and marketing tactics
  • Position the phone as a life enhancing and income generating tool
  • Understand and operate within a local culture
  • Promote the mobile phone as an effective development tool that creates education, health, employment, banking and business opportunities
  • Policymakers are advised to “shift the tax burden away from the poorest in society of which women are the majority and create incentives for the development of mobile services that benefit women.”
Study acknowledges that there is a lot of work to be done by many different groups in order to close the mobile gender gap.

3 Day Web Expo to be Held at Bahria Univ, Islamabad

Blogging has taken the world by storm. It is increasingly becoming the most popular method to express one’s thoughts and feelings on the internet, as well as an effective medium to earn a respectable living. These days, all the business around the world, and specifically the technology industry maintains at least one official web log to announce its latest developments and interact with the consumers.
Pakistan doesn’t lag behind in this field as well. In fact, many top bloggers of the world are Pakistanis who have been featured in a lot of international media outlets.
In an effort to further boost the bloggers, online entrepreneurs, online marketing professionals, and for enhancing the knowledge and technical skills of the students IEEE BUI (Bahria University Islamabad IEEE Student Branch) and BACSAP (Bahrian’s Association of Computer Students and Professionals) are collaborating in organizing the largest The Web Expo in Pakistan.
Following is the plan of The WebX 2010:
The Bloggers Workshop (Intro and Blog setup)
The first part of the bloggers workshop will focus on a small introduction to blogging, microblogging and online social media. The attendees will be presented with a case-study about blogging and along with that it will be taught how to setup your blog using the Wordpress platform.

The Bloggers Workshop (Revenue and Marketing)
This part of the bloggers workshop will focus on how to bring in revenue through your blog using various online advertising options and how to market your blog and bring in more traffic.

Bloggers Meetup and Success Stories
Top bloggers from all over Pakistan will be asked to share their success stories along with top brands who have managed to market their brands on blogs and have been successful in this strategy. A question/answer session will be held where the audience will be able to ask questions to the bloggers.

Webware Exhibition
The exhibition will focus on bloggers and engineers showcasing the best of their web creations.

Web Design Competition
All the web-heads out there will be given a chance to compete against each other in a bare-bones web development competition on the spot.

Entrepreneurship Talk
A group of top media, business professionals will share their stories and inspire the audience with when and how they managed to start their own business and how it helped them.

Workshop on Internet Marketing by Google Pakistan
Internet marketing serves as a wonderful tool to those net savvy businessmen who exploit the tool to maximize the profit. This workshop will help you learn the tips & tricks of how effectively you can use World Wide Web to market your business or products.
For Online registration visit: http://thewebx.org/register-online/
webx 3 Day Web Expo to be Held at Bahria Univ, Islamabad

Why and How to Develop Facebook Games?

facebook logo2 300x300 Why and How to Develop Facebook Games?Guest post by Hassan Baig who runs Islamabad based Facebook development start-up called White Rabbits.
After the introduction of Facebook’s Open Platform in late 2007, the social gaming industry has become hot with hundreds of millions of dollars poured in by venture capitalists.
Moreover since 2007, several large Facebook gaming companies have come of age – Zynga, Playfish (now EA), Playdom, Crowdstar being the most notable examples – and have shown the world spectacular spurts in revenue unprecedented in recent business history.  Social gaming is perhaps one of the hottest industries to step into right now in terms of bottomline potential and relative poverty of barriers to entry.
If you’re looking to jump into this niche, here are some pointers to get you started:
Why Facebook gaming?
  • Because it’s fairly simple to build compared to AAA games like World of Warcraft and the like.
  • Because it’s not that hard to monetize through the sale of virtual goods and offers.
  • Because gaining user-base is immensely helped via Facebook’s social stream.
  • Because Facebook is adding around a 100 million users every month (ever-growing potential user-pool).
  • Because these games cannot be pirated.
But then, some may wonder: why not get into iPhone game development? Afterall, it’s an incredibly powerful tool with great production-value potential and never-seen-before mechanics.  Here are my thoughts on the subject:
  • Because Facebook trumps the iPhone in terms of potential user-base by hundreds of millions of more users!
  • Because piracy is endemic over iPhone games. You won’t get a dime for around 70% – 80% of your downloads unless you invest serious resources in anti-piracy measures.
  • Because as a monetization platform, the iPhone undersells your applications whereas Facebook over-sells them.
  • Because as a monetization platform, the iPhone takes a 30% cut in every dollar you earn. Facebook takes none.
Make no mistake about it; the iPhone is a great way to make some money. Just that Facebook is greater.
What technology should I use?
The game itself will have its front-end coded in ActionScript 3.0 (older versions are not supported anymore), artwork done in Adobe Illustrator and/or Flash, animation work done in Flash, and the back-end having your usual mySQL database(s). These are essentially tools you’d need for any flash game.
Here’s where things change: communicating with the Facebook API. You’d probably have Flash communicate with javascript (through an FBJS-bridge), and then have javascript complete the communication loop with the Facebook API from there on.
Confessedly, this is not the only way to do it. But whichever method you end up using (and you can research that on Google), it’s going to be complicated stuff. There will be days (and nights) when you’ll be stuck on something and no one in the whole world would be able to help you. Literally! So be consistent.
Do expect numerous bugs which keep popping up on the Open Platform, coupled with ever-changing Facebook API may bug you hard, but don’t give up. I’m not saying don’t get into this business, I’m saying know what you’re up against. Bet on facts, not hope.
How do I monetize?
There are two answers to this conundrum. The trivial one is this: outsource your monetization platform to service providers such as these. They’ll probably do some sort of a revenue share with you and it’ll be an all-round win-win situation.
Here’s the harder answer: coming up with content which users actually want to buy. The one thing that you’ll need to keep in mind is ensuring your game centers upon sale of virtual items. That’s the real money-maker. You can Google virtual goods if you don’t understand the concept – many blogs such as these are littered with information.
What should be your strategy to get maximum users to fish out their credit cards for you? Take it from the gurus of monetization here. Be very clear about the fact that unless your game is rich in content, it will not be a good candidate for sale of virtual goods. Which means that quizzes and simple games are out. Which means content-rich games like Pet Society or Farmville are good ideas to emulate. Perhaps the least content-rich game which still monetizes nicely is this – you can use this as a least common denominator of sorts.
Last but not least, whatever content you finally decide on – please do not forget that majority of Facebook game users are female (around 55%-45% break-up), and that vanity virtual items (e.g. decorations) are the biggest selling category of virtual goods out there.
Where do I gather research from?
First of all, do not forget that those who don’t do their research won’t last long in this industry. In any industry. Even beginner’s luck doesn’t last forever.
  • To find out all about Facebook gaming trends, bookmark www.insidesocialgames.com.
  • To find out Facebook games’ metrics in terms of monthly active users (MAU) or daily active users (DAU), bookmark www.appdata.com
  • To understand the psychology that goes behind effective virtual goods monetization, bookmark ZT Online’s classic case study here.
  • To understand what successful viral mechanics on Facebook work best, bookmark this article (though the ‘notifications’ bit of it is outdated).
  • To understand how Facebook’s Open Platform will morph over time, bookmark this.
  • And lastly, to understand virility, bookmark this article.
Facebook game development is a hot industry right now and the time is ripe to jump into the fray. Any later and you would run the risk of missing the band-wagon. If you’re ready to take on the challenges, the rewards can be immense. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, I’m just saying it’s going to be worth it.
Go for it.
About the author: Hassan Baig runs White Rabbit Inc, one of Pakistan’s pioneering Facebook development start-up. Hassan is a LUMS and Duke University grad, and has previous experience in investment banking. You can get in touch with him at baig-dot-hassan-at-gmail-dot-com