Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr Umar Saif, on Friday said that the Ministry of IT is set to launch the “Smartphone for All” project, allowing individuals to acquire smartphones through easy instalments.
In a statement on his official social media account, he said that the ministry is concurrently establishing a research and development fund to support mobile phone manufacturing companies and facilitate the growth of the mobile phone manufacturing sector.
Regarding the “Smartphone for All” project, he explained that in the event of failure to pay instalments, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) would block the handset following the pattern of the Device Identification, Registration, and Blocking System (DIRBS). The minister said that the objective is to encourage responsible financial behaviour and ensure the continued expansion of smartphone accessibility.
Under this policy, he said that telecom companies will have the opportunity to directly offer smartphones to customers through instalment plans, thereby extending the advantages of mobile broadband, particularly among the low-income segments in Pakistan. Dr Umar Saif said that Pakistan ranks as the seventh major mobile phone market globally, with 190 million mobile phones in use.
He expressed the government s goal to reduce mobile phone imports by promoting the manufacturing of affordable and high-quality mobile phones within Pakistan.