Mobile Users Won't Be Able To Download Google Playstore In Pakistan From Dec 1


Mobile users won't be able to download Google  playstore in Pakistan from Dec 1

The latest reports say that downloading option will not available just because the State Bank of Pakistan revoked Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) due to which mobile companies failed to pay $34 millions to international service providers.

ISLAMABAD: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Nov 26th, 2022) The mobile users will not be able to download Google Play Store from Dec 1, 2022 as the State Bank of Pakistan suspended the payment of $34 million to international service providers.

The payment to international service providers including Google, Amazon and Meta delayed as the central bank suspended direct carrier billing (DCB) mechanism.

The mobile companies pay $34 million to the service providers annually but they could not do so due to the central bank's decision of suspending DCB.

The customers now will be able to download Google and other international apps for making payments through credit cards or debit cards only.

The credit card facility, however, is limited to a certain number of customers, so the majority of mobile users may be deprived of downloading apps from Google Play Store.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and four cellular mobile operators (CMOs) unanimously wrote a joint letter to the SBP on Friday, and made a request to reverse its decision of revoking the DCB mechanism for payment of Dollar fee by viewing the liquidity crunch being faced by the country.

The latest reports say that Google services such as downloading apps woukd be unavailable till the outstanding amount is paid.

The four mobile operators moved a joint letter to the government, pleasing that the telecom industry is one of the biggest contributors to foreign direct investment along with other significant contributions in the form of tax, duties and other levies.

The role of the telecom sector in expanding the agenda of Digital Pakistan cannot be ignored. Pakistan’s digital transformation is intended to benefit all social and economic sectors and thus needs engagement and facilitation from all stakeholders.

The State Bank of Pakistan revoked the IT designation of telecom operators months back. It was further advised to route cases to SBP on a case-to-case basis for subsequent approval. Consequently, the mobile operators stated that they were facing severe delays in getting approvals, resulting in disruption of critical services as they support the company in managing IT and digital infrastructure to meet all operational requirements internally and servicing its customers billing management, fraud management software, Office 365, robotics automation software and software developers as well as payments related to digital advertising on big IT platforms.

The digital economy in Pakistan has a heavy reliance on international service providers for hosting on cloud platforms, licenses required for services/platforms, security features and in many cases technical expertise to upskill the local workforce to meet international standards.

All the major players like Google, Amazon and Meta, are being impacted because of non-­payment and are most likely to discontinue their services the impact of which will be reflected in terms of telecom and internet users being unable to fulfil their needs from digital platforms including digital banking, e-Commerce, e-Education, e-Health that uses cloud infrastructure and gets licenses for both applications as well as web-based platforms that are being badly impacted.

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.