Ahead of him joining us at Telecoms World Asia in Bangkok this March, we got a few minutes with Pakistan Telecommunications Company’s Aasif Inam to talk more about the challenges he’s facing in his role.
Q: Hi Aasif, tell us a bit more about yourself and your work at Pakistan Telecommunication Company.
A: I am working as EVP Product & Pricing with Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited which is the largest telecom service provider of Pakistan. I am heading the Consumer Services portfolio that comprises of wireline as well as wireless services. Prior to joining PTCL I was working with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority as Director General Commercial Affairs
Q: In one sentence, how would describe the role of telco’s today vs before?
A: Telcos of yester years were digital or analog voice and till recently they could also be differentiated as wireline or wireless networks whereas today anything that can be digitized falls under the domain of Telcos and that is how it is reshaping lifestyles
Q: How is PTCL meeting the challenges posed by the content providers and OTT players, and where are the opportunities for growth in Pakistan’s market?
A: We have a two pronged approach where we are partnering with global content providers for non-linear content whereas for linear content we have our own OTT app. PTCL is the major player in content market through our partnerships and alliances with content providers and OTT players such as Netflix, Iflix and Icflix etc. With low penetration of digital TV there is a huge potential for growth in home entertainment through investment in infrastructure and local OTT apps.
Q: What do you think is one fundamental change that telcos today need to undergo in order to remain relevant and be more than a “dumb pipe”?
A: The real challenge for Telcos is not what the customers want today but what they will be needing tomorrow and then to be in an advantageous position viz a viz the possible competition of tomorrow. The battle of IoTs and OTTs is over ideas and execution speed. So far most of the Telcos are following trends instead of shaping trends through content and apps. The fundamental change is that of mindset and culture that inhibits risk taking.
Catch Aasif on stage at Day Two (22 March) of Telecoms World Asia 2017, where he’ll share more about how PTCL plans to face the challenges and opportunities posed by the content providers in the morning panel: “The telco as a content creator, aggregator and deliverer”
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