Quality of Local Tech Reporting

The quality of the technology related journalism in the local press has been questionable for obvious reasons. Having a number of good friends in many local media outfits, I can say with confidence that none of them have any dedicated technology reporters or journalists. This excludes those who actually work for technology magazines like Spider and Netmag. This lack of technology reporters results in reports that are poor at best and grossly incorrect at worst.

Consider, for example, this news item in today’s The News International. The report starts off with an incorrect title – calling MNP a PTCL issue rather than a PTA issue. That is not all, the report actually presents the scenario as if the MNP thing was some wire that suddenly got snapped and ‘has failed’. Using the words fail or failed repeatedly, the reports gives an impression as if the failure has been officially concluded by someone and that the feature is about to be taken back.

Quite misleading if you see how some of the companies are actively using MNP to their advantage.

A better reporting would have shed lights on both success and problems of MNP and would have talked about as to how the unawareness amongst the subscribers and incorrect or unavailable subscriber documentation are major problems in wide adoption of MNP.

Telenor & MNP

Image005.jpgThe image below is from an extremely low income area – infact, a slum in Karachi. A small cabin-shop that deals in mobile phones, PCO and allied services is serving the population of the katchi abadi.

Owning a cell phone is pretty common even in the very-low income groups in (at least) the bigger cities of Pakistan – thanks to the celluar services boom we are finding ourselves in these days.

As could be seen from the poster visible in the image below, someone who cannot even spell Telenor correctly has pasted these posters across most of similar shops in the slum announcing the MNP facility. When I inquired about this from the shopkeeper whether this is a service exclusive to his outfit he replied in negative saying instead that this is being ‘done by the company’. As we can well decipher, it does not seem like a Telenor’s official announcement but it is almost certain that Telenor has at least some amount of resources dedicated for hooking up even the baseline low ARPU customers into its folds via the MNP route most probably via some sort of market agents.