KARACHI: To improve digital access, Jazz, Pakistan’s leading digital company has launched Jazz Digit 4G – ‘Pakistan ka smartphone’ (Pakistan’s smartphone).
While Pakistan boasts having some of the cheapest tariff rates for voice and data, the main barrier to internet has been the affordability of smartphones. To help address this barrier Jazz has partnered with KaiOS Technologies to release the Jazz Digit 4G smartphone at the most affordable price point, offering a suite of unique features.
Jazz Digit 4G becomes the most affordable smart feature phone on the global market, at a down payment of just Rs 1800. The customer is required to sign up for a one-year service with Jazz at an extremely affordable Rs 300/ month which includes 1,000 minutes, 1000MB data, free SMS and free calling to doctors along with unlimited Facebook and WhatsApp for the first 3 months.
This initiative targets the wellbeing of the lesser privileged and underserved segment of our society with over 55% of Pakistan’s 165m subscribers using feature and 2G phones with internet penetration standing at 35%. While access to the internet is said to be the most effective driver of GDP for emerging economies.
The smartphone comes equipped with a Jazz Super 4G SIM that powers WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Voice, and Jazz TV as part of the 200 and more apps they can access at the KaiStore, since the device runs on KaiOS, the third largest mobile operating system worldwide. With a sophisticated front-and-back camera and flash, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Hotspot facility, this phone provides an almost all-inclusive feature set that any leading smartphone may have.
The launch event was attended by leading government and telecom leaders who lauded a private sector company for being invested in improving the country’s digital and financial inclusion landscape.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson BISP, Dr. Sania Nishtar stated,“The Ehsaas programme is the Government’s signature programme dedicated towards poverty alleviation in Pakistan through leveraging technology and promoting access of the vulnerable population to digital and financial inclusion.” She then continued, “Most of the digitally excluded segments are poor women, and initiatives like KaiOS which further digital inclusion can improve outcomes significantly. Ehsaas has multiple initiatives that can utilize digital technologies to target the neediest populations effectively”
Whereas globally countries are looking to sunset 2G and focus more on 4G technology, Pakistan has been unable to effectively align with this global trend, due to regulatory policy challenges. This step by Jazz comes at the right time as the government pushes for an aggressive spectrum roadmap to propel digitalization.
Jazz CEO Aamir Ibrahim, who has been championing #DigitalPakistan for the past two years, said, “We want 2020 to start with this new device setting the benchmark for a nationwide 4G revolution. Although, we have successfully tested 5G, our biggest challenge and opportunity is to take 2G customers to 4G and to offer good quality broadband to every Pakistani. We saw an inequality, and we went ahead and tried to fix it with this affordable phone.”
“We’re excited to help bring another device to the people of Pakistan,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “The digital divide continues to be a persistent issue across the country, but we know smart feature phones, like the Digit 4G, will positively impact the lives of new users.”
Jazz celebrated its 25th-anniversary last year with a robust 60 million subscriber base, and this smartphone launch marks another milestone in the commitment to empowering Pakistan’s youth through technology.