The government of Pakistan is making efforts to improve its technology sector by allocating a large budget each year. One of the latest initiatives is the plan to manufacture local SIM cards and smart cards in order to protect the country from cyber attacks and boost the economy by creating employment opportunities and saving foreign exchange. The Information Technology ministry is seeking approval from Economic Coordination Committee for this initiative.
Local manufacturing of SIM cards is considered a crucial step towards digital transformation and the development of an enabling ecosystem for digital services. According to official data, local physical SIM manufacturers are planning to establish eSIM management platforms and offer eSIM products to mobile cellular operators. This move is expected to bring significant benefits to the economy and technology infrastructure, as a considerable amount is currently spent on importing SIM cards.
Pakistan has previously introduced a smartphone manufacturing policy to address similar issues with Indian-manufactured smartphones and IMEI codes. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority fully supports the authorization, compliance, and adoption of SIM card manufacturing in the telecom sector.
The manufacturing of intelligent cards has already played a vital role in many national economies and is essential for sustainable economic growth. From a business perspective, it is expected to generate tax income and save precious foreign exchange while also providing a practical dimension for academia in terms of research and development.
The emergence of technology and the evolution of SIM technology have led to the development of new variants such as Embedded SIMs (eSIMs), Soft SIMs, and Integrated SIMs (iSIMs). These are considered authentic and worthy substitutes for physical SIM cards. Local material SIM manufacturers may establish eSIM management platforms and offer eSIM products to mobile cellular operators.
All these steps will be put in place keeping in mind of the requirement and the need of the economy to protect from cyber attacks, creating employment and ultimately saving foreign exchange.