Systems Limited Wins Big at PSEB IT and ITeS Export Awards 2024

Pakistan-based global tech leader Systems Limited has clinched three major platinum awards at the Pakistan Software Export Board’s (PSEB) annual IT and ITeS Export Awards. The pioneering company was recognized as the Top IT Consultancy Services Provider, Top IT and ITeS Exporter as well as Top BPO Services Provider for 2024 – marking its dominance across Pakistan’s IT landscape.

The PSEB awards, presented at a ceremony in Feb, gathered key policymakers, government stakeholders and IT industry visionaries to acknowledge firms driving substantial growth of Pakistan’s IT/ITeS sector. This includes major contributors elevating the country as an emerging global IT services export hub.

Presiding as chief guest was Mr. Umar Saif – Caretaker Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication – who personally honored Systems Limited with the prestigious accolades. On behalf of the IT consulting powerhouse, Group CFO Roohi Khan and Head of Marketing Javeria Fahad received the awards from the minister.

Earning the Top IT Consultancy Services Provider 2024 nod cements Systems Limited’s position as the foremost player providing cutting-edge digital transformation guidance in Pakistan. With expertise spanning digital platforms, data analytics, AI and cloud – the company enables organizations of all sizes to unlock true potential of emerging technologies.

“I am immensely proud of our team’s dedication and expertise that have earned us the prestigious Top IT Consultancy Services Provider 2024 Platinum award…” remarked Asif Peer, Group CEO and MD, Systems Limited.

He added, “…We have a legacy of steering clients towards technology breakthroughs through strategic consultation. This recognition highlights our ability to deliver leading-edge IT advising that helps futureproof businesses.”

A Legacy of Digital Transformation Consulting Excellence
With over 40 years providing pioneering technology services, Systems Limited inherits vast institutional knowledge around optimizing IT to fuel organizational goals. The company actively modernizes IT landscapes for 233+ Fortune 500 brands across 16+ countries – exemplifying its global reach and appeal.

Moreover, as winners of the Top IT and ITeS Exporter of the year, Systems Limited has showcased robust overseas expansion of IT services – a feat contributing significantly to Pakistan’s IT export targets. Similarly, the Top BPO Services Provider nod reinforces the ability to enable seamless outsourcing ecosystems amplifying enterprise efficiency.

As Pakistan eyes joining leading global IT services exporters, homegrown success stories like Systems Limited signals its readiness to compete worldwide. The latest PSEB awards endorse the rapid progress local players have achieved under conducive governmental policies.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra PTA Tax in Pakistan February 2024

Samsung It still dominates the Android phone market, being considered a pioneer in the smartphone space.

Over the years, the South Korea-based giant has been offering high-quality smartphones Samsung Galaxy Note Ultra Being particularly noticeable.

The company is known for Leading devicesSamsung's Note 20 is also exceptional, offering top-notch hardware and a flawless software experience.

Prices Samsung devices, including older models like the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, are increasing globally. In Pakistan, the government has imposed various taxes on mobile phones, including customs duty, sales tax and withholding tax, which can vary based on factors such as the value and type of the smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 PTA tax

Note 20 PTA tax Samsung Galaxy Note 20
On the passport 66,000 rupees
On the ID card 78800 rupees
Note 20 PTA tax Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
On the passport 65,000 rupees
On the ID card 77500 rupees
Note 20 PTA tax Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G
On the passport 80100 rupees
On the ID card 95,300 rupees

Pakistan Ramps Up Mobile Phone Manufacturing – 2.27 Million Phones Assembled in January 2024

Pakistan’s growing mobile phone manufacturing industry shows no signs of slowing down in 2024, as January sees 2.27 million new locally manufactured handsets roll off fully-operational plants across the country.

As per data from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), this includes a healthy split between 0.72 million 2G feature phones and 1.55 million internet-enabled smartphones assembled domestically last month.

With 40% 2G devices and 60% smartphones currently active on Pakistani cellular networks, growth in smartphone adoption continues rising steeply even as the developing nation maintains robust feature phone usage.

Local mobile phone plants have now assembled over 21.28 million total handsets across 2023 – a marginal 4% drop from 21.94 million phones put together in 2022. This decline is largely due to import restrictions on critical mobile phone components and accessories, which has temporarily capped manufacturing capacity. Still, the volume is far above the 24.66 million handsets assembled at the height of the pandemic in 2021.

Commercial imports paint a different picture, registering steady growth between 2022 and 2023 despite economic uncertainty. Pakistan imported 1.58 million fully built mobile phones last year, compared to 1.53 million in 2022. This highlights the dominance of homegrown assembly in satisfying domestic demand.

The Consistent Growth of Pakistan’s Mobile Phone Industry More importantly, in value terms, mobile phone imports from July 2022 to January 2023 grossed nearly $988 million, marking a 138% increase against $415 million in the same timeframe last year.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) also notes a 11% month-over-month (MoM) growth in mobile phone imports this January, totaling $195 million versus $176 million in December 2022. With 275% year-over-year (YoY) growth, January 2024 registered $195 million imports relative to $52 million imports in January 2023.

Rising mobile connectivity across both urban and rural Pakistan ensures steady hunger for devices old and new. Backed by supportive government policies, domestic manufacturers now effectively cater to this demand – January 2024’s robust assembly figures only reinforce the strength of this maturing ecosystem.

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PITB’s AI-powered System for Punjab Police Department Set to Curb Crimes

The state-of-the-art Safe City Project, executed by the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) in collaboration with the Punjab Police Department, is using Artificial Intelligence based Facial Recognition System, Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) System, and Tag and Trace System to curb crimes in Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, and Gujranwala. This emerged during a progress review meeting presided over by PITB Chairman Faisal Yousaf. PITB Additional Director General (ADG) Qasim Ifzal, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Adil Iqbal Khan, and other senior officials were also present.

On this occasion, PITB Chairman Faisal Yousaf appreciated the team for successfully executing the project within record time. He congratulated the PITB Software Engineering Wing for developing an indigenous solution.

In his remarks on the occasion, he stated,

The ‘Automatic Number Plate Registration Control System (ANPR)’ harnesses cutting-edge technology to automatically capture and register vehicle license plate information, facilitating efficient monitoring and identification of vehicles involved in criminal activities.

The state-of the-art surveillance system utilizes a network of strategically placed cameras that scan license plates, and cross-reference them with a centralized database. The system generates real-time alerts for authorities in case of any anomalies or violations.

By seamlessly integrating with existing law enforcement infrastructure, the system plays a pivotal role in curbing vehicle-related crimes, promoting compliance with traffic regulations, and ensuring safer roadways for all citizens of Punjab.

Additionally, the Artificial Intelligence based Facial Recognition System automatically captures pictures and compares them with the huge data compiled including 16 million records and pictures from the driving licenses branch, 1.8 million records from the Crime Record Branch, 1.3 million from the Punjab Khidmat Marakaz, and 300,000 records of accused individuals and criminals from Punjab prisons. The System aids law enforcement personnel in identifying and tracing suspects detected through CCTV cameras and other sources.

Chairman Faisal Yousaf highlighted that these cutting-edge systems were developed in line with international standards, offering a cost-effective solution implemented in an incredibly short time locally. PITB chief also hinted at the swift implementation of similar security systems in more cities across Punjab, promoting Artificial Intelligence for enhanced public safety.

Tech Giants Team Up To Quell AI-generated deepfakes: Pact Aims to Secure Elections

A wide range of leading technology companies have signed a voluntary agreement to combat AI-generated deepfakes that could be used to interfere in elections by misleading voters.

The agreement proposes that signatories adopt a new framework to help identify and classify misleading fake images when they are created or uploaded to social media.Among the signatories were Meta, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon and Adobe, with social media platforms X, Snap and TikTok also signing the agreement.

Deepfakes are expected to pose a major threat to this year’s elections

AI was a big concern at this year’s Munich Security Conference where the agreement was signed, with Google launching its AI Cyber ​​Defense Initiative a few days ago.

The latest agreement will help increase communication about when and where political deepfakes are created and distributed to mitigate the potential harm they cause. Although the agreement is voluntary, deepfakes are a major cause for concern in a year filled with crucial elections around the world.

In a press statement about the agreement announcement, Microsoft Vice Chairman and President Brad Smith said: “The challenges are enormous, and our expectations must be realistic… There is no way the technology sector can protect elections of this new type by themselves.” of electoral violations.”

Shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a fake video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which the president told his troops to lay down their arms and surrender, went viral. The video was quickly debunked as a fake, but deepfake technology has advanced significantly in the past few years.

Just last month, the United States got its first taste of election interference in 2024 when New Hampshire was targeted by a robocall impersonating President Joe Biden asking voters not to vote in the state’s primary.

X/Twitter crashes in Pakistan amid protests over election “rigging”

Giant microblogging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, is facing an outage in Pakistan with users unable to access the app in parts of Pakistan amid widespread protests against election fraud.

Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has begun a nationwide protest against alleged election rigging after failing to form a government.

Authorities in the crisis-hit country shut down the social app as interim Prime Minister Kakar warned that any form of incitement and incitement to vigilance will not be tolerated.

Since people are facing difficulties in accessing social app X, formerly Twitter, the social media site can be accessed using a VPN. Social media users have reported the disruption, and people are using VPN services to access social media and streaming platforms.

Internet watchdog NetBlocks also confirmed the glitch. And he said toThe five metrics show new nationwide disruption for X/Twitter in #Pakistan Amid escalating unrest and protests over allegations of election fraud, following a high-profile resignation and public admission of vote-rigging by a senior election official.

This is a developing story, and will be updated…

10 Generative AI Video Tools Everyone Should Know

Last year, chatbots and image generators took the spotlight, but this year, generative AI video tools are stealing the show.

Unlike AI image generators, which aren’t quite advanced enough to create full-length movies on demand, these video tools automate various tasks involved in editing, such as cutting footage, reordering scenes, adding audio effects, generating captions, and incorporating avatars, graphics, or animations.

While these tools are continually evolving and gaining flexibility and power, they’re not yet capable of fulfilling every creative whim with a simple command. However, they do offer significant assistance in streamlining the video editing process, whether you’re producing corporate tutorials or aspiring to be the next filmmaking sensation.

YouTube video player

Here’s a breakdown of some top generative AI platforms for video creation and editing:

1. FlexClip:

FlexClip is a simple yet powerful video maker and editor for everyone. That helps users easily create compelling video content for personal or business purposes without any learning curve.

Key Features:

  • AI Text-to-Video, Blog-to-Video and Script-to-Video
  • AI Auto Subtitles and AI Text-to-Speech : 140+ Languages, 400+ Voices
  • AI Image Generator: Transform Words into Stunning Image
  • Speed CurveSplit Screen Video, and Rich Text
  • Team management: Enable users to view and edit all projects in the workspace
  • Millions of Royalty-free Stock Media including photos, videos, and music
  • 5000+ exquisitely designed video templates in diverse categories

2. Synthesia:

Synthesia specializes in creating digital avatars with lifelike voice and animation, making it ideal for businesses, marketers, and educators. Its avatars can speak multiple languages and accents, enabling easy localization of content for different markets.

3. Descript:

Descript stands out for its user-friendliness and range of features. It allows users to start with a script and then build their video from there, with AI-powered enhancements and editing capabilities.

4. Adobe Premiere Pro with Sensei:

Adobe Premiere Pro, enhanced by Adobe’s Sensei AI platform, offers a suite of features for streamlining video editing tasks, such as transcription, scene insertion, color correction, and audio adjustment.

5. Pictory:

Pictory automates the process of turning scripts and blogs into videos, making it suitable for creating quick, engaging marketing content or educational materials.

6. Runway:

Runway offers text-to-video generative AI, allowing users to create synthetic videos by typing descriptions or uploading images.

7. Others

These are just a few examples of the growing array of generative AI video tools available. Other notable platforms include Colossyan, Deepbrain, Designs.AI, Elai, Filmora 13Fliki, Heygen, Invideo, Lumen5, OpusClip, Peech, Synthesys, Timebolt, Veed.io, and Visla.

As generative AI continues to advance, the possibilities for video creation and editing are expanding exponentially. With these innovative tools at our disposal, we’re poised on the brink of a new era in storytelling and content creation.

Streamlining Toll Payments: FWO Partners with NayaPay for Effortless M-Tag Recharging

In a significant move towards enhancing toll payment processes, Frontier Works Organization (FWO) has joined forces with NayaPay to facilitate quick and seamless M-Tag recharging.

This strategic collaboration, facilitated by One Network (ONPL), an expert in Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) and Electronic Toll Collection (ETC), marks a milestone in digitizing toll payments and ensuring enhanced convenience for motorists.

The agreement, formalized by Mr. Danish A. Lakhani, CEO of NayaPay, and Brig Asif Siddique (Retd.), Director IT FWO, underscores the commitment of both entities to revolutionize toll payment systems. The signing ceremony, attended by senior executives from NayaPay, One Network, and FWO, heralds a new era of efficiency and ease in toll payment management.

NayaPay, a prominent E-Money Institution in Pakistan, empowers users to establish E-money accounts effortlessly on their smartphones. With just a few simple steps, users can take control of their finances and streamline their toll payment experience. Now, with the integration of M-Tag recharging functionality within the NayaPay app, motorists can replenish their M-Tags seamlessly and at no additional cost. This integration ensures that every journey becomes smoother, more secure, and hassle-free for drivers.

This timely development aligns closely with the recent mandate issued by the National Highway Authority (NHA), which requires all vehicles on motorways to utilize M-Tags starting January 1, 2024. This mandate aims to enhance toll collection efficiency and improve user convenience, making it imperative for motorists to adopt digital toll payment solutions like M-Tags.

The partnership between FWO and NayaPay not only streamlines the M-Tag recharging process but also underscores the commitment of both organizations to embrace innovation and enhance customer experience. By leveraging technology and collaborative efforts, they aim to set new benchmarks in toll payment management and contribute towards a more efficient and digitized transportation ecosystem.

As motorists embrace the convenience and efficiency of digital toll payment solutions, the collaboration between FWO and NayaPay serves as a testament to the transformative potential of technology in simplifying everyday transactions. With M-Tag recharging now seamlessly integrated into the NayaPay app, drivers can enjoy enhanced convenience and peace of mind on their journeys across motorways.

In conclusion, the partnership between FWO and NayaPay signifies a significant step towards modernizing toll payment systems and embracing digital transformation in the transportation sector. As the demand for efficient and user-friendly toll payment solutions continues to grow, initiatives like this pave the way for a more connected, streamlined, and digitally empowered future.

 

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Samsung’s latest update enables voice call recording over Wi-Fi

Samsung’s latest software update for Galaxy S24 smartphones has brought a slew of noteworthy enhancements beyond the realm of AI features. Among these updates lies a significant expansion in the calling experience, with the introduction of call recording over Wi-Fi functionality in One UI 6.1.

This new feature adds a layer of convenience for users, particularly in scenarios where the need to retain important information from lengthy calls arises. However, it’s important to understand that this feature is exclusively available in VoWiFi mode, also known as Voice over Wi-Fi. So, what exactly does this mean?

VoWiFi mode allows users to make calls directly over Wi-Fi networks, bypassing the need for cellular networks. This capability comes in handy especially in situations where cellular signals are weak or unavailable, offering an alternative communication solution.

With the latest update, Galaxy S24 users, along with select other Galaxy devices, now have the ability to record calls while in VoWiFi mode. This enhancement not only broadens the utility of these smartphones but also aligns with Samsung’s commitment to enhancing user experience through innovative features.

Enabling VoWiFi call recording is a straightforward process. Users simply need to access their phone’s settings menu, navigate to the Calls option, and select Other Call Settings. From there, they can toggle on the VoWiFi call recording feature, empowering them to capture important conversations with ease.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the ethical considerations associated with call recording, particularly without the consent of all parties involved. While the feature may prove invaluable for preserving critical information, users must exercise discretion and adhere to legal regulations governing call recording practices in their respective jurisdictions.

Recording conversations without consent can raise privacy concerns and may potentially lead to legal consequences, underscoring the importance of exercising caution and discretion when utilizing such features.

That said, Samsung’s initiative to introduce Wi-Fi call recording reflects its ongoing efforts to enhance the functionality and versatility of its smartphones, catering to the evolving needs of users in an increasingly connected world.

It’s worth noting that staying abreast of software updates is essential to access the latest features and enhancements offered by Samsung. Updating to the latest One UI version ensures users can take full advantage of the Wi-Fi call recording feature, along with other performance improvements and security enhancements.

In conclusion, Samsung’s introduction of Wi-Fi call recording in its latest software update represents a notable enhancement aimed at elevating the calling experience for Galaxy S24 users. While the feature offers added convenience, users must also be mindful of the ethical and legal considerations surrounding call recording to ensure responsible usage.

 

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Navigating Innovation: Pakistan’s Flourishing IT Industry and Startup Ecosystem

Pakistan’s Information Technology (IT) industry stands as a beacon of innovation and growth in the South Asian region, propelled by a dynamic mix of talent, entrepreneurship, and government support. As the country embraces digital transformation, its IT sector, along with a vibrant startup ecosystem, is playing a pivotal role in driving economic progress and technological advancement.

The Current Landscape

Pakistan’s IT industry has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years, with a diverse array of companies and startups making significant strides in software development, IT consulting, outsourcing, digital marketing, and other specialized services. The industry’s value is estimated to exceed $3.5 billion, and this figure is poised for further expansion as the sector continues to evolve.

Fueling this growth are Pakistani startups, which have emerged as key players in driving innovation and disruption across various sectors. From telecom, e-commerce and fintech to healthtech and edtech, Pakistani startups are leveraging technology to address societal challenges, enhance efficiency, and create new opportunities for economic growth.

Key Growth Drivers

Several factors have contributed to the success of Pakistan’s IT industry and startup ecosystem. Foremost among these is the government’s commitment to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship through initiatives such as the Digital Pakistan Vision and the National IT Policy. These efforts have created a conducive environment for startups to flourish, offering incentives, funding opportunities, and regulatory support.

Additionally, Pakistan’s young and tech-savvy population has played a crucial role in driving innovation and entrepreneurship. With a large pool of skilled professionals graduating from universities and technical institutes, Pakistan boasts a talent pool capable of competing on the global stage. This abundance of human capital has attracted both domestic and international investors to the country’s burgeoning startup ecosystem.

Furthermore, the increasing adoption of digital technologies across various sectors has created a fertile ground for startups to thrive. From mobile apps and online platforms to IoT devices and AI-driven solutions, Pakistani startups are harnessing the power of technology to solve complex problems and meet the evolving needs of consumers and businesses.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the rapid growth of Pakistan’s IT industry and startup ecosystem, several challenges remain. These include limited access to funding, regulatory hurdles, infrastructure constraints, and a lack of ecosystem support. However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation and collaboration, as stakeholders work together to address common concerns and build a more robust ecosystem.

One of the key areas of focus for Pakistani startups is digital inclusion, with efforts underway to bridge the digital divide and ensure that all segments of society have access to technology and its benefits. This includes initiatives to promote digital literacy, expand internet connectivity, and develop localized solutions that cater to the needs of underserved communities.

In addition to domestic challenges, Pakistani startups also face competition from global players and regional rivals. However, this competition also serves as a catalyst for innovation and excellence, pushing startups to strive for greater heights and differentiate themselves in the market.

Recent Updates and Future Outlook

Recent updates by the IT Ministry have further bolstered Pakistan’s IT industry and startup ecosystem. These include initiatives to promote innovation, provide financial support to startups, and create a conducive regulatory environment. Additionally, collaborations with international partners and participation in global tech events have helped raise the profile of Pakistani startups on the global stage.

Looking ahead, the future of Pakistan’s IT industry appears bright, with ample opportunities for growth, innovation, and collaboration. By leveraging its talent pool, embracing emerging technologies, and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, Pakistan is well-positioned to become a hub for innovation and creativity in the digital age. With continued support from the government, private sector, and international community, Pakistan’s IT industry is poised to chart a path towards sustainable growth and prosperity.

 

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