Mobile Phone Technologies
Mobile Phone TechnologiesThe study aims to explore the access of mobile phones, emerging technologies, and use of the mobile phone by the youth of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Pakistan, for learning and safety, and security purposes. Structured questionnaires were used to collect the data. Descriptive statistics were employed to test the research model. Among the 300 distributed sample sizes, 272 participants responded including 133 male and 139 female students of Karakoram International University (KIU) from eight districts of GB as research participants for data collection. Only 1 male and 6 females responded that they do not have their mobile phone, comprising a 90.6% response rate. The results show that 97% of students of rural mountainous areas own a mobile phone. The study contributes valuable findings of the access and positive use of mobile phones for learning and safety and security purposes. The result also shows that the youth of GB have enough skills in mobile phone technologies to cope with the future challenges of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by taking advantage of China Pakistan Information Corridor (CPIC is a fiber optics cable laid down from the China border to Islamabad Pakistan to provide the fast internet facility including 5G). This is the baseline survey and future studies will be based on this survey.
Mobile phones have been identified as catalysts due to key features such as portability, real-time communication, and access to information . It affects the way that individuals play their different roles in society . For example, youth in GB use a mobile phone as a powerful technological device for multiple purposes in their lives. Therefore, the mobile phone has both positive and negative consequences for their lives. After getting exposed to this technology, in a very short period, it has changed how individuals are interacting with each other .
The mobile, as a powerful gadget, has become the necessary piece of technology in the life of youth. Thus, the youth is now playing a vital role in every walk of life in this era of technological advancement. For instance, students can use their phones for learning purposes . They need mobile for access to and share information such as a portal for communication and short messaging [5, 6]. Moreover, it is needed for entertainment and access to social networks because it has become the manifestation of the digital age .
The mobile phone has turned from a technological tool to an educational, economic, and social tool. One of the key attributes of mobile phone technology is its portability for real-time information sharing and contact with others. Using a mobile phone rather than a fixed telephone line is a way to keep in touch with family, friends, colleagues, and business associates . Moreover, it gives the facility to do online transactions [9, 10]. The mobile phone has become a social phenomenon all over the world especially in the least developed countries like Africa, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Iran . However, the mobile phone has both positive and negative impacts depending on its usage, because it is enveloping new communication technology among youth .
The usage of mobile phones was limited to big cities a few years ago. Nowadays, it is rapidly penetrating the rural areas including mountainous regions such as GB. Thus, this technology to a great extent has filled the gaps between developed and underdeveloped areas. The mobile phone is one of the most common technological devices with almost 31% of the world’s population using it .
In the context of Pakistan, in general, and in GB in particular, before the emergence of mobile phones, there was a fixed telephone line (i.e. landline) for just communication purposes. At the time of landline technology, the majority of the people of GB did not show their interest to adopt the fixed telephone line. But, later in 2007, the mobile phone was introduced in GB and everyone started to use the mobile phone because of its portability, privacy, and many other features. The mobile phone has become the most accessible and inexpensive technology for the people of GB, especially the youth.
The above-mentioned technological tools have exerted significant social, economic, educational, and psychological impacts on society even in these mountainous rural areas of GB, especially in the context of the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (CPEC). When CPEC has some key opportunities such as regional connectivity, infrastructure, energy, agriculture development, poverty alleviation, education, health, and people-to-people contact, at the same time, some challenges will be faced by the people of Pakistan, especially GB such as skilled workforce on the emerging technologies for business, education, transportation, energy, agriculture, health, and infrastructure as China is the fastest adopter of emerging technologies.