WHAT IS 5G INTERNET?
It is a fifth-generation mobile broadband technology that provides Internet users with speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. In comparison to previous generations of broadband cellular networks, this technology is much more advanced. The 4G network can only support 100,000 devices per square kilometer, while the 5G network can support up to a million devices, which is ten times more.
THE LATEST UPDATES ON 5G IN PAKISTAN
Previous governments planned to auction the 5G spectrum by March 2023, with the first phase launching in major cities. Syed Amin Ul Haque, the federal minister for IT&T, confirmed the initial plan, however, political instability delayed it by nearly four months.
Asked about the launch of 5G by the end of March 2023, he said that the auction would take place shortly before the general elections.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said the MoITT should answer the question of the 5G auction timeline
Furthermore, the official said, “If it is a priority item for the new government and the telecom industry, then the Authority can do the spectrum auction before the election.”.
It is estimated that fewer than one percent of local consumers can afford such handsets in the next two years, according to Jazz’s CEO, Aamir Ibrahim. People think that better internet will be available once 5G is launched in the country, but it can already be achieved through government interventions for greater penetration of 4G.
According to the government, 4G coverage is considered a prerequisite for the launch of 5G, and 5G services can be deployed anywhere 4G services are available.
The MoITT is in the process of finalizing policy guidelines for 5G in consultation with the PTA/Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) and other stakeholders, according to official documents. So far, no consulting services have been procured for this purpose.
According to the documents, the PTA has not incurred any expenditures so far since no consulting services have been procured. In 2023, the previous government planned to launch 5G services across the country.
In order to adopt 5G services, the MoITT has evaluated seven bands.
According to official documents, it is evaluating the available options for launching 5G services in Pakistan on time.
The following bands are being evaluated for use in 5G services: low bands, mid bands, and high bands.
- 700 MHz
- 2.3 GHz
- 2.6 GHz
- 3.5 GHz
- MiIIi8meter waveband
- C-Band (3.6-4.2) GHz
- Unlicensed Backhaul Frequency bands (P2P & P2MP)
For these bands, the ministry has asked the FAB to report all 5G spectrum availability and current status in the above-identified frequency bands.
The number of cellular operators continues to grow, with Pakistan having 90 percent teledensity and 89 percent mobile penetration. There are 193.4 million mobile subscribers. The numbers are continuously increasing. In accordance with license conditions, all cellular mobile operators (CMOs) are expanding 4G coverage nationwide.
It is estimated that 60 percent of the population has 4G coverage. New rollout conditions have been added to operators’ licenses to speed up 4G rollout in Pakistan. Furthermore, the rollout of 4G services to the maximum population of Pakistan has been mandated on the basis of population. The government must review the heavy tax regime in order to encourage network expansion and smartphone adoption.
4G coverage is considered a requirement for launching 5G, and 5G services can be deployed in areas with existing 4G coverage. According to license conditions, cellular operators must extend 4G coverage and charge subscribers based on the data they use/consume regardless of the technology (2G/3G/4G).
All CMOS charge the same rates/offer the same packages for 2G/3G/4G services with no differentiation between their charging mechanisms.
BENEFITS AND DEPLOYMENT OF 5G IN PAKISTAN
In Pakistan, 5G networks will provide faster internet speeds than 4G networks, almost 10 times faster. We’ve learned a lot about online connectivity and how to stay connected without ever leaving our homes during the Coronavirus pandemic. The launch of 5G in Pakistan will have the greatest impact on e-healthcare, online education, and digital businesses.
A public-private partnership is developing the infrastructure for 5G broadband internet. There have been three data centers established in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad for cloud computing, 5G testing, and field trials. These digital facilities are currently managed by some of the country’s most popular private telecommunications companies.