Pakistan eyes 5G launch by 2023

ISLAMABAD: The dream of digitalising Pakistan is coming to life as the government is planning to launch 5G technology by 2023, after the successful trials of the next-generation wireless network by telecom operators.

The 5G, for Fifth Generation, is the latest iteration of cellular technology engineered to increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks. Global telecom giants are aiming at the commercial deployment of the latest networks.

In 2019, South Korea beat their US rivals to become the first to roll out a super-fast 5G mobile network. According to a June 2021 report of the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), 58 countries have launched 5G networks in their countries while others are deploying.

According to statistics, more than 90 operators have deployed 5G networks globally, while more than 300 have been investing in it.

It is estimated that 5G connections will reach 2.8 billion by 2025.

In Asia, South Korea, Japan, and China are leading the race. On the other hand, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Sri Lanka are lagging behind as they have not yet implemented a 5G policy.

China is spreading a vast network of 5G across the country. According to a plan issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of that country, the network will be spread to all cities and towns, as well as most villages, by 2025.

Covid-19 has negatively affected all sectors of life globally except information technology. This is the only sector where investment did not decline due to the pandemic.

Foreign direct investment in the technology sector of Pakistan has also reached more than $1 billion in the last three years. The IT exports increased by 46 percent during the fiscal year 2020-21.

The telecom operators — including Jazz, PTCL, Telenor Pakistan, and Zong — have successfully made trials of 5G in Pakistan. The government is working to make policy and provide a platform for the commercial launch of 5G in the country.

There is an excellent potential of 5G in Pakistan. The number of smartphone users is about 90 million and growing at a fast pace every year. The internet adaptation rate is 23 percent annually.

The 5G technology will revolutionise all the sectors of the economy in Pakistan.

Through modern technology and a fast internet, education is being provided remotely. 5G will help the people who belong to far-flung areas. Video animation and lectures would be available online through fast connectivity. In the health sector, 5G will revolutionise medicine.

The doctors from main cities would be able to diagnose patients online through fast connectivity.

Pakistan also has the second-largest number of freelancers in the world.

People from Pakistan are providing their services online and earning foreign reserves for the country. Every year, 10,000 people join the global freelance market from Pakistan. The 5G technology will help them provide their services faster.

The e-commerce industry is growing rapidly in the world, and the e-commerce market also has great potential. Through connectivity, Pakistan can export its products to the world through e-commerce which will boost the economy of the country.

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