5G technology has been making waves all over the world ever since its introduction, with applications ranging from smartphones to driverless cars. Now, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has set its sights on making the most advanced 5G internet commercially available to the Pakistani masses by 2022-23. It is expected to accelerate download speeds to 1 Gbps and enhance the flow of economic activities significantly.
As reported by The Express Tribune, the government of Pakistan is working on developing a comprehensive roadmap for 5G technology availability in the country. As stated in the PTA’s annual report 2020, the government aims to auction “spectrum for 5G services in the fiscal year 2023.”
One of the biggest motivators for the government to bolster its efforts towards a 5G-ready nation has been the COVID-19 pandemic, as it showed the significance of having a proper digital infrastructure in place and the digital economy expanded immensely. Needless to say, regulators and stakeholders have learnt the importance of continually improving the digital infrastructure of the nation.
This isn’t exactly Pakistan’s first brush with 5G, but it has yet to make the technology commercially available to the common man.
Earlier, mobile phone service providing firms successfully conducted a test trial of 5G services under limited environment and on non-commercial basis in 2019 and 2020. Pakistan stands as the first country in South Asia to test 5G “with a recorded download speed of more than one Gbps.”
Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Aminul Haque said that the government has planned to launch 5G technology by December 2022. However, experts in different fields are understandably skeptical, believing the country will take a much longer time (5-7 years) to roll out the next-generation technology.
Haque reportedly made a test video call through 5G to China and said it was a wonderful experience. The voice was loud and clear, and the video quality was also wonderful, according to an international media outlet.