On 26th September, Federal cabinet officially approved the issuance of Policy Notice to the PTA according to Section 8 of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (Re-Organization) Act, 1996 to allow the testing of 5G technology in Pakistan whereas remaining within the regulatory environment only.
The decision was made during a meeting that was held with PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the chair at the Prime Minister’s Office (Islamabad). After this approval, PTA is going to create a framework and permit Pakistani network operators to test 5G in Pakistan before conducting the commercial auction in the country.
It should be noted that the network operators conducting 5G tests could not charge the users for 5G services throughout the tests. However, it will take time for PTA to derive a framework and terms & conditions to allocate 5G spectrum to the network providers for testing.
Minister of Information and Technology Anusha Rehman had earlier said that there will be general elections in 2018 and thus there will be no time to conduct an auction of the 5G technology. And now the government has made it clear that there will be no auctioning of the technology before 2021.
Anusha Rehman also said that the Pakistan would become the first among all the Asian countries to acquire the 5G technology. On the other hand, ZONG once stated that they are ready to test the 5G technology in the country if they are given permission. It should be noted that 5G as a network technology is still developing and internationally recognized standards are yet to be determined.
Well, This is not the only good news you are getting today. Another big success in Pakistan Telecom Industry is that the Pakistan’s 3G/4G market hits a new height with almost 45 million users. 🙂
Statistics of 3G and 4G Users in Pakistan
According to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Pakistan’s 3G/4G market hits a new high with almost 45 million users. Yes, you heard it right! The total number of 3G/4G users have increased from over 32 million (July 2016) to 44.49 million by the end of August 2017.
Mobilink & Warid are leading in the total number of 3G/4G users with over 13.191 million users by end of August 2017. While the 2nd on rank is Zong with 8.77 million 3G and 4.57 million 4G users by the end of July 2017. It is followed by Telenor with around 10.568 million 3G users and 849,139 4G users. The last on the list is Ufone with 5.298 million users.
Well, This huge success is made possible by the availability of low-cost smartphones and aggressive social apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp.
How will 5G Technology affect Pakistan?
Initial tests done show that 5G is going to be at least a 100 times faster than the present speed of 4G technology. Ideally, the introduction of 5G can harness greater connectivity and can provide Pakistan an upward surge in its journey of achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Anusha Rehman also declared earlier this year, that the government was working on a project which would provide a minimum of one mobile tower per 100 users in each village by 2030.
Another thing is that the telecommunication sector is already highly taxed, while the adoption of expensive licenses will force the network providers to raise the cost of technology for the users.
So, the government must channel its resources towards increasing the mobile network coverage all over Pakistan. Which will provide the economies of scale to the providers and also the users and that will trigger the quick adoption and circulation of the Network Technology.