29 November 2023

Pakistan Cannot Launch 5G Services: Ministry Informs NA Panel

Based on recent news, it seems that a telecom sector delegation recently met with the National Assembly Standing Steering Committee on Information Technology to talk about how Pakistan’s rising electricity prices make it impossible to launch 5G services there. Also, people from the telecom industry talked to the committee about how the recent economic crisis has greatly cut their profit margins. Because of this, it is hard to start 5G services in Pakistan right now.

Power bill hike prevents Pakistan’s 5G launch.

The committee was told that the mobile companies put 1.5% of their total profits into the Universal Service Fund. Even though Pakistan is going through a very bad financial crisis right now, cellular operators were unable to bring in devices related to telecommunications because of it. In this case, it’s important to point out that the letters of credit couldn’t be opened, because that definitely slows down the process.

Representatives from the telecommunications companies asked the committee to make suggestions to the federal government about how to solve their problems. The Ministry of Information Technology officials kept talking about why financial crimes happen.

They said that using SIM cards without permission was the main reason why these crimes happened. 52,000 of these SIM cards have also been taken into custody. In order to stop people from giving out fake SIM cards, the PTA has started using live biometric verification. Fake fingerprints can’t be used to get a SIM card, which is a good step toward stopping these kinds of frauds.

According to PTA authorities, there are a number of hurdles and impediments to the implementation of 5G services in Pakistan. The most important ones are:

  • Low handset and optical fiber cable (OFC) penetration is driving up inflation.
  • The low average revenue per user (ARPU),
  • Rising operating costs (OPEX), and high taxation are also making things worse.

We are all aware that several developed countries have already installed 5G technology. Pakistan faces the aforementioned obstacles in providing the aforementioned services. As a result, these barriers may have an impact on Pakistan’s 5G launch.

PTA is also said to be working with industry and other stakeholders to make thorough recommendations on Pakistan’s 5G implementation. To support 5G, the percentage of Fibre-To-The-Tower/Site (FTTT/FTTS) connections must be raised. Other technology advancements for broadband propagation, such as Wi-Fi 6E for improved latency and Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), must be encouraged.

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