Significant development in Pakistan’s telecom sector has been evident over the last few years, as Pakistan has been progressing in its IT sector.
The 3G and 4G spectrums were successfully auctioned by the Government of Pakistan back in 2014 and an amount of over $1b was raised. The provision of services and extension of 3G and 4G coverage was quickly initiated by the most notable telecom companies in Pakistan, equipping consumers with high speed internet on the go.
Recently, Pakistan has been progressing with its efforts aimed at equipping consumers with 5G technology, which is yet to be tested worldwide. After the Minister of State for Information Technology announced that Pakistan will be testing 5G technology soon, the efforts have been stimulated.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will approve the 5G standard in 2019, enabling countries from all over the world to conduct tests for the technology. After the approval by the federal cabinet to launch 5G technology, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has been directed to test out the 5G technology as soon as possible. This will make Pakistan amongst the first few countries to test 5G Technology.
Reportedly, the Ministry for Information Technology aims to make 5G commercially available for the consumers in Pakistan by 2020 and wants to test it on several occasions before it is extended to the public.
The quality and availability of 3G and 4G internet has been subject to some criticism since its launch. While these technologies are extremely important for the development of Pakistan’s IT sector, their provision can be labeled as ‘flawed’, for which I’d hold telecom companies responsible.
To begin with, the availability of 3G internet in Pakistan is limited, let alone 4G. Telecom companies offer limited coverage for 3G and 4G internet, which is disappointing according to modern standards.
Moreover, the quality of services is also sub-standard in Pakistan with our average 3G speeds being one of the lowest in the world.
Nevertheless, we can hope that the telecom companies will invest in improving the quality and availability of 3G and 4G services in Pakistan before 5G is made commercially available.