Advent of 5G technology in Pakistan has once again become a contentious issue, despite the previous government’s goal of introducing it in December 2023, which remained unattainable.
The Caretake IT Minister, Dr. Umar Saif, has set a new target to introduce 5G within ten months. The government has increased pressure on telecommunication operators to install 5G equipment and implement the technology. On the other side, telecom industry has expressed concerns and called for assistance to improve the accessibility and quality of the existing 4G network.
Experts in the industry believe that 5G technology is more profitable for industrial and business purposes, but Pakistan’s industrial sector is not prepared to leverage this new technology. Current economic conditions and exchange rate issues are the biggest obstacles, while the lack of availability of smartphones with 5G capability in Pakistan will also exacerbate the crisis.
According to industry sources, the current government’s goal of introducing 5G technology within ten months is unrealistic. Telecommunication operators have also stated that due to revenue constraints, the upgrade of the telecommunications network has been severely impacted. Additionally, importing equipment worth billions of dollars for 5G is not feasible, as nearly half of Pakistan’s population does not use the internet.
Pakistan’s Telecom Industry is facing a crisis like situation where Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is constantly declining. On the other hand, High Inflation and depreciating currency has led to higher operating costs for Telecom Companies. In this Situation, returns on 5G Investments remain negligible.
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