The implementation of 5G in Pakistan has been delayed due to political upheaval and is now expected to commence in June 2023. The PTI government has set December 2022 as the deadline for the deployment of 5G technology.
However, March 2023 was later substituted for this deadline. Since the administration was replaced as a result of a Motion of No Confidence, the management has changed, slowing the development of the 5G technology network.
Syed Amin Ul Haque, the newly appointed Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunications, addressed at a Zong4G event held here on Thursday to showcase the network’s recent brilliance and to recognise persons who made significant efforts to attaining this aim.
During the event, Pakistan’s IT and Telecommunications Minister, Syed Amin Ul Haque, told the media that the government aimed to launch 5G technology in March 2023.
However, it had been delayed by over three months due to Pakistan’s political unrest. The launch date has been pushed out until June 2023. According to the minister, the IT ministry has conducted discussions to prepare for the deployment of 5G technology in Pakistan.
While discussing preparation, he stated that the administration was working to boost the use of 4G technology across the country.
He said that 4G penetration was increasing on a monthly basis. He added that they were building a network of fibre cables throughout Pakistan to act as the foundation for the deployment of 5G.
Syed Amin stated that Pakistan’s government would select four megacities for the deployment of 5G technology. He also stated that the government has removed the barriers that local mobile phone manufacturers encountered when attempting to open LCs.
He went on to clarify that the main issue with withholding tax for telecom enterprises. To address the matter, the minister stated that he had discussed it with the prime minister and the finance ministry.
He praised the network’s exceptional quality in this critical situation. Zong has exhibited tremendous leadership in network repair in flood-affected areas, demonstrating incredible resiliency and resolve in the face of adversity, he stated at the time. The technical staff’s effort is excellent and deserves to be recognised.
I am immensely proud of our technical people who worked day and night to restore network service in places that were completely flooded and where infrastructure was damaged, Zong CEO Wang Hua remarked during the ceremony. In three weeks, our staff performed the admirable task of recovering 95% of the CMPak network.
Three out of every four Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Pakistan have annual spectrum expenditures that exceed 10% of their earnings, putting the country’s 5G growth at risk. This was previously a significant impediment to the deployment of 5G networks.
Because spectrum is expensive, operators may be less able to invest in and sustain cheap services, delaying the development of the MBB network and leading to more expensive, lower-quality MBB services. It will hinder long-term social and economic digital growth.
The papers urged the government to take measures to reduce spectrum costs for operators. Many governments throughout the world employ measures such as yearly payment and deferred payment, among others, to reduce the financial strain on operators, particularly in the early years of network roll-out.
A 5% increase in spectrum pricing is unlikely to deter investment in mobile broadband and 5G. There is also evidence that 5G adoption will increase at a lower rate.
The annual cost of spectrum in many locations with modern 4G networks is between 5 and 9 percent of mobile income. This means that investing less than 10% of the annual budget may not have a substantial impact on network expansion.
When the cost of spectrum equals 10% of mobile revenue, operators may have financial constraints, implying that investment in mobile broadband and 5G will be slower than it would otherwise be. The development of 5G is jeopardised by spectrum expenditures that exceed 10% of revenue.