Pakistan set to become first South Asian nation with 5 G internet technology

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By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan with 140 million mobile phone subscribers , is going to be the first nation in South Asia to introduce futuristic 5G internet services, according to annual report of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for the year 2016-17.
It said that Pakistan would even beat the largest regional nation, India, on this front as the neighbouring country is also in the run for introducing the most advanced internet service.
Pakistan has set its eyes on launching 5G technology by 2020 and preparations have begun to test 5G cellular connectivity, the first of its kind in South Asia, according to the PTA’s annual report for 2017.
About two months ago, Pakistan’s federal cabinet allowed cellular companies to test 5G technology within the existing regulatory environment without charging the users. Network and cellular companies are conducting various lab and field tests to prepare themselves to launch the technology when it is ready.
More than 87% of the population of Pakistan is covered by cellular mobile networks, out of which 70% are covered by 3G services while 30% can access 4G LTE services. Internet and broadband services are spreading to every nook and corner of the country, pushing the demand for more international and national connectivity, the report said, adding that international internet bandwidth is also increasing regularly.
Security of Data and Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) is also an important issue for Pakistan due to its geo-political importance. In this regard, PTA is preparing guidelines for implementation by the telecom licensees.
In the wake of all the initiatives and regulatory actions, it is of utmost importance that the ICT developments in Pakistan are depicted on the national and international level.
PTA has engaged the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to carry out a national survey for measuring the true level of ICT development in Pakistan. Subject to the issuance of Policy by the Government of Pakistan, the PTA has plans to auction more spectrums in 1800 MHz band for NGMS services, the report said.

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