The 5G technology rollout in Pakistan is not much behind India, while India has already started the testing process and plans to start the commercial rollout of the technology early next year, Pakistan is planning to roll out the most advanced 5G internet in 2023.
The size of the telecom sector in Pakistan is estimated to be $16.9 billion after attracting $1.2 billion in foreign direct investments in the last three years, according to recent reports.
In a recent presentation to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom has highlighted that for future digitisation and new technologies such as 5G, projects have been launched for ‘deep fiberisation’ by the Universal Service Fund (USF), the Dawn newspaper reported.
While commenting on the importance of the deep fiberisation project, IT and Telecom minister Syed Amin ul Haq said the government was banking heavily on increasing exports of IT services up to $5 billion by the end of 2022-23.
The export of IT services grew 47% to $2.1 billion in 2020-21, he noted. The ministry said as the telecom industry’s market size has grown to $16.9 billion after attracting $1.2 billion in FDI in the last three years, it is aiming to roll out 5G in 2023.
According to the ministry, the upcoming spectrum auction for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit-Baltistan for next-generation mobile services will help improve the telecom and broadband services in these areas, the report said.
The ministry also said the USF projects have covered over 1,800 km of the unserved road network, including highways and motorways in Balochistan.