Pakistan says plans to launch 5G services by December 2022

Statesman Report

KARACHI: Pakistan will roll out 5G mobile phone services in the country by December 2022, Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Syed Amin Ul Haque said on Sunday just weeks after he made Islamabad’s first trial 5G call to Beijing at an event on November 4.

Pakistan has 169 million mobile phone users and some 85 million 3G/4G subscribers currently. Its telecom market is dominated by Jazz, backed by Netherlands-based Veon Ltd; Telenor Pakistan, backed by Norway’s state-controlled Telenor; Zong, owned by China Mobile; and Ufone, which is controlled by state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd.

“December 2022 is the ideal date [to launch 5G services] as it would take one to two years to improve infrastructure and increase optic fiber penetration across the country,” Amin said, explaining that since 5G services worked on a network of fiber optic cables, the government had to first lay down this “basic requirement.”

Other emerging market countries like Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, India and Sri Lanka are also planning to launch 5G services in the next two years.