Pakistan’s 5G rollout faces numerous challenges

Pakistan’s 5G rollout is hindered by challenges like low 5G handset adoption and limited optic fiber cable (OFC) coverage, prompting government efforts to address these issues and improve infrastructure. These initiatives are seen as crucial for economic growth and regional competitiveness.

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The official documents shed light on the multitude of challenges that confront the deployment of 5G services in Pakistan. These hurdles encompass issues such as the limited uptake of 5G-capable smartphones, insufficient optic fibre cable (OFC) coverage, a surge in inflation, a notably low average revenue per user (ARPU), the escalation of operating expenses (OPEX), and the burden of taxation.

The percentage of 5G-supported handsets in the Pakistani market is less than one per cent, which is a major impediment.

In response, the government is actively crafting policy frameworks and enhancing infrastructure to surmount these obstacles and pave the way for 5G deployment. This effort is considered essential for fostering Pakistan’s economic expansion and enhancing its competitiveness within the region. To facilitate the rollout of 5G, there is a pronounced focus on expanding the reach of fibre optic infrastructure and exploring cutting-edge technologies such as Wi-Fi 6E. Furthermore,

Pakistan has outlined plans to conduct spectrum auctions for LTE, Voice over LTE (VoLTE), and 5G services. Nonetheless, the successful implementation of 5G will necessitate substantial investments in OFC infrastructure, despite challenges such as intricate installation procedures and cost considerations.

The Prime Minister also delved into various economic initiatives, including privatization endeavours and foreign investments from the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Finally, he underscored the significance of cultivating constructive relations with Russia and exploring opportunities for collaboration across a diverse spectrum of sectors.