Pakistan accelerates 5G and nationwide network connectivity: IT Minister

By Mariam Raheem | Gwadar Pro Oct 28, 2022

ISLAMABAD, Oct 28 (Gwadar Pro) - “Given that issues such as issuance of letters of credit and tax withholding faced by telecom companies have been or are being resolved, next month we will once again unveil the 5G spectrum options to sufficiently accelerate the 5G process in Pakistan and promote network connectivity across the country,” Pakistan’s Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque said in a recent interview with Gwadar Pro.

The minister further explained that to improve  5G infrastructure, the federal government has created a strategic framework which will be completed within a few months for the launch of 5G. “Furthermore, Pakistan is supporting domestic manufacturing of mobile phones, especially smartphones, so as to effectively increase exports while fully meeting domestic demand. We are communicating with different social media companies, such as Tik Tok, which is planning to open an office in Islamabad,” he highlighted.

At a recent ceremony to donate PKR 10 million to the funds of flood affectees of Sindh by Zong in Islamabad, the minister highlighted that the ministry aims to upgrade the digital skills of the Pakistani population. The government of Pakistan is planning to launch 5G in Pakistan by 2023 as per the official document of the Ministry of Information and Telecommunication (MOITT). The launch will commence from the three major cities of Pakistan, including Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore.

However, broadband and connectivity are problematic in densely populated areas of second- and third-tier cities. In this regard, the Ministry for IT and Telecommunication is investing tons of money through the universal services fund (USF). He explained that there were 6 projects in 2018 and now the number has increased to 35. There will be a revolution in the coming months when all these projects are completed.

The minister lauded the tremendous efforts of telecom companies in Pakistan, including Zong, to contribute to national connectivity. He explained that “7% of the network has been disrupted by devastating floods in different parts of Pakistan. We got it backup to 2% in three to four days, and now almost 100% of the network is reconnected, which shows Pakistan’s technological prowess.”

Pakistan’s IT-related exports reached $2.5 billion in FY2021-2022 with a target of $4 billion in FY2022-2023. “With the joint efforts of IT and related Ministries, PTA and telecom companies, we are sure to realize digital Pakistan at an early date,” the minister maintained.

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