ISLAMABAD, Dec 16: Amid prevailing technological period, every country across the world is trying to keep enhancing advancements and capture trillions of Dollars Information Technology (IT) market share.
Developed countries are now engaged in a technological trade war and trying to become a world leader in artificial intelligence.
The advanced countries had invested and were spending billions of Dollars in technology including next generation 5G which would ensure downloading large size of data within minutes or even seconds. It will help fulfill a dream of shifting scattered cities into smart cities.
China has been investing a great number of dollars in Pakistan under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
On the initiative of land-based connectivity, optical fiber cable is linked between two countries.
A Chinese company may lead Pakistan to its first ever 5G technology. However, 5G is more expensive than 4G. Therefore, the future government may have to work hard to introduce it in its full spirit as next evolution comes in form of 5G that will offer attractive data rates and more than that the fastest speed ever.
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is going to launch 5G standards in 2019 and on the whole, a vast number of trials and experiments already being held in different parts of the world including Pakistan.
Zong and Telenor might be the first companies to introduce 5G. Up to a point, Zong also introduced 4G service in Pakistan before any other company. The company also requested Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to take permission for the testing.
The question arises how 5G will be different from its preceding generations and when, what of 5G for Pakistan is still unclear.
The most publicized aspect of 5G is the introduction of new frequency spectrums, broadly categorized into frequency range 1 (FR-1) and range 2 (FR-2).
Recent 5G trails conducted abroad have already demonstrated the speed of 9.3 Gbps over 24 GHz spectrum, nearly 10 times faster than the theoretical maximum data rate for 4G.
When contacted, official sources said policy directives for test and development of technologies for fifth generation (5G) wireless networks in Pakistan has been issued last year which would be implemented by PTA.
The next generation mobile services (3G/4G) are continuously gaining momentum in Pakistan since their launch in mid 2014 while the demand for data services is growing along with subscriber-base which has crossed 60 million till October 2018 with tele-density of 28.89 during last five years.
The Basic Telephony subscriber reached three million with 1.30 per cent tele-density while on other hand the number of cellular subscribers crossed 152 million by end of October with 73.23 per cent tele-density.
The total number of broadband users including 3G nd 4G touched 62 million mark till October 2018.
The official said 4G network roll-outs continued across the country.
As per operator-wise data issued by PTA regarding number of 3G and 4G subscribers, Mobilink Jazz's total count for 3G users stood at 14.41 million by October 2018. Jazz 4G user numbers jumped from 5.6 million by September 2018 to 6.11 million by October 2018.
Zong 3G subscribers jumped to 8.91 million by October 2018 from 8.89 million in September this year while number of 4G users jumped from 8.52 million by September 2018 end to 8.91 million by October 2018.
The number of 3G users of Telenor decreased from 9.95 million in September 2018 to 9.61 million by October 2018. The number of 4G users jumped from 3.83 million in September 2018 to 4.1 million by October 2018.
Ufone's total 3G subscribers were showing increasing trend and reached 8.1 million by end of October 2018 as they were 7.86 million in September 2018.
It is imperative that we should remain proactive in ensuring market readiness for next wave of mobile communications i.e. 5G which would open a new arena for smart devices and ensure employment and investment opportunities in Pakistan during coming years.