Islamabad: While the government is optimistic that 5G mobile services will be available by the end of 2022, Pakistan’s leading telecom operator has stated that this will not be feasible for the sector because the country currently requires optimal utilisation of 4th Generation (4G) technology.

Mr Ibrahim went on to say that if customers wanted faster speeds, they could get them through a more powerful 4G infrastructure.

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“I firmly believe that the ecosystem needs further nurturing and areas of policy developed to entice operators. 5G requires fundamental changes in both investment strategy, spectrum policy and deployment,” he said, adding implementation of 5G requires much higher upfront investment costs.

To adopt and deploy a 5G network, he added, all stakeholders must work together to change obsolete rules, assure the availability of inexpensive smart devices, form alliances, raise funds, release spectrum, develop digital skills, stimulate demand, and foster innovation.

The first nations to commercially debut 5G had a 4G penetration rate of close to 70% or higher.

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According to the latest numbers, Pakistan’s 4G penetration stands at 43 percent, while 45 percent of the country’s current subscriber base does not use mobile internet, and 15 percent of the population lives without telecom service, according to Mr Ibrahim.

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