The interim federal minister for information technology and telecommunications, Dr. Umar Saif, claims that Pakistan is preparing to launch 5G services in July or August of 2024. The minister stated as much at the Pakistan Mobile Summit, where he also revealed plans to put 300 MHz of spectrum up for sale in advance of the 5G deployment. However, Dr. Saif stressed how important it is to fortify the optical fiber network prior to the deployment of 5G. He brought up the fact that just around 6,000 of the 56,000 mobile towers in the country are now connected to fiber-optic cables.
In an effort to support the regional mobile sector, the federal government has decided to provide mobile producers with a 3% Research and Development (R&D) remittance starting in the next fiscal year. According to Dr. Umar Saif, over the next several years, this remuneration will increase from three to eight percent, enabling local businesses to engage in research and development.
This initiative is in line with the government’s broader goals of growing the technology sector and achieving Pakistani electronic device manufacturing self-sufficiency.
Dr. Umer Saif also highlighted the significant progress made in homegrown smartphone manufacturing, pointing out that in the last 24 months, about 9 million smartphones—worth around $1.5 billion—were assembled in the country.
Currently, 35 different cell phone companies actively promote the local manufacturing industry. Aside from that, local preparations are being undertaken for the component parts, with the ultimate goal of manufacturing finished phones in Pakistan.