Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) permits two cellular mobile companies i.e. Jazz and Zong to test 5G in Pakistan. The test of 5G wireless technology schedules to conduct under a finite environment and for a non-commercial basis only. Basically; Fifth-generation wireless (5G) is the most recent iteration of cellular technology. It greatly increases the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks.
PTA Statement on Testing 5G Wireless Technology
According to PTA,
In line with the policy directive of the Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued “Framework for Test and Development of Future Technologies (Particularly Fifth Generation (5G) Wireless Networks in Pakistan)” in June 2019 for facilitating testing/trial only of 5G technology and related services in Pakistan.
As a follow up of the above mentioned policy directions, PTA has granted six months permission to PMCL (Jazz) and CMPak (Zong). It is to conduct test and trial of 5G Technology under limited environment. The permission limits to testing purpose only on non-commercial basis.
PTA always supports and encourages introduction of new technologies and enhanced services. However, any impression given beyond the stated purpose by any Cellular Mobile Operator (CMO) would be considered misleading and may invoke appropriate regulatory action.
Commercial launch of 5th Generation services in Pakistan would be done in due course following a process involving policy directions by Government of Pakistan and necessary regulatory approvals.
Earlier 5G tests in Pakistan
In June 2019, PTA allowed a framework for testing and development of future technologies including 5G wireless networks in Pakistan. At that time, it was one-time permission, however now PTA has given permission to the two companies a time period of six months. This time the trial is in a relatively wider area in Islamabad than the previous trials of both the companies in an in-house test.
Jazz conducted 5G tests in its headquarters in Islamabad this week. The company reports an average download speed of 1,452 Mbps and an upload speed of 68 Mbps. The speed was attained along with successful high definition voice and video calls. Zong conducted a similar test in August for 5G technology in Pakistan. The company witnessed 1- 1.4 Gbps download speed during the trials.
Challenges and Issues for 5G to launch in Pakistan
According to an Industry source,
The technology will also face some challenges like bandwidth, which is currently a scarce resource in our country.
For 5G, there is a need of around 100 MHz of bandwidth. This bandwidth is very large as previously Pakistan auctioned the spectrum of 10 to 15 MHz for 3G and 4G services In addition to this, 5G needs more towers than earlier technologies. It is so because, as the speed increases, the coverage area decreases. Previously, 3G and 4G in Pakistan required more towers than 2G technology.
Along with gaining the fastest internet speeds, 5G also have some negative impacts on the environment. Many countries around the globe have banned 5G testing. Different EMF studies show that 5G has adverse biological and health effects on humans. Other researches show harmful effects such as blindness, hearing loss, skin cancers, thyroid issues, etc. However, at present, it is only a trial of 5G happening in Pakistan. But its permanent deployment may cause many environmental and health issues to the people and every living thing alive.
Sources: The Express Tribune