Pakistan is not yet ready to adopt technology as it depends on a number of factors that need to be addressed, notably the lack of large unified blocks of available spectrum, wider availability of fiber optic networks, and wider availability of 5G smartphones and other affordable devices, according to a report released by the World Bank, stating the conditions are necessary for its success.

The purpose of this World Bank report, prepared by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, was to examine Pakistan’s readiness to build 5G networks. The final report, Pakistan: Telecommunications Advisory, 5G Preparedness Plan for Pakistan, states that Pakistan’s current telecommunications market has been analyzed to determine 5G capabilities by comparing with neighboring countries and global standards.

Pakistan has a large population and good prospects for continued economic growth, currently congested mobile network, dynamic urban centers, relatively easy access to sufficient 4G / 5G spectrum, undeveloped fixed network infrastructure, significant obstacles to rapid deployment of embedded software for linear infrastructure …

Pakistani Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) jointly stated that “the readiness of the entire project is primarily linked to supply and demand factors, thus creating a foundation (often collaboration between public and private sector initiatives) and commercial viability.

The report recommends that the government should announce support for deployment of 5G services by 2022, whilst addressing the three key issues highlighted below

(i) larger contiguous blocks of reasonably priced spectrum in accordance with a spectrum roadmap so that Pakistan should have a goal to have 840 MHz of IMT spectrum allocated in low and mid-bands by end of 2022/early 2023.

(ii) fiberisation/transmission capacity upgrades of backhaul capacity

(iii) policy support for consumers to gain access to more affordable 4G and 5G capable smartphones and other devices

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