ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr Umar Saif said that 5G services in Pakistan would be launched by July-August 2024.
Addressing the Pakistan Mobile Summit, the first-ever mobile conference in the country, Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr Umar Saif said that a 300MHz spectrum would be offered for auction.
“Before the launch of 5G services, the optic fiber network has to be enhanced. Currently, only 6,000 mobile towers are related to optic fiber cables (OFC), out of around 56,000 towers across the country,” he added.
The IT and Telecommunication minister said that in order to promote the local mobile industry, the federal government has decided to grant three percent 3 Research and Development (R&D) allowance to mobile manufacturers.
Dr Umar Saif that the decision will be implemented starting from the next fiscal year. He said that the R&D allowance will be increased from three to eight percent in the upcoming years.
Dr Umar Saif said the decision is expected to encourage and support local mobile manufacturers in their research and development endeavors. “The move aligns with the government s broader strategy to boost the technology sector and promote self-sufficiency in the production of electronic devices within Pakistan,” he added.
The IT and Telecommunication minister said that the country had assembled approximately 9 million mobile phones worth around $1.5 billion during the last two years. He said currently about 35 different mobile phone brands were actively contributing to the local mobile phone manufacturing industry.
Dr Umar Saif said the country has exported nearly 250,000 mobile phones and earned around $ 200 million dollars foreign exchange. He also informed the audience about efforts being made at the local level to prepare some components, with the goal of eventually manufacturing fully assembled phones within the country.
The IT and Telecommunication minister said that Pakistan is the 7th largest market of cellular users in the world with 191 million cellular connections. “We import most of our mobile phones. We need to manufacture them locally and develop an industry to export made-in-Pakistan phones” he added.
He said that Pakistani government has played a pivotal role in supporting the growth of this industry by offering various incentives.”