Pakistan is apparently preparing to begin testing 5G, the next generation of mobile technology, within the next three years. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority circulated handouts regarding 5G recently in Islamabad.
Pakistan aims to test 5G by 2020
The PTA is currently developing technical standards for the mobile Internet technology and calling for mobile carriers to apply for 5G spectrum. The regulator collaborated with Qualcomm for the Technology Evolution & Roadmap to 5G workshop held in the nation’s capital.
Officials are reportedly informing interested companies that harmonized spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band is up for grabs. They are now planning to invite applications at some point soon to measure interest in participating in a trial of the technology before they finalize the technical standards for it in 2020.
The race to the next generation
Pakistan aims to join the U.S., the U.K., South Korea and China, all of which are targeting the same year as the deadline to launch the mobile broadband service. At this time, no county is offering 5G mobile broadband service. AT&T is preparing to offer what it calls “5G Evolution” in the U.S., as it recently revealed plans to roll it out in approximately 20 cities by the end of this year. However, the mobile carrier isn’t actually launching the next real generation of mobile service. It simply branded its updated 4G network with that name even though the technology is just an improved version of 4G.
The term “5G” basically just means fifth-generation mobile network or wireless system, and while countries like Pakistan are racing to develop standards for it, companies such as ZTE and Intel are racing to lead the way in hardware for the technology. The two companies partnered recently for the sales of IT baseband units for the technology, which they showcased at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year.