Forget 5G, people in Pakistan struggle with ‘substandard’ 4G internet services

Islamabad: The world is witnessing a major push in the telecom sector with the introduction of 5G services, however, this unfortunately is not the case with Pakistan, which continues to struggle with “substandard” 4G internet services, while the Shehbaz Sharif-led government is busy shifting the blame.

While on one end parliamentarians have expressed serious concerns over the poor internet services across Pakistan, the Ministry of IT and Telecom has shifted the blame to State Bank of Pakistan for a ban on opening Letters of Credit (LCs) to import the requisite machinery and cables , The Express Tribune reported.

On Wednesday, officials of the Ministry of IT informed the parliamentary body that, “The main reason for substandard internet in the country is the non-opening of LCs.”

“LCs in the telecom industry are banned by the SBP, and the country is currently facing a shortage of fiber optics,” said the officials.

‘4G services still not widely available’

Under the chairmanship of Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali, Pakistan’s National Assembly Standing Committee on IT recently held a meeting wherein the members raised several questions regarding the quality of internet services across the country. “There are neither phone signals nor internet connectivity in Karachi or Hyderabad,” a committee member lamented.

Another member highlighted that “there has been much talk of launching 5G technology in the country despite the fact that 4G service is still not widely available.”

Our question is, what is the standard service of the Internet? inquired members of the IT committee, the report said.

Moreover, they stated that there is no internet service while traveling on motorways, adding that even Karachi, which is considered to be the ‘business hub’, does not have quality internet service.

Internet consumption in Pakistan

Officials of the Ministry of IT and Telecom noted that internet users across Pakistan had increased by 60 million in the last four years. From January to November last year, more than 10 million new users have been added, informing the additional secretary of the ministry.

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