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The fifth-generation connectivity for data networks across the world promises to make all connectivity problems that we routinely face a thing of the past. 5G has also been highlighted as a path towards a truly wireless future where data speeds will be faster than ever and latency will be reduced remarkably. With faster data speeds will come better business opportunities.

Just as 4G made development and use of essential everyday services like ride-sharing and hailing, meal delivery, and more possible – which would have struggled with 3G speeds – 5G is set to open doors to a host of new opportunities for the socio-economic uplift of the people and hence the country. Incredible data speeds might spur a whole new type of businesses or business models that may be unheard of today.

One major change, however, that 5G will bring is a proliferation of data-intensive technologies like artificial intelligence, internet of things (IoT), among others. IoT, especially, will see its heyday with 5G becoming more common as so far its heavy implementation is limited to the industrial level. On a personal scale, such as in smart homes, this technology hasn’t seen equal traction around the world as the low-powered Wi-Fi networks still common in many parts of the world struggle with connecting multiple devices at the same time.

While 5G solves this issue, it will be making way for a larger impact by enabling smart cities and global connectivity. Areas that were denied connectivity in the past could finally be brought into the fold of digital inclusion with the advent of 5G, which would bring employment opportunities to the remotest parts of the world.

5G technology would also allow better control of devices such as drones, industrial robots, self-driven cars, and safety systems. With such technology accessible to the general public, even remote medical procedures and treatments will become possible, and the healthcare sector will be revolutionized.

Smart cities could get a whole new meaning with 5G, enabling cities to manage and track their workings like never before. Smart, AI-based solutions for traffic management, infrastructure maintenance, and the management of resources, besides countless other things, will see the light of the day in the 5G era. With its potential to be faster than any wired Wi-Fi network, the connected IoT systems of smart cities will function anywhere without being constrained to local wireless networks.

This is just a tiny picture of how 5G will transform life as we know it, definitely for the better. A technology like this can be a true game-changer for a developing country like Pakistan that has steep digitalization goals and aims for an IT-based knowledge economy in the near future. With a dynamic young population and a thriving and committed ICT sector with passionate players like Zong, the dream of Digital Pakistan might not be much far from becoming a reality.

In November 2020, Zong 4G made national headlines by placing the first international 5G video call with Beijing mobile.

The pioneering 5G NSA call between Beijing and Islamabad was witnessed, in person, by Pakistan’s Minister of IT & Telecom Syed Amin Ul Haque, among many others. The event was momentous and historic. Besides being a mammoth milestone in Zong’s network transformation journey, it showed the company’s unfaltering commitment to advancing Pakistan into the digital future through future technology. Just the way it became the first mover of 4G in the Pakistani telecommunications market, Zong’s industry-leading 5G testing brought Pakistan closer to the 5G era that is set to transform lives.

While 5G Mobile networks hold great promise and potential to boost digital development in Pakistan, the World Bank fears that delays in its deployment would delay a revolutionary leap in capacity from 4G to 5G. Proving its 5G readiness, Zong has shown the nation that the 5G era is beckoning with all its advantages and opportunities, and is set to change lives and livelihoods forever. A country like Pakistan with immense growth potential but longstanding socio-economic challenges, especially, has great reason to celebrate the onset of 5G.

(The writer is a Communications Consultant. The views expressed in this article

are not necessarily those of the newspaper)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021