Pakistan Set to Launch 5G Services by August 2024

Pakistan is on the cusp of a significant technological leap as it gears up for the introduction of 5G mobile phone connectivity, with a targeted rollout set for August 2024, as announced by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication.

This development signifies a pivotal moment in Pakistan’s technological landscape as it strives to join the ranks of nations equipped with 5G capabilities. The decision to embark on this endeavour is a response to the escalating demand for faster and more advanced telecommunications services within the country.

In this pursuit, government officials have unveiled an extensive business plan to facilitate the launch of 5G services across Pakistan. Notably, the request from telecom operators for free 5G spectrum allocation has been declined. Instead, the government aims to support operators in mitigating the costs associated with infrastructure development.

To ensure the smooth and successful deployment of 5G services, the Ministry of Information Technology has taken the initiative to engage an international consultant. A formal request has been forwarded to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to select a seasoned consultant who can provide invaluable insights and guidance for this ambitious project.

Furthermore, the ministry has submitted a summary to the Prime Minister’s office for the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Advisory Committee, which will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of 5G technology in Pakistan.

In collaboration with the consultant advisory committee, the government intends to formulate an auction policy and business plan. Drawing inspiration from successful models employed by countries like Bangladesh, the plan emphasises that spectrum allocation will be conducted through a competitive process to ensure fairness and foster a competitive environment.

Prior to the auction of the coveted 600 MHz spectrum, the business plan underscores the necessity for substantial reforms within the telecom sector. This includes addressing ongoing court cases related to spectrum allocation and creating incentives for telecom operators to actively participate in the auction.

To further incentivize the expansion of 5G services, the business plan incorporates provisions for streamlining the opening of a Letter of Credit (LC) and the establishment of fibre optic infrastructure.

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