Senior officials from the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication (MoITT) told ProPakistani that the country’s 5G service will be launched in stages.
In the first phase, 5G will be available in Pakistan’s five capital cities: Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, and Peshawar. All other nations, according to MoITT officials, are working on a phased launch strategy, and the Government of Pakistan (GoP) will follow suit.
The government has shared a draft of a 5G policy with the sector and other interested parties. According to reports, the government has received feedback from one or two operators and is awaiting responses from additional industry stakeholders. On the request of the stakeholders, the deadline for comments on the draught policy guidelines has been extended to February 28, 2022. The draught will be presented with the Federal Government after receiving comments from the industry. As a result, the GoP will release 5G policy instructions based on the ministry’s orders.
The government is planning to launch 5G in the last quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023. In this regard, a spectrum advisory committee has been formed, and incentives for spectrum rollout will be announced in the upcoming finance bill. The Ministry of Finance, in consultation with MoITT, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Frequency Allocation Board (FAB), and other relevant stakeholders, will finalise incentives, which will be reflected in the Financial Bill 2022-23.
PTA will hire consultants for the 5G auction in the nation, according to authorities, following a policy instruction from the Federal Government. These consultants’ recommendations will be sent to the Federal Government, and once approved, PTA will initiate plans for the commercial introduction of 5G.
Jazz, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), Telenor Pakistan, and Zong are among the telecom companies that have successfully completed 5G testing in Pakistan. The GoP will issue policy directions after receiving input from the industry on draught policy guidelines, following which the hiring of consultants and other processes will begin.