The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has created crucial foundations for Pakistan’s digital transformation as envisioned in the Telecom Policy 2015.
These frameworks will lessen needless inefficiency and have a negligible effect on the operators while ensuring that affordable digital and telecom services are accessible and readily available throughout the nation.
In collaboration with the Federal Government’s Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and other stakeholders, PTA was charged with creating the required regulatory instrument to promote, facilitate, and standardise infrastructure sharing.
Due to rising inflation, low average revenue per user (ARPU), rising fuel prices, revenue challenges, the need for significant capital expenditures for new technologies like 5G, connecting the disconnected in remote and rural areas, cost-effective ways to address capacity demand growth, social benefits, and nationwide coverage, there is a critical need for telecom infrastructure sharing in Pakistan.
Key elements consist of:
- The framework has been developed by PTA based on the principles of neutrality, non-discrimination, and equal access, considering regional & international best practices.
- The framework will provide a mechanism for licensees to share their telecom infrastructure facilities that would include passive (towers space, ducts, etc.) as well as active (Access Network – BTS, BSC/RNC, Microwave, etc.) components.
After long and several industry consultation rounds, the Authority adopted the draught Telecom Infrastructure Sharing Framework in November 2022 and presented it to the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) for policy-level approval by the Federal Government.
A limited and scarce natural resource is the RF spectrum. This wireless broadband is powered by oil. It is essential that RF spectrum is available for technological advancements and to accommodate the growing bandwidth requirements of broadband in the telecom industry.
The regulators have concentrated on the most recent trends in spectrum management in order to fulfil the expanding demands for the RF spectrum with the goal of maximising the social, economic, and technological advantages of this natural resource. Spectrum management is the procedure used to efficiently control the use of radio frequencies.
Framework for RF Spectrum Re-Farming (Section 8.5): PTA/PEMRA was tasked with developing a framework for spectrum re-farming that would be acceptable to the federal government in cooperation with FAB (MoIT).
- Spectrum will be re-farmed where its current use is not in the best social and economic interests of Pakistan, it is underutilized, used inefficiently or its use is inconsistent with international allocations.
- The re-farming will ensure the reassignment of frequencies to uses with greater social and commercial benefits than are attainable from the prevailing assignment of those frequencies.
Following a thorough stakeholder consultation process, PTA, in partnership with PEMRA, FAB, industry stakeholders, and MoITT, produced a regulatory framework that will be submitted, following Authority approval in due course, to MoITT for approval by the Federal Government.
Framework for Sharing RF Spectrum (Section 8.16) To be approved by the federal government, the RF Spectrum Sharing Framework was created by PTA and PEMRA in collaboration with FAB and stakeholders.
In accordance with the GoP’s directives, PTA created a draught framework after conducting numerous rounds of consultation with the sector and other internal and external stakeholders. Concerns and feedback from many industries regarding the draught frameworks were examined. The development of spectrum sharing has advanced significantly while taking into account all global trends and market dynamics. Draft Framework is currently going through one last review before being submitted to MoITT for approval.
Satellite Telecommunication Framework
In accordance with a mandate provided to it, PTA has been working on the creation of the Satellite Telecommunication Licensing Framework. The Pakistani Prime Minister established an inter-ministerial committee (IMC) to solidify an agreed framework on the regulatory and financial aspects of satellite services in Pakistan. In this context, PTA has put forth a framework for licencing and regulating the expansion of satellite services in the nation.
The proposed framework addresses licencing for fixed satellite services (FSS), mobile satellite services (MSS)—Global Mobile Personal Communication Services (GMPCS), and maritime and aeronautical satellite services (On-Board Internet Connectivity (OIC)—with a focus on spectrum management and the preservation of current services and users. The framework also specifies a registration procedure (for Earth stations, VSATs, etc.) that takes into account the best global standards.
For the purpose of issuing policy instructions to establish the satellite telecommunication licencing regime in Pakistan, this draught proposal has been provided to MoITT.
PTA recognises the telecom sector’s ongoing involvement and assistance, particularly that of MoITT, FAB, and PEMRA in the creation of these crucial and highly effective frameworks that will advance the industry.
Source: Press Release