It appears that Pakistani government in general, and Ministry of IT in particular, is going to continue its particular focus to keep the telecom industry on the growth trajectory. This is particularly important as the government has already held three successful transparent commercial auctions of frequency spectrum during its tenure.
Now, in a major development, Ministry of IT and Telecom has moved a Policy Directive for consideration of the Federal cabinet to enable Pakistan to test New and upcoming technologies including the Fifth Generation (5G) mobile communications.
If approved, Pakistani operators will be allowed to test 5G technology on their networks and prepare themselves for the deployment as soon as 5G technology will be available for commercial roll-outs.
Minister Anusha Rahman has firmly promised — while speaking at various events in the past — to make Pakistan one of the first countries to test, trial and launch the Fifth Generation (5G) Mobile technology.
5G is the next big evolution which will enable new ground breaking data rates and revolutionize the customer experience for services / applications compared to what is available today.
5G is currently under the research and development phase worldwide and it is expected to be standardized by ITU-R (International Telecommunication Union Radio-communication Sector) in 2019.
In line with its 2015 Telecom Policy and its commitment for providing state of the art services to the people of Pakistan, MoIT has embarked upon a new journey with this directive to PTA.
As per the draft proposal, PTA / FAB (Frequency Allocation Board) will identify / set aside appropriate bandwidth in the frequency spectrum blocks currently under consideration for 5G. Testing entities will be allowed access to such frequency blocks for testing purposes only.
PTA will roll-out such test trial facility for the new technologies through a regulatory framework to be issued in line with the Section 8.14 of the Telecom Policy 2015 for Temporary Test and Development Licenses/Authorizations within three months.
The regulatory framework shall include criteria for the provision of the test licenses, conditions, duration and other terms and conditions of reissuing the test licenses on expiry.
To continue the spirit of inclusiveness of all stakeholders in new and innovative ventures PTA will engage all the concerned organizations such as telecommunications operators, equipment manufacturers and research & development institutes for a successful execution of 5G trials.
The working to be set up for execution of this policy will also recommend further suitable frequency bands if required in view of future technology/standards development as well as other technical and logistical requirements for the trials.
To keep the transparency of the process and to apprise the public about developments ensuing from such technology test and trials will be regularly published in the annual report of the Authority.
While releasing the policy directive for consideration of the Cabinet Minister of State for Information Technology Ms. Anusha Rahman said that The Ministry has stayed committed to accelerated digitization through proliferation of broadband and particularly Mobile broadband.
Keeping the focus we shall ensure that Pakistani nation stays at the cutting edge of technology and the Policy directive is meant to ensure and showcase the continued commitment.
5G is expected to a big catalyst in taking Pakistani ICT market and usage to a whole new level for the benefit of economy and masses, she added.