The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) has decided to send infrastructure sharing and spectrum re-farming frameworks to the federal cabinet for approval.
According to IT Ministry sources, consultation with industry and other stakeholders on the spectrum reframing framework has been completed whereas consultation on the infrastructure sharing framework is in the final stages.
Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) expressed some reservations regarding the Infrastructure Sharing Framework. CMOs had also written a letter to the ministry in this regard and the ministry has decided to invite representatives of CMOs for final consultation.
MoITT had recently prepared both infrastructure sharing and spectrum re-farming frameworks and uploaded them on its website for feedback from the industry, the general public, and other stakeholders.
According to the spectrum refarming framework, if the federal government wants to re-farm any spectrum, it will constitute a committee called the Spectrum Re-farming Committee. The committee will comprise MoITT, Frequency Allocation Board (FAB), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), and incumbent users.
Spectrum refarming is a combination of administrative, financial, and technical measures aimed at removing the equipment of the existing frequency assignments either completely or partially from a particular frequency band. The frequency band may then be allocated to the same or different services.
The infrastructure-sharing framework will open a huge potential for foreign direct investment and the inclusion of new companies in Pakistan. It will also facilitate cellular mobile operators to reduce operational costs to enhance sustainability. The framework once in place will open a new era of domestic and international investments in Pakistan and will increase job opportunities.