Cellular mobile operators (CMOs) operating in Pakistan have demanded immediate policy interventions by the caretaker government including delinking spectrum price from the dollar, extending license payments over twenty years, suspension of industry contributions to Universal Service Fund (USF) and Ignite as well as granting access to industrial electricity tariffs to restore investor confidence and pave the way for future technologies including 5G spectrum auction.
The Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr Umar Saif held a series of meetings with different stakeholders including the CEOs of telecom operators to discuss reforms of the telecom sector and timeline for auction of 5G spectrum.
The IT ministry said that the purpose of meetings with the CEOs of the cellular companies was to inform the telecom companies about the preparations for the 5G auction and prepare the market.
According to the official statement, the government is planning to conduct a 5G spectrum auction in the next few months. Dr Saif said that the government is taking steps to provide better telecom services in the country. Consumers do not get good service due to limited bandwidth, said the minister, adding that 5G will provide better and quality telecom services to customers.
In a post on X, the Jazz CEO said that they had a productive meeting with the IT minister. It’s crucial to address the pressing issues facing Pakistan’s telecom sector to restore investor confidence and pave the way for future technologies, he added.
Ibrahim added that he highlighted some long pending policy interventions. These include delinking spectrum prices from the U.S. dollar, extending license payments over twenty years, a temporary suspension of industry contributions to USF and Ignite, and granting the telecom sector its rightful access to industrial electricity tariffs. These interventions are urgently needed for the telecom industry to continue powering the Digital Pakistan dream, he said further.