Govt prepares draft of 5G policy

Incentives for spectrum rollout to be announced in financial bill FY23

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoIT&T) has prepared a policy framework for rolling out 5G in the country in 2023.

According to sources, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) will appoint consultants for the auction process after the policy is issued. Recommendations by these consultants will be forwarded to the federal government by December 2022 as the ministry is targeting a commercial launch in the first quarter 2023.

According to the draft available draft available with Profit, all relevant stakeholders including MoIT&T, Ministry of Finance (MoF), PTA and Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) will work together for conducting the spectrum’s auction whereas the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) will make the maximum possible interference free bandwidth available.

Likewise, efforts should be made for the expeditious resolution of respective court cases by MoIT&T, PTA, FAB and PEMRA.

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The spectrum assignment will continue to be technology neutral and the MoIT&T may review the Right of Way (RoWs) policy to facilitate telecom network deployment.

Under the 5G policy guidelines, MoIT&T will finalize the spectrum re-farming framework for IMT bands name for 3G/4G after consulting PTA, PEMRA and FAB. The process will be realised through a policy directive and spectrum re-farming committee comprising MoIT, FAB, PTA, PEMRA and incumbent users, in line with the Telecom Policy 2015.

To enable the 5G technological ecosystem, the Ministry of Finance, in consultation with MoIT&T, PTA, FAB and any other relevant stakeholders, will finalise incentives which will be reflected in the Financial Bill 2022-23 (FY23).

The guidelines also state that license holders of 5G will establish at least one innovation and test centers to scale up the spectrum ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurship activities at their own cost for citizens, academia, and research purposes at government designated institutes all over Pakistan within two years of the grant of a license.

Trials may include establishment of 5G hotspots in academic institutions, incubation centers, research organizations etc.

Furthermore, the MoIT&T and PTA will lead awareness and orientation campaigns for other ministries and departments to help them to develop coordinated policies and use cases relevant to mobile broadband and 5G.

Moreover, the MoIT&T and PTA, along with the Ministry of Health, Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (PEPA) and other stakeholders will engage in a public education campaign to reassure the public about the technology’s safety.

 

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Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is a an investigative journalist at Profit. He can be reached at [email protected]

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