Pakistan is the latest country to announce initiatives that will, eventually, lead to the auction of 5G spectrum and the rollout of 5G technology.
According to local press reports, the federal government is said to have announced the constitution of an advisory committee for the approval and inclusion of incentives in the budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 to facilitate the auction of 5G technology.
The advisory committee has a lot of work to do: its remit includes reviewing and approving a strategic 5G launch plan with input from all stakeholders.
Once the relevant approvals are out of the way, the auction process will be undertaken by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). The deadline for launching 5G is to be December this year or January 2023, implying an auction this year.
According to Pakistan’s Express Tribune news service, the committee includes a number of senior government ministers, the PTA chairman and the Frequency Allocation Board executive director, among others.
The committee will reference global spectrum utilisation before it submits a plan for the optimum use of available spectrum. Reference has also been made to the recommendations of a reputed consultant who will be hired by the PTA to help with the auction, design and details of the release of investment-friendly IMT/5G spectrum. This, it is hoped, will maximise spectrum utilisation in line with the ‘Digital Pakistan’ vision.
The Digital Pakistan drive, which started in 2018, aims to promote connectivity, improve digital infrastructure, increase investment in digital skills, and promote innovation and technology entrepreneurship.
The Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Aminul Haq, was quoted as suggesting that initially 5G services would be launched in five major cities.