Pakistan approves long-awaited 5G spectrum auction

5g launch in Pakistan

WEB DESK: In a noteworthy development, Pakistan has finally approved the much-anticipated 5G spectrum auction, signifying a pivotal advancement in the country’s technology sector.

Dr Umar Saif, the Caretaker Minister for Information Technology (IT), made the announcement, confirming that the federal cabinet has granted permission for the auction of the 5G spectrum.

To oversee the meticulous preparations for this pivotal event, an advisory committee has been established. This committee, chaired by the caretaker finance minister, comprises esteemed members from the IT and industry sectors.

Minister Saif provided detailed insights, stating that a total of 300 MHz of spectrum is slated for the 5G auction. The actual auctioning process will commence once a consultant is finalised through the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

In addition to this, the federal cabinet has granted approval for telecom infrastructure sharing, a move hailed as a business-friendly tool.

This initiative gives telecom companies the flexibility to install their equipment on existing towers, fostering a collaborative environment within the industry.

However, it’s crucial to note that Pakistan’s entry into the 5G realm comes after a delay compared to some other nations.

Financial experts anticipate substantial revenue generation from the 5G auction, with estimates suggesting a multimillion-dollar influx.

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The auction, tentatively scheduled for August 2024, is anticipated to significantly expand the existing spectrum capacity.

Presently, mobile companies are utilising approximately 367 MHz of spectrum, a figure set to soar to over 600 MHz following the new auction.

However, it’s worth mentioning that challenges lie ahead. Reports indicate that local mobile operators are apprehensive about purchasing 5G licences due to economic instability.

This reluctance raises concerns about the feasibility of launching the much-anticipated 5G spectrum within the stipulated 10-month timeframe.

As the nation navigates these complexities, the forthcoming 5G auction stands as a testament to Pakistan’s technological aspirations, promising transformative possibilities for the country’s digital landscape.

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