5G Launch in Pakistan Faces Further Delays Amid Ongoing Legal Issues

The government’s plans to launch 5G services in Pakistan might face further delays of over a year due to ongoing court cases. The spectrum auction, already postponed for several years for similar reasons, remains a critical bottleneck in this process.

Details from the Economic Advisory Wing of the Ministry of Finance reveal that the groundwork to position Pakistan as a global digital player is underway. The IT ministry has emphasized this initiative and has formed an Advisory Committee for the launch of 5G under the leadership of the finance minister.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is currently in the process of hiring consultants to facilitate the 5G spectrum auction. The IT ministry’s report, which will be included in the upcoming Economic Survey 2023-24, underscores the government’s intention to create an investment-friendly environment. This initiative aims to encourage all telecom operators to participate actively in the 5G spectrum auction.

5G Launch in Pakistan Faces Further Delays Amid Ongoing Legal Issues

Mobile operators in Pakistan, including Zong, Jazz, Telenor, and Ufone, have successfully conducted 5G trials. They are currently utilizing 274 MHz of spectrum, but to roll out 5G services, there is a need for an additional 300 MHz of spectrum for commercial mobile broadband services.

The IT ministry is optimistic about resolving the legal challenges that have delayed the 5G rollout. With the support of stakeholders such as the law ministry and the Attorney General for Pakistan, the ministry is actively pursuing several long-pending court cases.

In addition to 5G initiatives, the IT ministry is also working on Pakistan’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) Policy. The govt also established the National Artificial Policy Committee to oversee the formulation of this policy. This move will position Pakistan at the forefront of AI development and implementation.

In addition to 5G initiatives, the IT ministry is also working on Pakistan’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) Policy

The report also highlights the importance of the Electronic Certification Accreditation Council (ECAC) in creating a trustworthy environment for electronic transactions. The ECAC provides a legal and regulatory framework to facilitate secure electronic transactions in both the public and private sectors. It grants and renews certificates issued to Certification Service Providers (CSPs), including their cryptography services and security procedures. This ensures that Pakistan keeps pace with the evolving trends in e-commerce while protecting the interests of all stakeholders.

All companies, individuals, or firms engaged in electronic services must use accredited digital certificates to ensure security, integrity, and authenticity. ECAC provided the legal framework to recognise and facilitate documents, records, information, communications, and transactions in electronic form, allowing digital signatures to be accepted on par with handwritten signatures.

To support this initiative, Pakistan has deployed the National Root Certification Authority (NRCA). The NRCA is responsible for the creation, management, and effective implementation of electronic transactions in the country. The ECAC will also enrol Pakistan’s National Root CA in globally recognized browsers such as Mozilla’s Firefox, Microsoft’s Edge, Google’s Chrome, and Apple’s Safari. Additionally, they will integrate it into operating systems including Microsoft’s Windows, Google’s Android, and Apple’s iOS and macOS.

These efforts reflect Pakistan’s commitment to becoming a leading digital nation, despite the challenges and delays in launching 5G services. By addressing legal hurdles and promoting technological advancements, the government aims to foster a robust digital ecosystem that supports innovation and economic growth.

See Also: Pakistan Faces Rs 32 Billion Shortfall in Non-Tax Revenue from 5G Licenses

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Onsa Mustafa

Onsa is a Software Engineer and a tech blogger who focuses on providing the latest information regarding the innovations happening in the IT world. She likes reading, photography, travelling and exploring nature.

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