Embracing the Digital Future: Pakistan Greenlights 5G Spectrum Auction

Since the caretaker government has taken charge, there have been talks of holding a 5G spectrum auction. Now, as per a credible source, Pakistan has given the go-ahead for the 5G spectrum auction. Moreover, an advisory committee has been set up for completing the preparations. The news was confirmed by the Caretaker Minister for Information Technology (IT) Dr Umar Saif in a statement given to a media group. He informed that an advisory committee for the spectrum auction was formed which would be led by the caretaker finance minister. The committee members consist of IT and industry ministers.

Furthermore, Umar Saif added that 300 MHz spectrum would be available for the 5G auction. The spectrum will be auctioned after finalizing the consultant through the national telecom regulator Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

The minister further added that the federal cabinet has also approved telecom infrastructure sharing or tower sharing. The infrastructure sharing prior to the 5G auction, he added, is a business-friendly tool for all telecommunications companies, allowing them to install equipment on other towers.

It is also important to note that Pakistan has already lagged behind other nations in launching the 5G spectrum. The Ministry of IT and Telecom had announced that 5G would be rolled out by the middle of 2023, and it was also attempting to attract foreign investors.

The IT ministry issued directives to PTA and affiliated departments last month. The government is expected to raise millions of dollars from the 5G spectrum auction, which will probably take place in August 2024, according to sources.

According to sources, telcos are presently utilizing approximately 367 MHz of spectrum, and the new spectrum auction will increase this to over 600 MHz. Local mobile operators are reportedly unwilling to purchase 5G licenses due to economic instability, making the launch of the much-anticipated 5G spectrum in Pakistan within the next 10 months virtually impossible.

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