All locally produced and imported telecom equipment must adhere to the specified health, safety, and security standards once the regulations go into effect.

The telecom regulator is expected to enforce standards for all frequency-based devices from next month, allowing for the rollout of 5G and reducing reckless usage of radio-based equipment. Earlier this year, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) published a draft set of regulations titled “Regulations for Telecom Equipment Standards, 2023.”

Once the preliminary procedures are finished, they probably will be informed the following month. The regulations specify the method to test them and offer various standards for various types of telecommunications equipment.

All locally produced and imported telecom equipment must adhere to the specified health, safety, and security standards once the regulations go into effect.

Regulations specify testing procedures and offer various standards for various frequency-based devices. The general public’s perception of “telecom equipment” is very limited, the minister of IT and telecom told the media, and many medical devices, traffic radars, Bluetooth-enabled devices, frequency jammers, etc. fall into this category.

There have been numerous complaints about the installation of imported machinery and gadgets that, like natural gas compressors, can pull nearby signals. It creates a situation similar to a black hole where there is no signal for nearby users, according to the minister.

He claimed that because there is no law governing this, the use of such devices cannot be stopped. In addition, he added, equipment frequency standards were required if the nation was to move towards the adoption of 5G technology.

The term “telecommunication equipment” as used in the new regulations refers to any switches, equipment, wires, cables, apparatus, poles, structures, ducts, manholes, and other items other than terminal equipment that are a part of any telecommunication system or are used in connection with any telecommunication service. However, radio astronomy and space radio communication are not covered by these regulations.

All licences granted under the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act, 1996, including those granted to those who produce and import telecommunications equipment, are subject to the regulations.

The draft includes a list of the telecommunications equipment standards from various organisations, including the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), that will be used by the PTA to set up, operate, and maintain telecommunication systems or provide telecommunication services in Pakistan.

The minimum technical requirements for telecommunications equipment are broken down into a number of categories, including electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), health and safety, optical and laser, radio frequency (RF), specific absorption rate (SAR), human exposure, satellite communication, terminal mobile devices and communication, and terrestrial device standards.

Following notification of regulations, obtaining a no-objection certificate from the PTA will be required, and complaints regarding unauthorised use of telecommunications equipment can be made to the relevant authority.