The Race to 5G: PTA Makes Strides Towards Spectrum Allocation

Pakistan’s 5G launch accelerates with spectrum allocation approval by the Frequency Allocation Board, heralding advanced connectivity.

Pakistan is gearing up for a technological leap as the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) strides towards the launch of 5G services in the country. With approval from the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) secured for spectrum allocation, the nation is set on a trajectory toward advanced connectivity.

In tandem with this milestone, the PTA has embarked on the crucial task of engaging an international consultant to streamline the rollout of 5G technology. The Terms of Reference (ToRs) for this consultancy have been shared with the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoIT&T), signaling a collaborative effort between multiple government bodies to ensure a seamless transition.

Sources within the IT Ministry have disclosed that the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) has set a definitive target for the launch of 5G services within the first quarter of 2025. This ambitious goal underscores the imperative to expedite preparatory measures for the imminent rollout.

The allocation of spectrum across various International Telecommunication Union (ITU) bands, designated for Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) auction, is a pivotal step in Pakistan’s 5G journey. Bands including 700, 2100, 2300, 2600, and 3300 MHz have been earmarked, showcasing the nation’s readiness for 5G deployment. Notably, the government holds a significant stake in the 700 MHz band, with 30 MHz (2 x 15 MHz) frequency, deemed optimal for 5G services.

Anticipating the complexities inherent in such a technological transition, the PTA has diligently prepared a comprehensive 5G working paper. This document, shared with both the MoIT&T and the Ministry of Finance, elucidates the technical and regulatory nuances critical for a successful launch.

A pivotal meeting held under the auspices of the auction advisory committee, chaired by former Finance Minister Shamshad Akhter during the caretaker regime, underscored the paramount importance of spectrum allocation for 5G. Directives were issued to the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) to expedite the allocation process and liaise with the PTA accordingly.

The impending launch of 5G services in Pakistan holds immense promise for the nation’s digital landscape. From bolstering connectivity in remote areas to fostering innovation and economic growth, the benefits are manifold. However, the journey towards 5G is fraught with challenges, necessitating meticulous planning and coordination among stakeholders.

As Pakistan marches towards technological advancement, the role of international expertise in navigating the complexities of 5G deployment cannot be overstated. The engagement of a seasoned consultant underscores the nation’s commitment to ensuring a smooth and efficient transition to next-generation connectivity.

In the coming months, all eyes will be on Pakistan as it inches closer to the much-anticipated launch of 5G services. With regulatory frameworks in place, spectrum allocation secured, and international expertise at its disposal, the nation stands poised to usher in a new era of connectivity and innovation. The race to 5G is well and truly underway in Pakistan.