Pakistan Gears Up for 5G Rollout in 2024

Pakistan is set to make a significant leap in its technological landscape with the planned rollout of 5G mobile connectivity by August 2024. This move will place Pakistan among the nations with advanced 5G capabilities, responding to the increasing demand for faster and more sophisticated telecommunication services.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication announced this development on Tuesday, revealing a comprehensive business plan for the launch of 5G services in the country. The plan rejects the telecom operators’ demand for free 5G spectrum allocation, opting instead to assist operators in reducing infrastructure development costs.

To ensure the successful deployment of 5G services, the Ministry has decided to hire an international consultant. A formal request has been sent to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for the selection of an experienced consultant who can provide valuable insights and guidance for the upcoming project.

The Ministry has also sent a summary to the Prime Minister’s office for the formation of an Inter-Ministerial Advisory Committee. This committee will play a crucial role in shaping the future of 5G in Pakistan.

In collaboration with the consultant advisory committee, the government plans to develop an auction policy and business plan. They intend to draw inspiration from successful models in countries like Bangladesh for the spectrum auction process. The plan emphasizes that spectrum allocation will not be granted to any single operator without a competitive process to ensure fairness and promote a competitive environment.

Before the auction of the coveted 600 MHz spectrum, the business plan outlines the need for substantial reforms in the telecom sector. This includes addressing ongoing court cases related to spectrum allocation and creating incentives for telecom operators to participate actively in the auction.

To further encourage the expansion of 5G services, the business plan includes provisions for facilitating the opening of Letter of Credits (LC) and laying fiber optic cables.

This development comes at a time when neighboring countries are also making strides in their telecommunication sectors. For instance, India recently saw a remarkable surge in mobile download speeds following the launch of 5G services, surpassing Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh in the rankings.

Meanwhile, Jazz, Pakistan’s largest digital operator, is bringing Pakistan’s first 5G Innovation Hackathon in close collaboration with the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST). This event marks another significant step towards the realization of 5G technology in the country.

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