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Wednesday June 12, 2024

5G spectrum auction in next fiscal

By Our Correspondent
February 10, 2022
5G spectrum auction in next fiscal

ISLAMABAD: The government has constituted an ‘Advisory Committee’ under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin along with 12 other members, including representatives of GHQ and ISI for conducting 5G Spectrum auction during the next fiscal year 2022-23.

It will review and approve the 5G strategic plan to enable timely launch of 5G services in Pakistan in consultation with all stakeholders including the telecom operators by finalising telecom reforms and incentives to promote IMT/5G technology. This transaction is expected to be completed by December 2022 or January 2023 and may fetch multimillion dollars through a bidding process.

Federal Minister for IT & Telecom Syed Aminul Haque said in a statement that they would hold consultations with the telecom operators for making this upcoming transaction successful. The 5G services are expected to be launched in five major cities of the country. It will fetch multibillion-dollar investment from Telecos to upgrade their network for smooth running of 5G technology and generate more job opportunities.

It is pertinent to mention that the recent spectrum auction was participated by just one existing player Ufone, while all other players preferred to keep themselves out of the process. It will be challenging for the government to lure all existing players to participate in the upcoming 5G spectrum auction process to ensure competition as well as maximise the revenue generation.

According to the official notification issued by the Ministry of Information Technology & Telecommunication, the government has constituted an ‘Advisory Committee’ of broad-based IMT/5G technology for the release of 5G Spectrum decided by the Economic Coordination Committee and ratified by the federal cabinet.

The chairman of the Advisory Committee will be the federal minister for finance, while others members will be federal minister for information technology, federal minister for science and technology, federal minister for industries, advisor to PM on Commerce, secretary Finance Division, secretary IT & Telecom, secretary Law & Justice Division, chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, executive director Frequency Allocation Board, representatives of GHQ, Director General (Tech) ISI, member Telecom and IT Division and any other member of the committee may wish to co-opt.

According to the terms of reference of the ‘Advisory Committee’, it will review the International Mobile Telecommunication Spectrum, utilization versus available and used spectrums in Pakistan vis-à-vis global spectrum utilization and submit a clear way forward and plan for optimum use of this scarce valuable resource. The committee will review and approve the 5G strategic plan to enable timely launch of 5G services in Pakistan in consultation with all stakeholders including the telecom operators. It would also examine and finalise the telecom reforms and incentives to promote IMT/5G technology ecosystem adoption, and ensure they are reflected in Finance bill 2022-23. It would review the market assessment report and approve the way forward based on the recommendations of reputed consultants for the auction design/details of an investment-friendly IMT/5G spectrum release. This would maximise the spectrum utilisation in line with ‘Digital Pakistan’ vision, to approve the policy directives of the federal government for release of 5G Spectrum.