PTA tells Senate that launching 5G services in Pakistan will take at least 5 years

So Member of PTA Board of Directors, Dr Khawar Siddique Khokhar, while meeting with the Senate’s Standing Committee on Information Technology, has asked for at least two months to furnish a plan for the upcoming era of 5G Technology. In the briefing, Dr Khawar informed the Senate committee that a  policy had been constituted in 2017 and that in June this year, the authority had devised a framework for the implementation of 5G in the country, he stated that “The PTA issued a framework for test and development of future technologies, particularly fifth generation wireless networks in Pakistan, in June 2019,” PTA tells Senate that launching 5G services in Pakistan will take at least 5 years.

In addition to that he also told the Senate that Zong and other network operators have already approached the authority and asked the authority for permission of conducting 5G trials in the country which was granted by the PTA, He further clarified that Zong had conducted a site test and not a network test. “The 5G technology has not been introduced on commercial level, neither Zong is authorised to do so,” he said.

In addition to that the PTA member made it very clear that permission given to Zong was limited to only just a trial period of three months and they have by no means permitted allowance for use on a commercial basis. He further added that the PTA was responsible for removing concerns expressed by the relevant quarters and that the  authority plan to do so. Dr. Khawar  referred to a advertisement which was advertised by Zong pertaining to its 5G test and he said that the company have been  barred from advertising this test. He added that a notice have been sent to the telecom operators for issuing the ‘misleading’ advertisement.

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Senator Shahzad Waseem said that all concerned quarters should play a “crystal clear game” and that it is important that all of the operating companies have a level playing field. Moreover, the Senator Kulsoom Parveen noted that Zong had abused the permission of testing 5G. The analyses of the impacts of 5G on human health, right of ways, applications, security, and infrastructure is yet to be made. He said that the PTA are planning to device a plan for the successful implementation and how to implement this technology and have asked toll 2021 to come forward with a detail plan of the said 5G era at the moment he stated that  “As of now, the PTA is not ready for the launch of the 5G technology,” it is believed that it will take at least 5 years to distribute 5G on a wide scale in Pakistan.

The IT secretary directed the PTA to take Senator Attique on board pertaining to a decision on the spectrum cost of 5G. Senator Attique Shaikh in a bid to reply that offer said that“it will be better for the authority if it leads the test trial” to which a  PTA member present at the meeting said that the operation of 5G is out of the mandate of the authority. Operators across the world make preparations on their own. “Since October 2017, all network operators were making arrangements for a 5G test,” he said, adding that on July 23, Telenor had submitted an application for the test. On August 8, the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), and on July 31, Mobilink and SCO had also submitted their applications for a trial.

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