KARACHI: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has invited mobile phone operators and other organisations to test the world’s most advanced internet facility – 5G.
PTA has issued a public notice under the title “Test and Development of Fifth Generation (5G) Wireless Networks in Pakistan”.
“Pakistan Telecommunication Authority invites applications from its licensees, research and development (R&D) organisations, academic institutions, equipment and/or device manufacturers, vendors, etc for the trial of fifth generation wireless networks in Pakistan,” read the notice. Pakistan is witnessing a massive growth in mobile data traffic as the country has 71 million broadband subscribers, including 69 million 3G/4G subscribers.
Owing to the rapid growth in subscribers, the existing infrastructure is facing congestion. Therefore, consumer demand for 5G is increasing in the country. Last month, the regulator of mobile service operators, PTA, had issued a framework for modern technology, saying the trial of 5G would be non-commercial for innovative use of the radio frequency spectrum apparatus and academic purposes like scientific research, radio concepts and new system demonstrations.
Any entity registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and/or Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), research and development (R&D) organisations, academic institutions, equipment manufacturers, etc are eligible to apply for the test and development authorisation, according to the PTA framework. Aspirant organisations can apply for authorisation from PTA, which will analyse the application for any clarification or additional information and will forward it to the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) that will assign the spectrum to the applicant.
After the allocation of spectrum by FAB, the applicant will also have to obtain authorisation from PTA. Both authorities will issue the authorisation to the applicant, which is consistent with the specified terms and conditions. For the trial of 5G on non-exclusive and non-commercial basis, PTA has decided not to charge any regulatory fee, thus consumers will not be charged for any services offered during the trial.
Mostly, the trial will be held for three to four months, however, the organisations can request extension from PTA.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2019.