To expedite the process of providing 5G services at commercial scale, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has recently sent invites to mobile operators for applications regarding trials of 5th Generation (5G) wireless networks across Pakistan. The top-telecom regulator of the country has recently issued a public notice under the title “Test and Development of Fifth Generation (5G) Wireless Networks in Pakistan”.
PTA had already unveiled framework for testing and development of 5G networks in a recent two-day training workshop with the collaboration of PTA and GSM Association (GSMA) in Islamabad. During the session, licensed mobile operators were briefed about the opportunities and challenges in the deployment of 5G networks.
As of now, the public notice reads that PTA has started inviting “applications from its licensees, research and development (R&D) organizations, academic institutions, equipment and/or device manufacturers, vendors, etc for the trial of fifth-generation wireless networks in Pakistan.”
As Pakistan has seen a massive increase in mobile data traffic and reached around 71 million broadband subscribers, including 69 million 3G/4G subscribers, the need for developing 5G framework has arisen. In this regard, PTA has said that initially, the trial of 5G would be “non-commercial for innovative use of the radio frequency spectrum apparatus” and only for study purposes like scientific research, radio concepts and demos on the new system.
It is worth mentioning here that after the allocation of spectrum by Frequency Allocation Board (FAB), the applicant organization will also have to obtain authorization from PTA. Both authorities will only authorize the applicant, which has proved its consistency in specified terms and conditions.
Meanwhile, for 5G trials on non-exclusive and non-commercial purposes, PTA has stated in the notice that will not charge any regulatory fee, thus consumers (part of the upcoming trials) will not be charged for any services offered during the process.
Notably, the trials are expected to run for a period of three to six months or as mentioned in the authorization document issued by PTA to operators.