The Advisory Committee for the IMT/5G spectrum auction is set to convene tomorrow under the leadership of the Caretaker Finance Minister, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar.
This high-profile meeting will feature key figures, including the Caretaker Federal Minister for IT & Science and Technology, Dr. Umar Saif, Caretaker Minister for Law Ahmed Irfan Islam, and Caretaker Minister for Industries & Production Gohar Ejaz. Federal Secretaries from relevant ministries, along with representatives from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Frequency Allocation Board, and Federal Board of Revenue, will also be in attendance.
The enthusiasm surrounding this gathering arises from the recent approval by the caretaker federal cabinet of the terms of reference (TORs) and the establishment of the Advisory Committee for the IMT/5G spectrum auction. This represents a pivotal step toward considering and endorsing telecom reforms aimed at encouraging investment and enhancing mobile broadband proliferation across the country.
The TORs delineate the committee’s focus on assessing spectrum availability in key frequency bands, including the highly sought-after 700 MHz, 2600 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz bands.
Government sources have disclosed that Pakistan boasts an ample spectrum, laying the groundwork for future spectrum auctions for Next-Generation Mobile Services (NGMS). However, a note of caution has been sounded by Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs), who are approaching the venture with prudence in light of ongoing economic challenges and uncertainties surrounding the imminent launch of 5G.
The committee’s primary mandate is to meticulously review the spectrum landscape across various frequency bands, notably the 700 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, and 2,600 MHz bands. Subsequently, the committee is poised to take proactive steps toward auctioning this valuable spectrum, in alignment with the recommendations presented by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).