ISLAMABAD: Nokia has expressed keen interest for collaboration with the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) to develop a roadmap for 5G ecosystem in Pakistan.

This was revealed by senior officials at the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT), which has formally launched the consultation for the launch of 5G services in Pakistan.

The ministry has evaluated seven bands for adoption of 5G services in the country and presently, in a process of assessing the options available for timely launch of 5G services in Pakistan.

In this connection, the following bands are being evaluated for adoption of 5G services as low bands, mid bands and high bands: (a) 700 MHz; (b) 2.3 GHz; (c) 2.6 GHz; (d) 3.5 GHz; (e) Millimeter wave bands; (f) C-Band (3.6-4.2) GHz, and (g) Unlicensed Backhaul Frequency bands (P2P and P2MP).

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The ministry in view of these bands has requested the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) for sharing the current status and availability of all 5G spectrum in the above identified frequency bands.

The government is planning of launching 5G services in the country by December 2022, which will open new avenues for investment and will accelerate progress towards achieving the goal of “Digital Pakistan”, said an official of the ministry.

Official sources revealed to Business Recorder that Federal Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Aminul Haque wanted to launch 5G services by December 2022 and the early launch of 5G services in Pakistan has been prioritised.

An important meeting with 5G vendors chaired by Member Telecom Muhammad Umar Malik was held at the MoITT to discuss the way forward.

The meeting was attended by representatives from Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia online from their regional headquarters.

Officers from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the FAB were also present in the meeting.

During the meeting, detailed technical discussions were held to assess vendor support and readiness for launch of 5G services in Pakistan.

Interoperable airwaves band with interoperable UE and 5G Telecom equipment including launch strategy considering business cases were discussed to make the inclusion attractive and win-win situation for citizens, industry and the government.

Sources revealed that Nokia has expressed keen interest for collaboration to develop a roadmap for 5G ecosystem.

Quoting Nokia representatives, the sources said that the company is fully committed to share its global experience about 5G technology setup, phased evolution and use cases from other markets with the MoITT.

Moving forward this collaboration to develop a roadmap for 5G ecosystem will help accelerate Digital Pakistan initiative in Pakistan, the sources added.

Aminul Haque has stated that a strategic plan and a roadmap for 5G technology in Pakistan is being formulated keeping in view the aspects of spectrum management, infrastructure development, review of telecom regulations and 5G applications/use cases.

The ministry has constituted an advisory committee for 5G Planning in Pakistan (5G Pakistan Plan Committee) to define a roadmap and finalise recommendations for 5G technology readiness in the country.

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The committee will develop a strategic plan and a roadmap for 5G technology in Pakistan with the formulation of working groups for 5G spectrum management, telecom infrastructure development, telecom regulations review including health and safety and 5G applications and use cases.

The committee comprises members from the MoITT, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), FAB, PM Office SRIU (Strategic Reforms Implementation Unit), PM Taskforce on IT and Telecom, academia, cellular mobile operators, and telecom vendors.

The PTA last year granted permission to mobile operators for conducting test and trial of 5G technology under limited environment and non-commercial basis.

The PTA had issued “Framework for Test and Development of Future Technologies (Particularly Fifth Generation (5G) Wireless Networks in Pakistan)” for facilitating testing/trial only of 5G technology and related services in Pakistan.

The rapid growth in mobile data traffic and consumer demand for enhanced mobile broadband experience have led to an increasing emphasis on the upcoming fifth generation of mobile technology (5G).

Seen as a comprehensive wireless-access solution with the capacity to address the demands and requirements of mobile communication for the IMT-2020 and beyond, it is projected that this technology will operate in a highly heterogeneous environment and provide ubiquitous connectivity for a wide range of devices, new applications and use cases, the PTA added.

The scope of IMT-2020 is much broader than the previous generations of mobile broadband communication systems.

The ITU’s work in developing the specifications for IMT-2020 in close collaboration with the whole gamut of 5G stakeholders is now well underway along with the associated spectrum management and spectrum identification aspects.

The IMT-2020 will be a cornerstone for all of the activities related to attaining the goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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