Caretaker Prime Minister Promises 5G Auction within 10 Months

Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman ·  2 min read >

In a bold declaration of Pakistan’s ambitions in the field of technology, the caretaker Minister of Information Technology, Dr. Umar Saif, has unveiled intentions to conduct an auction for 5G technology licenses within the upcoming ten months. This announcement comes in the wake of a series of assertive statements from other temporary ministers, sparking conversations about the scope of their roles.

This proclamation surfaced subsequent to a pivotal meeting between Dr. Saif and the Chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Major General (Retd) Hafeezur Rehman. During the discussions, intricate subjects related to telecommunications, the imminent 5G auction, and the allocation of radio frequencies were explored.

In an effort to overcome challenges, Dr. Saif emphasized the urgency of removing obstacles within the 5G auction process. He stressed the paramount importance of promptly resolving matters concerning taxation, tele-density, and the equitable distribution of spectrum resources.

The Minister of IT further underlined the government’s unwavering commitment to elevate the quality of services, ultimately benefiting the masses through the forthcoming 5G auction.

Presently, Pakistan confronts obstacles in ensuring the quality of cellular services, positioning itself at the 79th spot out of 100 countries globally in the Inclusive Internet Index. The concerns surrounding service quality arise from limited investments in the telecom infrastructure. Remarkably, the nation’s telecom operators function with a mere 274 MHz Spectrum, catering to one of the world’s largest telecom user bases.

In light of this situation, Dr. Saif accentuated the need for rapid enhancements to the existing 4G infrastructure, coupled with the expeditious deployment of 5G technology, in order to significantly elevate service provisions.

The meeting was also attended by Additional Secretary MoITT, Aisha Humera Moriani, and Director General of Wireless, Muhammad Jahanzeb Rahim.

Dr. Saif took the opportunity to delve deeper into Pakistan’s IT sector potential in addressing the country’s trade imbalance. Shedding light on the remarkable 80% trade surplus generated by the sector, he deemed it a viable catalyst for economic growth.

The IT sector currently stands proud with exports amounting to $2.6 billion and providing gainful employment to around 150,000 professionals. Dr. Saif pointed out that while Pakistani software developers earn an annual income ranging from $17,000 to $18,000, their counterparts in India make approximately $30,000.

Acknowledging the existing skills gap within the IT sector, the minister called for close collaboration between local experts and universities to align educational curricula with international standards.

Expanding on his visionary plans, Dr. Saif put forth the idea of incentivizing local IT firms to reinvest funds back into Pakistan, potentially injecting the economy with an additional $1 to $2 billion.

He underscored Pakistan’s pivotal role as the seventh-largest global mobile phone market, boasting an impressive user base of 190 million individuals. The IT minister unveiled the government’s aspiration to nurture domestic production of affordable, high-quality mobile phones. This strategic move aims to curtail the dependency on imports, bolster the nation’s technological industry, and concurrently create ample job opportunities.

Dr. Saif’s vision not only encompasses economic growth but also a broader societal transformation. The advent of 5G technology promises to revolutionize various sectors, from healthcare to agriculture, by enabling unprecedented levels of connectivity and data exchange. This transformation could lead to the development of smart cities, advanced healthcare solutions, and precision agriculture techniques that have the potential to uplift the lives of millions.

Furthermore, the interim Minister of IT’s emphasis on collaboration between local experts and universities highlights the importance of nurturing a skilled workforce. By aligning curricula with international standards, Pakistan can produce professionals who are not only competitive on the global stage but can also contribute significantly to the nation’s technological advancement. This approach not only bridges the skills gap but also opens doors for innovation and research that can drive progress across various domains.

Dr. Saif’s proposal to encourage local IT companies to reinvest in the country is a strategic move that can yield multiple benefits. Beyond injecting funds into the economy, this initiative can lead to the growth of a thriving tech ecosystem, fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation. Such an ecosystem can attract foreign investments, create a vibrant startup culture, and position Pakistan as a hub for technological excellence in the region.

In alignment with his vision, Pakistan’s pursuit of domestic manufacturing for mobile phones not only reduces import dependency but also taps into the country’s potential to become a manufacturing powerhouse. The establishment of a local manufacturing ecosystem can lead to the creation of a skilled workforce, attract foreign direct investment, and contribute to a favorable trade balance. Moreover, it aligns with global trends of diversifying supply chains and increasing self-reliance in critical technologies.

As Pakistan prepares for the upcoming 5G auction, the country stands at a crossroads of technological transformation. The decisions made in the coming months will shape the trajectory of Pakistan’s tech industry, its economic growth, and its role on the global stage. With Dr. Umar Saif at the helm, Pakistan’s technological aspirations are being propelled to new heights, promising a future of innovation, progress, and prosperity.

Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman
Muneeb is a full-time News/Tech writer at He is a passionate follower of the IT progression of Pakistan and the world and wants to educate the people of Pakistan about tech affairs. His favorite part about being a tech writer is tech reviews and giving an honest and clear verdict to his readers. Contact Muneeb on his LinkedIn at: Profile