According to reports, the government plans to allot a 700 MHz band to deploy 5G services nationwide.
The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications has rated bands as low bands, mid bands, and high bands for the implementation of 5G services and Unlicensed Backhaul Frequency ranges (P2P & P2MP).
The Ministry has also created a “Framework for Frequency Spectrum Re-farming” to dynamically manage the spectrum and make it available for future uses like 4G, 5G, broadband wireless access, digital television, and others.
As stated in Section 8.5.1 of the Telecom Policy 2015, the spectrum would be re-farmed when its current use is not in Pakistan’s best social and economic interests, it is underused, used inefficiently, or its usage is inconsistent with international allocations.
According to the framework’s provisions, existing users/licensees will vacate their spectrum assignments in a band, either partially or totally, so the band can be allotted to new users.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)/PEMRA and the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) would suggest to the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications (MOIT&T) the need to redefine any particular frequency band.
The Telecom Policy 2015 section 8.5.4 also states the federal government will decide to re-farm any spectrum through MoIT&T, and a policy directive will influence such choice.
The policy directive must have the following provisions: a. Frequency to be re-farmed, such as 700 MHz b. Establishment of a “Spectrum Reframing Committee” comprised of representatives from MOIT&T, FAB, PTA/PEMRA, and the incumbent user.
The following may be included in the Committee’s/major Consultant’s Terms of Reference:
- Using the valuation technique to be used, estimate the value of the re-farmed spectrum (for government users only).
- Calculate the compensation cost for reframing (for government users only).
- A quantum spectrum will be re-farmed in the permitted band, for example, 700 MHz.
- Establish a timetable for reframing.
- Collect feedback from relevant stakeholders.
Within three (3) months, the Committee must submit its final recommendations to the Federal Government via the MOIT&T. If a third-party consultant is necessary, adequate time will be added to engage the consultant.
The Committee will routinely review the progress of the spectrum reframing process following the authorized deadlines. When adopted by the Federal Government, the Committee’s recommendations will be binding on the incumbent user.