IT ministry sets up committee for auction of 5G licences

Published January 7, 2020
While the competition over the test trial of fifth generation (5G) mobile technology is heating up between Jazz and Zong, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has formed a committee for the auction of 5G spectrum in the country. — AFP/File
While the competition over the test trial of fifth generation (5G) mobile technology is heating up between Jazz and Zong, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has formed a committee for the auction of 5G spectrum in the country. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: While the competition over the test trial of fifth generation (5G) mobile technology is heating up between Jazz and Zong, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has formed a committee for the auction of 5G spectrum in the country.

The committee, which is expected to be announced in the upcoming days, will be headed by the member IT of the ministry and comprise representatives of the four telcos operating in the country and an officer of the Frequency Allocation Board.

The committee will formulate policy regarding the auction of 5G licences, including its fee and other issues.

The committee has been formed on the directives of Minister for Information Technology Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. He said that Pakistan was among a few countries of the world where test trial of 5G was being conducted.

Jazz, Zong are in race for test trial of mobile phone technology

The 5G test by Jazz and Zong has triggered a war on social media between the supporters of both telecom companies.

Though the 5G test was launched by Zong in August 2019, the company showcased its 5G performance again on Sunday after Jazz demonstrated its ‘fifth generation’ (5G) mobile technology on Saturday.

The trials were conducted at Jazz headquarters in Islamabad. The company said that an average download speed of 1,452Mbps and upload speed of 68Mbps had been achieved along with successful HD voice and video calls.

In technical terms, ‘Mbps’ means megabits per second, used in reference to download and upload speeds.

In a statement, Jazz CEO Aamir Ibrahim said that the launch of 5G would meet the evolving needs of tomorrow’s customers.

“We are pleased with the initial 5G trials and are ready to fast-track the technology across Pakistan, whenever the process gets initiated by the government. These trials showcase our commitment towards a digital Pakistan, which is why we have been the front-runners in deploying the latest mobile technology,” Mr Ibrahim said.

The statement added that Jazz was ready to offer 5G’s game-changing potential whenever the government allowed for its commercial launch.

With the approval from the telecom regulator Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Jazz is showcasing its 5G capacity to ordinary customers for 20 days at its offices in F8, G7, E7 and Blue Area, where citizens with 5G compatible devices can experience the next generation high speed internet.

Meanwhile, Zong on Monday successfully completed its first 5G video call and reached the speed of over 1.5GB per second during testing.

“We will be showcasing more technologically advanced and groundbreaking use-cases to enable Pakistan to become one of the most digitally connected countries in the world,” Zong chairman and CEO Wang Hua said.

Telenor is also set to announce its test of 5G in the near future, an official of the company said, adding that the application for the test trial had been submitted to the PTA.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2020

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