PTA Invites Applications for 5G Trials in the Country

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has invited applications for trials of 5th Generation (5G) wireless networks in the country. The Authority is seeking applications from its licensees, R&D organizations, Academic Institutions, Equipment and /or Device manufacturers and vendors for 5G wireless networks trials.

PTA has already unveiled a framework for testing and development of future technologies, particularly 5G wireless networks in the country.

The framework enables the use of radio spectrum on a trial basis for non-commercial purposes to carry out trials for innovative use of radio frequency spectrum, apparatus/equipment and academic purposes including, but not limited to, scientific research, radio concepts and new systems demonstrations.

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.

The document contains the terms and conditions which shall be complied by any organization which intends to conduct trials, demonstrate systems or services in Pakistan based on IMT 2020 to demonstrate readiness for new technologies in Standalone (SA) or Non-Standalone (NSA) environment including identified use cases of eMBB (Enhanced Mobile Broadband), uRLLC (Ultrareliable and Low-latency Communications) and MMTC (MassiveMachine Type Communications) through Slicing, Orchestration and Management techniques, application and use case development etc. for better spectral efficiency and improved overall user experience.

The applicant shall apply for authorization to PTA, in accordance with the checklist of the framework. PTA will analyze the application and may require additional information from the applicant in a timely manner. Once the application is complete in all aspects, PTA may forward the same to Frequency Allocation Board, under the Telecom Act Section 5(2) (c) read with Section 43(5).

FAB shall assign the spectrum to be used for subject trials as per the Act which shall become effective from the date of authorization issued by PTA. Mere assignment of a spectrum by FAB would not give the right to the applicant to use the same until authorization is obtained from PTA. Upon assignment of spectrum by FAB, PTA will issue authorization to the applicant. The grant of authorization will be subject to fulfillment of all the codal formalities.

The Test & Development Authorization allows an applicant to temporarily use the spectrum on a non-exclusive, non-commercial basis for the purposes mentioned in the framework. Applicants can propose a spectrum for trial purpose which could include the requisite spectrum blocks in 2.6 GHz, 3.6 GHz and other relevant bands amenable to millimeter wave (mmW) propagation.

There is no regulatory fee associated with subject non-commercial trial permission or the spectrum usage for this purpose. If the trial network is connected to any licensed network, the Test & Development authorization holder could be liable for any charges from operators incurred during the trial, however, users will not be charged for any services offered during the trial.

The trial shall last for the period of three to six months or as stated in the authorization issued by PTA. Any request for re-issuance or extension in the period of trials must be submitted to PTA for prior written approval. PTA may determine a reasonable period for the extension in the trial period, taking into consideration the proposed trial set-up and the request will be processed as per the regulatory and standard provisions.