PTA Starts Application Process for 5G Trails

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

PTA has already unveiled a framework for test and development of future technologies particularly 5G wireless networks in the country.The framework enables the use of radio spectrum on 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.

PTA Starts Application Process for 5G Trails

According to 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 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 scope of IMT-2020 is much broader than previous generations of mobile broadband communication systems. Use cases foreseen include enhancement of the traditional mobile broadband scenarios as well as ultra-reliable and low latency communications along with other applications details.

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

This framework enables the use of radio spectrum on trial basis for noncommercial 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.

The document contains the terms and conditions which shall be complied by an entity/organization which intends to conduct trials, demonstrate systems and/or services in Pakistan based on IMT 2020 for the purpose of demonstrating readiness for new technologies in Standalone (SA) and/or non-Standalone (NSA) environment including but not limited to 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.

Section 4 of the government’ “policy directive for test and development of  future technologies particularly for Fifth Generation (5G) wireless networks in Pakistan” requires PTA to issue a framework for temporary test and development licenses/authorizations which shall include criteria for the provision of Authorization, conditions, duration, and other terms and conditions.

An entity registered with SECP (Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan) and/or PEC (Pakistan Engineering Council), R&D Organizations and Academic Institutions, Devices and/or Equipment manufacturers etc. shall be eligible to apply for test and development Authorization.

The applicant shall apply for Authorization to PTA in accordance with the checklist of this framework. ii. PTA will analyze the application and may require any clarification or additional information from the applicant in a timely manner. iii. 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 the spectrum by FAB would not give the right to the applicant for use of the same until Authorization is obtained from PTA. Upon assignment of the spectrum by FAB, PTA will issue Authorization to the applicant consistent with terms and conditions. Grant of Authorization will be subject to fulfillment of all the codal formalities by the applicant.

The Test & Development Authorization allows an applicant to use spectrum on non-exclusive, non-commercial basis temporarily for the purposes mentioned at 1.3 of this framework. Applicants can propose spectrum for the trial purpose which could interalia, include but not limited to 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 host/operators incurred during the trial however, users/consumers will not be charged for any services offered during the trial.

The trial shall last for the period of three (03) to six (06) months or as stated in the Authorization issued by PTA. Any request for re-issuance/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 trial period, taking into consideration the proposed trial set-up and request will be processed as per the regulatory and standard provisions.

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