Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Non-auctioning 5G this year could cost $3 billion

Putting off the auction of the 5G network until December will cost Pakistan between $2 and $3 billion, according to the IT and Telecom Ministry.

Lahore Herald cited sources who said that the Ministry of IT and Telecom was ready for the auction.

The government spent money on 5G infrastructure and made free spectrum available. The Ministry of Information Technology and Communications also came out with 5G policy guidelines last year. In January 2022, the previous government put together a strong committee to approve the 5G Strategic Plan and oversee the rollout of cutting-edge technology and the auction of the spectrum that followed.

The high-level committee plans to look into incentives in the Finance Bill 2022. Due to political instability, the previous administration was unable to call a meeting of the committee, so the new administration has done so. The government has decided to hold another 3G/4G spectrum auction. Political instability and the fact that the previous government raised the telecom tax cost slowed down the preparations for the 5G auction.

From what we hear in the telecom industry, the previous administration’s mini-budget included higher taxes. The advance income tax went from 10% to 15% without any warning or discussion with the business community. The telecoms industry warned the government that a price that was too high would slow down the rollout of 5G. Both the PTA and the Ministry of Information Technology said that telecom taxes should go back.

Read more: FBR Website and Platforms Closed on August 14

India’s 5G auction on August 1 is expected to bring in more than Rs 1.3 trillion. Nepal and Bangladesh have also done tests with 5G. By 2022, there will be 2.5 times as many people using 5G as there are now (1.2 billion).

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