$3 Billion Loss Expected Over Non-Auctioning of 5G This Year

Insiders revealed that Pakistan will face a financial loss of $2-3 billion due to the non-auctioning of the 5G network till December. The Ministry of IT and Telecom was ready for the auction, and all arrangements were made in this regard.

The Ministry of IT and Telecommunication has vacated the equipment and frequency bands vacated for the 5G network. The former government set up a high-powered committee in January 2022 to oversee the process of releasing the next generation technology and spectrum auction, it was announced last year.

The federal government has decided to again go for an auction of 3G/4G additional spectrum. Preparations for the 5G auction have been affected by both political instability in the country and the hike in telecom taxes by the previous government. However, the present government has reconstituted the auction advisory committee.

Tax on telecom sector was increased from 10 percent to 15 percent in the supplementary finance bill. The telecom industry had told the government in its recommendations that the launch of 5G is not possible in the presence of such a heavy tax. Even the Ministry of IT and Telecom and PTA demanded the government reduce taxes on the telecom sector.

Nepal and Bangladesh are also preparing for the launch of 5G and are conducting trials. Almost 1.2 billion users worldwide are using the 5G network, and by the end of 2022, this number is expected to increase to 2.5 billion.