Pakistan to Learn from Malaysia’s Approach Regarding 5G Rollout: IT Minister

Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr Umar Saif on Tuesday expressed Pakistan’s intention to learn from Malaysia’s innovative approach and policies regarding the rollout of 5G.

“Malaysia has rolled out 5G at a lightning pace using a very innovative Spectrum Sharing policy. We will work with our Malaysian counterparts to learn about their innovative approach and policies” he said.

The minister was talking to a high-level delegation led by Fahmi Fadzi, Minister for IT, Communication & Digital Economy of Malaysia in Dubai at the GITEX-23 Sidelines meeting.

During the meeting, Dr Saif touched upon Starlink, the satellite internet company, making inroads into Malaysia. The discussion extended to the potential implementation of LYNC, with a commitment to sharing experiences and knowledge.

Dr Saif drew attention to Pakistan’s network coverage challenges, underscoring the importance of adopting best practices from the Malaysian Regulator. Both ministers engaged in a dialogue regarding Pakistan’s path to adopting 5G technology and the challenges impeding this transition.

The Malaysian minister pledged to share best practices to facilitate this transition. The meeting also featured a discussion on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and its potential benefits for both Pakistan and Malaysia in the technology sector.

The minister also highlighted several measures undertaken by the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC). In this regard, he informed about recent policy changes in Pakistan aimed at supporting the IT and telecom sectors.

Dr Saif highlighted that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has authorized a 50 percent retention of IT export remittances in foreign currency (FCY) accounts. He said policies have been implemented to ensure smooth and hassle-free cash flows for IT exporters through online banking and corporate debit cards.

These developments also encompass various initiatives aimed at simplifying Right of Way (ROW) charges, boosting infrastructure sharing, advancing the 5G spectrum, and enhancing IT export retention, he added.

The minister also mentioned that the federal cabinet granted approval for an advisory Committee for Pakistan’s 5G Spectrum auction a major step toward digital Pakistan.

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