5G test licences have been issued to two cellcos under the framework published in June last year, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has confirmed, following recent publications from providers. In a statement from the regulator, the PTA confirmed that it had issued permissions to Zong and Jazz but stressed that the six-month licences were only for the testing and trial of 5G technology, going on to highlight that each ‘permission is limited to testing purpose only on a non-commercial basis.’ The PTA warned that whilst it aims to encourage the development and introduction of new technologies and services, ‘any impression given beyond the stated purpose [of the test licence] by any cellular mobile operator (CMO) would be considered misleading and may involve appropriate regulatory action.’
The statement follows a series of announcements from Jazz regarding its successful test of 5G technology earlier this month. Zong received a similar admonition last year after the Chinese-owned cellco claimed to be the ‘first network to successfully test 5G in Pakistan’ in August. In September 2019 the regulator informed Zong that certain advertisements may mislead the public regarding the availability of commercial 5G services and instructed the operator to withdraw the relevant material.