SHC moved to ban 5G over ‘health risks’

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday issued a notice to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) directing it to file its response in a petition against the rollout of fifth-generation (5G) mobile technology in Pakistan.

A two-member bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and comprising Justice Amjad Ali Sahito heard the petition.

During the hearing, Justice Sahito questioned if the government has issued a 5G licence. To this, the petitioner answered in the negative.

Issuing a notice to the authority, the bench said that it will proceed with the case after the telecoms regulator files its response.

Citing the potential health impact of 5G mobile frequency emissions, the petition said that it also affects the ecosystem. It said that 4G technology too poses health risks but is less dangerous than its successor.

In September, a spokesman for PTA said that the process to hire a consultant for “Spectrum Auction 2020-21” has been initiated but declined to give further details.

Pakistan has some 85 million 3G/4G subscribers, and the upcoming auction is seen as a precursor to any 5G launch.

The telecom market is dominated by Jazz, backed by Netherlands-based Veon Ltd; Telenor Pakistan, backed by Norway’s state-controlled Telenor; Zong, owned by China Mobile and Ufone, which is controlled by state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL).

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