US-based telecom industry association 5G Americas announced 5G spectrum recommendations, a white paper outlining recent global developments in the identification and allocation of spectrum for 5G.
“As we head toward 5G deployments, it is expected that low, mid and high band spectrum– including licensed spectrum, bands shared with other services and unlicensed spectrum, will play a critical role in the healthy future of the mobile wireless industry,” said Chris Pearson, president of 5G Americas.
5G services are expected to cover a range of applications, which are grouped into three general categories: enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC) and massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC).
The different physical characteristics of particular spectrum bands, such as the amount of potentially available spectrum, coverage/range, penetration into structures, and propagation around obstacles, will support different or varied applications depending upon their requirements.
Spectrum harmonization is important to enabling mobile broadband by facilitating economies of scale and global roaming. Harmonization is not limited to a situation where all regions have identical spectrum allocations. It can be derived from “tuning range” solutions covering adjacent or nearly-adjacent bands in which equipment can be reconfigured to operate over multiple bands (i.e., they are within the same tuning range).
Tuning ranges are critical to delivering the benefits of harmonization because the radio units in user devices developed for one band can also be utilized in some nearby bands without requiring entirely new development efforts.
In 2016, in addition to the incentive auctions of the 600 MHz low-range spectrum, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a leadership role in 5G by adopting spectrum allocation rules in the Spectrum Frontiers proceedings for the high-range spectrum in the 28 GHz, 37 GHz and 39 GHz ranges.
“Harmonization of adequate spectrum could have a very positive effect in providing an important foundation for the timely deployment of 5G systems,” said Reza Arefi, co-leader of the 5G Americas working group on 5G spectrum and director, Spectrum Strategy at Intel.