Benefits of 6 GHz spectrum band for 5G network: GSMA report

The 6 GHz IMT ecosystem is poised to play an important role in supporting 5G rollouts worldwide, a new report from the GSMA revealed.
Kazakhstan mobile networkGSMA said regulators should assign between 700 and 1200 MHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz spectrum band to licensed 5G use in order to maximize the benefits to society of scarce spectrum resources, and support mobile operators in delivering the full capabilities of 5G network rollouts.

The GSMA 2022 6 GHz IMT Ecosystem report, being issued at Mobile360 Asia Pacific in Singapore this week, discusses the development progress of 6 GHz IMT systems and the central role that 6 GHz will play in delivering 5G rollouts.

It warns that allocating the full 6 GHz band to unlicensed use risks countries losing out on the full benefits of scarce spectrum resource.

5G requires an average of 2 GHz mid-band spectrum per country to deliver the ITU’s IMT-2020 (5G) requirements. Reaching this figure is difficult without 6 GHz capacity. The increases in bandwidth and capacity that numerous 5G applications require mean that mid-band frequencies especially play an important role and allow capacity for city-wide coverage.

GSMA Intelligence says that mid-band spectrum will drive an increase of more than $610 billion in global GDP in 2030, producing almost 65 percent of the overall socio-economic value generated by 5G. Up to 40 percent of the expected benefits of mid-band 5G could be lost if no additional mid-band spectrum is assigned to mobile services in the near future.

“6 GHz is crucial for 5G expansion in many countries. Without it, mobile network operators will often struggle to meet the predicted average of 2 GHz of mid-band spectrum needed for 5G, impacting service quality,” Luciana Camargos, Head of Spectrum at the GSMA, said.

6 GHz spectrum is the largest remaining contiguous block of mid-band spectrum that can be allocated to licensed mobile in most markets. Harmonisation of 6 GHz spectrum could provide more bandwidth and improve network performance. The contiguous channels offered by the 6 GHz range could reduce the need for network densification, helping governments to speed up access to 5G services.