GSMA report on spectrum needs to run 5G networks

GSMA released a new analysis of the spectrum needs of mobile network operators to run 5G network across low, mid- and high bands targeting businesses and consumers up to 2030.
5G base station US

The GSMA’s analysis shows that:

In high-band (mmWave): an average of 5 GHz of high-band spectrum will be needed per market by 2030 for enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) in dense urban areas, fibre-like fixed wireless access (FWA) and enterprise 5G.

In mid-band: 2 GHz of mid-band spectrum per country will be needed for city-wide 5G applications by 2030.

In low-band: spectrum needs for 5G are higher than the amount of capacity that naturally exists below 1 GHz. However, ensuring the availability of the 600 MHz band will raise rural broadband speeds by 30-50 percent.

5 GHz per market of high-band, mmWave spectrum will be used for the densest urban 5G hotspots. It will ensure low-latency networks in manufacturing plants or connected freight hubs such as smart ports. mmWave will provide connectivity to high-density locations such as sports or music venues and travel terminals.

Mid-band spectrum has been the main driver of 5G launches so far and is expected to help realize the largest portion of 5G’s socio-economic benefits in the next decade. 2 GHz of mid-band will be used in each market for city-wide 5G and will deliver the vision of smart cities, city-wide FWA solutions, and the 5G-era digitisation of health and education.

Low-band spectrum has strong propagation characteristics for covering wide areas and penetrating deep into buildings. It is the delivery mechanism for rural broadband and making additional low-band available, such as the 600 MHz band, to drive digital inclusion and ensure rural / urban digital equality.

“Spectrum is at the heart of modern digital economies but is a scarce resource. With thoughtful allocation of spectrum, governments and regulators can develop thriving and competitive digital markets,” Luciana Camargos, the GSMA’s Head of Spectrum, said.