Vodafone Tests 6GHz Frequency Band for Advancements for Network Capacity

Vodafone said its successful tests of the upper 6GHz frequency band for mobile use indicate promising advancements for 5G services and network capacity.Vodafone tests 6GHz spectrum in Spain

Vodafone engineers Yannick Le Pézennec and José Eugenio Caballero testing 6GHz spectrum in Spain6GHz Spectrum Testing: Vodafone has conducted successful tests of mobile spectrum in the upper 6GHz frequency band. This testing is aimed at ensuring faster and more reliable 5G services in the next five to 10 years while preventing a potential mobile capacity shortage due to growing demand for bandwidth.

Impressive Download Speeds: Using a smartphone tuned to the anticipated 6GHz spectrum band in European countries, Vodafone engineers in Spain achieved download speeds of up to 5 Gbps, which is roughly double the capability of today’s networks. They recorded an average of 2 Gbps across various indoor locations, where a significant portion of mobile traffic originates.

Comparable Coverage to 5G: Vodafone’s tests suggest that the technology in the 6GHz band has the potential to offer coverage levels similar to those of existing 5G networks. This indicates that deploying this band on existing mobile infrastructure can be cost-effective and efficient, providing additional capacity as needed.

Advocating for Spectrum Allocation: Vodafone and other mobile network operators are advocating for the upper 6GHz spectrum band to be allocated for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT). This would harmonize 5G services across different regions and balance out the allocation of the lower section of the band, which is already allocated to Wi-Fi services.

Importance for Future Connectivity: Vodafone’s Chief Network Officer, Alberto Ripepi, emphasizes the importance of fair and balanced allocation of the 6GHz spectrum. Without this allocation, there is concern about a potential capacity shortage in the next five years, which could impact the digital transformation of businesses and the European Commission’s connectivity goals for 2030.

Growing Demand for Spectrum: The demand for spectrum is increasing, with Vodafone experiencing a 30 percent annual growth in demand across Europe. This demand is driven by the increasing number of connected devices and services such as augmented reality, health sensors, and connected vehicles, all of which require mobile networks with enhanced processing power and capacity.

Testing Details: Vodafone installed 6GHz equipment on an existing 5G site in Madrid, covering various indoor and outdoor locations. They used Massive MIMO antenna technology to maximize signal quality and minimize interference. The tests demonstrated the ability of the 6GHz spectrum to penetrate building facades and provide consistent speeds in various scenarios.

The results of these tests are crucial for the future development and deployment of 5G technology, as they show the potential for substantial improvements in network performance and capacity. Vodafone’s advocacy for spectrum allocation at the WRC-23 meeting in Dubai reflects the industry’s push to ensure a robust and harmonized 5G ecosystem.