GSA Outlines the Global Status of 5G Deployment Using mm-Wave Spectrum

The GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) has released its latest report underlining the global usage of spectrum above 24 GHz for 5G services. According to the report, 97 operators in 17 countries/territories hold public licenses (many of the regional) enabling operation of 5G networks using mm-Wave spectrum. 22 operators are known to have already deployed 5G networks using mmWave spectrum. The report also stated that 13 countries/territories have already announced formal plans for assigning frequencies above 24 GHz between now and end-2021.

And while countries and operators have been busy in bringing the 5G to the masses, there already are 84 5G devices announced that support one or more of the 5G spectrum bands above 24 GHz (though note that details of spectrum support are patchy for pre-commercial devices), up from 59 at the end of November 2019. Twenty-seven of those devices are commercially available.

5G Deployments in mmWave bands

mmWave spectrum bands are being explicitly opened up to enable the provision of 5G services. According to the report, the 24.25 - 29.5 GHz range covering the overlapping bands n257 (26.5 - 29.5 GHz), n258 (24.25 - 27.5 GHz) and n261 (27.5 - 28.35 GHz) has been the most-licensed/deployed 5G mmWave spectrum range to date. 123 operators in 42 countries/territories are investing in 5G (in the form of trials, licences, deployments or operational networks) across the 24.25 - 29.5 GHz spectrum range. 79 operators are known to have been licensed to deploy 5G in this range, while 21 operators are understood to be actively deploying 5G networks using this spectrum.

GSA has also mentioned the usage of Band n260, covering 37 - 40 GHz, also being used, with 33 companies in six countries/territories investing in networks using this spectrum. Of those, 32 hold licences (with the majority of those 32 based in the USA and its territories). 3 operators in the USA have launched 5G using band n260. In addition to usage for 5G, mmWave spectrum has also historically been awarded for fixed point-to-point, point to multipoint and some FWA/MMDS usage; those historic assignments are not listed in the report.

Click here to download the report.