Spectrum Inventory Opportunities for 5G Around the World

5G Americas, the industry trade association of 5G and LTE for the Americas, has released a white paper, 5G Spectrum Vision, outlining the spectrum inventory opportunities for 5G in the Americas and other parts of the world. The white paper brings forward a pertinent industry analysis of the characteristics of a range of bands along with challenges and opportunities in using different bands for 5G. It identifies bands that have a potential to be used for 5G services and also makes recommendations on mechanisms for spectrum clearing, spectrum sharing, and necessary industry and regulatory actions towards more licensed spectrum for progress of 5G technologies.

5G technical standardization and successful trials have led to the first global commercial 5G deployments. The number of commercial launches and broader deployments of 5G are expected to increase over the next few years, particularly in North America and key markets across Asia-Pacific and Europe. What will be needed as the next important elements for 5G success, are network density coupled with the availability of sufficient internationally harmonized low band, mid band, and high band spectrum.

The 5G Spectrum Vision white paper accumulates a great amount of spectrum inventory information and reviews the opportunities as well as the limitations that may be encountered and the actions needed by the regulatory officials for spectrum bands covering low, mid, and millimeter-wave spectrum. The paper makes recommendations for establishing a competitive spectrum portfolio for 5G.

There are key factors that will assure investment in, and the success of 5G, that are largely contingent upon the availability of a sufficient supply of spectrum. 5G Americas’, 5G Spectrum Visionoffers recommendations including:

  • Operators need to have access to a sufficient supply of harmonized low band, mid band and high band spectrum to deliver on 5G promises
  • Processes in North America must accelerate to introduce spectrum necessary for supporting the developing global 5G ecosystem
  • Spectrum identification and allocation opportunities below 3 GHz must continue to be considered
  • Licensed use of spectrum in the range 7-24 GHz must also continue to be explored
  • All or a significant portion of the 3.70-4.20 GHz band for licensed flexible deployment should be made available as soon as possible

According to Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, it is encouraging to watch the market and policy dynamics towards a favorable climate for 5G – largely developed by regulators acting to identify and allocate more licensed spectrum. Considerable developments in the North America region towards availability of new low, mid and high band spectrum will pave the way for a connected 5G world.

5G Spectrum Vision was written by members of 5G Americas. Ahmad Armand of T-Mobile and Bill Chotiner of Ericsson led the white paper working group with support from 5G Americas’ Board of Governors who participated in the development of the white paper.