5G spectrum access in low, mid and high-frequency bands can deliver extensive capacity and maximize the technology’s effectiveness across all potential use cases.
As Luciana Camargos, Head of Spectrum, GSMA states, “Spectrum is at the heart of modern digital economies but is a scarce resource. With careful, thoughtful allocation of spectrum, governments and regulators can develop thriving and competitive digital markets. The GSMA plays a central role in helping to inform these decisions, helping spectrum authorities capitalize on the true value of operators’ investment in 5G networks.”
Recent GSMA analysis shows that in high-band (mmWave), an average of 5 GHz will be needed per market by 2030 for enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) in dense urban areas, fiber-like fixed wireless access (FWA) and enterprise 5G. This will also ensure reliable, low-latency networks in manufacturing plants and smart ports, as well as sports venues and airports.
Mid-band spectrum has been the main driver of 5G implementation so far and is expected to help deliver the largest portion of 5G’s socio-economic benefits in the next decade, including the delivery of smart cities and the digitization of the health and education sectors. By 2030, 2 GHz of mid-band spectrum will be needed per country for respective city-wide 5G applications.
The upper 6 GHz licensed band specification for 5G has been officially completed by 3GPP, marking a major milestone in making the entire 6 GHz band IMT-licensed. This will enable operators to provide ubiquitous 5G high-bandwidth services at a low per-bit cost.
With regards to low-band, 5G spectrum needs are higher than the amount of capacity naturally available below 1 GHz. The provision of the 600 MHz band will raise rural broadband speeds by 30-50%, fostering the desired digital inclusion.
In the Middle East, GCC Arab states are known as 5G pioneers, with governments and regulators working hand-in-hand in enabling operators to deploy some of the world’s first and fastest 5G networks.