4G Americas: Spectrum is an important component in 5G push
August 12, 2015
5G deployments set to require broad swath of spectrum support
The race toward “5G” is propelling headlines and technology advances, but the need for sufficient spectrum to support the next generation of mobile technology could trip up the rush.
Looking to get out ahead of the issue, wireless trade association 4G Americas this week released a white paper looking at spectrum concerns ahead of the mobile industry’s push toward 5G technologies. The white paper, “5G spectrum recommendations,” is simple in its name, but tackles an issue that is sure to challenge 5G deployments as much as any technological issue.
RCR Wireless News spoke with 4G Americas President Chris Pearson to get his views on the spectrum challenges facing the deployment of 5G services, looking at both the need for significant capacity in higher spectrum bands as well as support from lower bands for broad coverage support.
The Federal Communications Commission recently announced it is looking at both low-band and high-band spectrum resources in its attempt to bring more capacity to a domestic wireless market eager to push beyond “4G” toward proposed 5G network technologies.
In a blog post, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the government agency is looking to roll out a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking later this year focused on the use of “higher-frequency bands for mobile” services. Wheeler said the NPRM will look to provide a flexible regulatory framework designed to allow “maximum use of higher-frequency bands by a wide variety of providers, whether the service they provide is mobile, fixed or satellite.”
In support of its initiative, the FCC said it will look to engage the international community at the upcoming 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference to harmonize spectrum allocations in select frequency bands above 6 GHz. The bands to be proposed by the U.S. for eventual inclusion at the WRC event in 2019 include the 27.5 GHz-29.5 GHz bands; 37 GHz-40.5 GHz bands; 47.2 GHz-50.2 GHz bands; 50.4 GHz-52.6 GHz bands; and the 59.3 GHz-71 GHz bands.
While high-band spectrum is expected to be a focus for the WRC event, Wheeler touted the FCC’s upcoming 600 MHz incentive auction as key to providing low-band spectrum for next-generation network services.
“In much the same way that 700 MHz paved the way for America’s world-leading deployment of 4G, so could 600 MHz accelerate U.S. deployment of 5G,” Wheeler said.