Governments need to free up low-cost spectrum for 5G - GSMA

Monday 14 November 2016 | 13:30 CET | News

The GSMA has issued a report calling on governments and regulators to commit to a global spectrum plan for 5G networks in the run-up to the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2019 (WRC-19). The industry body said providing affordable access to the necessary amount of spectrum was crucial to the success of 5G and that mobile spectrum must be quickly identified within three key frequency ranges – Sub-1 GHz, 1-6 GHz and above 6 GHz – to deliver widespread coverage and support all use cases. “Governments are central to the WRC-19 process to identify harmonised spectrum for 5G and incentivise the necessary network investment,” said GSMA chief regulatory officer John Giusti, adding that operators must be allowed to repurpose existing spectrum for 5G when required.

In the accompanying 5G spectrum position report, the GSMA set out several policy recommendations to ensure that the necessary spectrum is provided, including the need to harmonise high-frequency mobile spectrum to guarantee 5G services meet future expectations, adopt national policy measures to encourage long-term heavy investment in 5G networks and support 5G spectrum in the lead-up to and at WRC-19.

The GSMA warned that if governments fail to agree a common set of bands, then 5G spectrum could become fragmented, which could in turn drive up device costs and undermine access to widespread, affordable 5G.

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