Spectrum planning is key to 5G success

Date: Tue, 09/08/2015 - 16:24

4G Americas lays the groundwork for 5G spectrum requirements
Spectrum planning is key to 5G success

Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas

Image credited to 4G Americas

“5G is headlining news with persistent industry activity, however, it is abundantly clear that 5G will take a generous length of time to fully develop,” stated Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas and a global spokesperson on 5G development. “With that in mind, one key element is consistently connected to its success’spectrum.”
4G Americas, a wireless trade association providing a voice for 5G in the Americas, published a white paper titled, 5G Spectrum Recommendations, which describes the varied drivers behind spectrum requirements and therefore the need for access to numerous spectrum ranges. The paper offers initial exploration on the challenges and implications with different frequency ranges, various licensing aspects and potential technology enhancements to enable access to new spectrum.
“With the proliferation of mobile data applications in every aspect of our connected future society, development of supporting a 5G system and architecture will be important, and spectrum is essential to the success of future LTE and 5G networks of 2020 and beyond,” stated Reza Arefi, Director of Spectrum Strategy for Intel’s Communication and Devices Group and co-leader of the work group that authored the white paper. “The industry’s requirements on spectrum must be prioritized if the vision of a seamlessly connected society of the next decade is to be realized.”
Key points from the paper include:
•    Mobile spectrum bands below 6 GHz will be valuable to allow the smooth integration of 4G and 5G systems.

•    Spectrum bands in the range above 6 GHz will offer technical challenges; however, capabilities for mobile services are possible in the higher band ranges with new radio solutions.

•    A variety of bands are needed to address both coverage and capacity needs of evolved 4G and 5G systems.

o    Lower frequencies have better propagation characteristics for better coverage and thus can support both macro and small cell deployments.
o    Frequencies beyond those traditionally used for cellular systems, especially those above 6 GHz are important to consider.
o    Higher frequencies can support wider bandwidth carriers due to large spectrum availability at millimeter-wave bands for providing very high peak data rates in specific areas where traffic demands are very high.

•    Action is needed by regulators to ensure that new spectrum needs are addressed for the evolution of 4G and additionally to address the timely introduction of 5G by identifying new spectrum ranges to be studied in the ITU- Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R).

“5G is both evolutionary and revolutionary, and will demand we capitalize on every available source of spectrum: licensed, unlicensed and, as needed, shared,” said  Anders Svensson, Principal Solution Manager at Ericsson North America’s Next Generation RAN group and co-leader of the work group that authored the white paper. “Regulators and policymakers have a unique role in encouraging the needed investment in advanced wireless research. It is only through investment across the broad ecosystem that we can create a Networked Society where every person and every industry is empowered to reach their full potential."
4G Americas continues to steer the global leadership position North America holds for LTE technology and its ongoing evolution as the foundation for 5G. Aiming at bringing the entire ecosystem together to help drive standards and offer spectrum and technology recommendations for 5G, the association has been hard at work at developing white papers, partnering with leading organizations, actively participating in regulatory discussions and hosting events, webinars and workshops to further the advancements in 5G.

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