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GSMA issues rallying cry on 5G spectrum

15-11-2016 | Global Updates
The GSMA urged governments and regulators to collaborate on a global spectrum plan for 5G, in a bid to ensure availability of the fastest speeds, more affordable devices and seamless international roaming.

In a statement, the industry body said it wants policy makers to commit to supporting the needs of 5G in the lead up to the World Radiocommunication conference in 2019 (WRC-19), with ultra-fast 5G services requiring large amounts of spectrum with higher frequencies than those “traditionally used in mobile services”.

The GSMA said mobile spectrum for 5G must be identified in three key frequency ranges – sub 1GHz (with a focus on IoT services), 1-6GHz range (particularly 3.3-3.8GHz) and above 6GHz (especially above 24GHz) – as well as traditional low frequency bands, to deliver widespread coverage and support.

John Gusti, chief regulatory officer at GSMA, said that while the mobile industry, academic institutions and international standards bodies are developing technologies for 5G, “success will depend heavily on affordable access to the necessary amount of spectrum”.

“It is essential that sufficient new mobile spectrum is made available, and that operators are allowed to re-purpose existing spectrum for 5G when required,” he said. “Governments are central to the WRC-19 process to identify harmonised spectrum for 5G and incentivise the necessary network investment.”

GSMA published a new 5G spectrum “position paper”, outlining several recommendations needed to secure necessary spectrum for 5G, particularly in the run up to and at WRC-19.

“If governments fail to agree a common set of standards, then 5G spectrum could become fragmented, which could drive up device costs and undermine access to widespread, affordable 5G,” warned GSMA.