26 GHz and 28 GHz are both needed for 5G
The introduction of 5G pioneers a new level of mobile performance with ultra-high speeds and low latencies. What makes this possible is millimetre wave spectrum. In this range, 26 GHz and 28 GHz have emerged as two of the most important bands.
As with previous generations, 5G is dependent on spectrum in many different bands. The three 5G ranges are: Sub-1 GHz, 1-6 GHz and above 6 GHz.
The 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands fall in the latter group. What makes them such a valuable resource for mobile networks is the amount of spectrum available. Trials use hundreds of megahertz to demonstrate multi-gigabit speeds. Current LTE networks must in most cases make do with tens of megahertz.
The number of countries and regions where spectrum is licensed and operators are launching commercial services or conducting trials highlights the growing momentum behind millimetre waves.
Together 26 GHz and 28 GHz offer more flexibility
26 GHz is one of the bands WRC-19’s Agenda Item 1.13 is looking at. For regulators and governments, it is a great opportunity to lay the groundwork for successful 5G rollouts. They can do this by making the band available for IMT with optimum conditions. It is possible to identify a band for IMT on paper, but effectively render it unusable in practice. There is a risk at WRC-19 that, unless only the optimal technical conditions are applied, use in 5G networks will be severely restricted.
At the same time, the global marketplace is driving the need for additional frequencies to meet 5G demands, such as the 28 GHz band. The GSMA recognises and supports actions by governments and operators in many countries to test and allocate the 28 GHz band for 5G under an existing mobile allocation in the ITU’s Radio Regulations.
In the end, it is up to countries to decide how they want to move forward. The important part is that operators get the opportunity to show 5G’s true potential.
You can find the 26 and 28 GHz infographic below. And go here to find the GSMA’s 5G spectrum guide.