Maximizing the lower 3.5 GHz range in the US

Monday 31 Jul 2023 | 3.5 GHz |

Maximizing the lower 3.5 GHz range in the US image

The 3.5 GHz range (3.3-4.2 GHz) has been widely used as a 5G launch band due to its robust capacity and city-wide coverage. More than 60 countries have assigned parts of the 3.5 GHz range for their 5G network deployments. This report provides options for maximizing the 3.5 GHz band, particularly in the lower range, for future 5G development in the US. 

The US is among a top group of countries pioneering 5G deployments and innovation. It boasts high 5G coverage, high speeds, and high adoption rates. However, a lack of mid-band spectrum in the US will constrain the growth and capacity of 5G, and hence the economic potential of its 5G systems.

Spectrum in mid-bands such as the 3.5 GHz range are an important tool in the development of 5G. While the US has shown early progress, it has no clear path to increasing the volume of mid-band capacity for commercial use. A shortage of mid-band spectrum can constrain 5G’s potential and jeopardizes US economic and industrial growth. Maximizing the efficient use of the 3.5 GHz range is critical to filling this gap.

The global mobile industry has aligned on the lower part of the 3.5 GHz band (3300-3450 MHz) as a core 5G workhorse, providing the capacity needed to connect the industries of the future. More than 60 countries already use 5G networks in 3.5 GHz, with even more planning to do so soon. A new CTIA report syntheses the research on this issue.

Find out more about the 3.5 GHz range here.