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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on 14 July on a proposal to open up almost 11 GHz of spectrum for 5G. The idea is to get ahead of Europe and Asia by making large tranches of spectrum available and then letting innovators decide how to use it, FCC chair Tom Wheeler said. Some consultants believe the US approach is likely to find favour in Europe.
Takehiro Nakamura, managing director of Japanese firm Docomo's 5G lab, has said its target 5G bands are 3.4-3.8 GHz, 4.4-4.99 GHz and 27.5-29.5 GHz. He hopes Europe will work on the 28 GHz band. Other industry figures are keen to emphasise that bands not approved by the ITU are still available.
Following a discussion at the 11th Spectrum Management Conference in Brussels last week, director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau François Rancy responded (along with other ITU representatives) to criticisms of ITU processes with regard to world radio conferences (WRCs).
The UK referendum result creates difficulties for the European Commission’s "digital single market" aims and a British chair of the Radio Spectrum Policy Group could pose problems for the telecoms regulatory framework review. That's according to Jochen Mistiaen, policy manager in the spectrum group at technology industry group DigitalEurope.
The Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Alliance and ITS Observatory aim to put Europe in the lead in developing and rolling out intelligent transport systems (ITS).
Speaking at an event in Brussels, the head of spectrum at UK mobile operator EE argued that the harmonisation of spectrum licensing would not make for uniform consumer preferences across the EU.
Speaking at the 11th annual European Spectrum Management Conference, Anthony Whelan of DG Connect said that spectrum policy is as political as ever.
At a recent industry event in the UK, local and national government officials discussed the many obstacles to realising the technological advancements central to the 5G vision. London might steal a march on other regions, as one group is trying to establish an independent agency for connectivity there.
EU governments have tentatively agreed to open the 694-790 MHz band to mobile broadband services under technically harmonised conditions by 2020. Many say they'll do so before or by then, but several will miss the deadline or say the timing is unclear.
Speaking at a conference in London, the UK minister responsible for spectrum, Ed Vaizey, said a merger between Three and O2 would not necessarily have led to a three-player market in the country. He also said his department, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), would shake up the UK Electronic Communications Code and act to make spectrum available to "spectrum-hungry mobile providers".
The Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) says the band, which was identified for mobile broadband at WRC-15, has the possibility to “put Europe at the forefront of 5G deployment”. Satellite industry figures say interference with existing services in this band will increase.
Nokia and Qualcomm have been testing MulteFire in Wi-Fi's home frequency and say deployment will take place next year. The system does not use licensed spectrum like licence-assisted access (LAA) and could play a role in launching 5G services, particularly for businesses.
The 5G vision has not been coupled with a business case, nor integrated well with the existing structure of operators and other players in the current communications environment.