Countries are moving away from national exclusive licences for 5G frequencies
Oct 17, 2019 by Toby Youell


Bands28 GHz, 26 GHz, 28 GHz, 3.3 - 3.8 GHz

Countries around the world are making spectrum available for 5G services, partly in the hope of enabling “vertical” applications. But rather than continue to award spectrum on a nationwide-exclusive basis, more and more regulators are considering alternative approaches such as localised and/or shared spectrum access models.

In the last year, for example, the UK announced plans to allow localised access to the 3.8 – 4.2 GHz band, as well as shared access to already-licensed mobile broadband frequencies. Germany‘s C-Band award also left 100 MHz of spectrum for industrial use cases, which will be made available soon. 2019 also saw initial commercial deployments in the CBRS at 3550 – 3700 MHz in the US.

But it is the 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands that are attracting the most innovative approaches. Recent announcements from, among others, Australia, Japan, and the UK all foresee portions of the band set aside for localised spectrum access. France‘s approach is perhaps the most interesting of them all. Its regulator, ARCEP, has issued 11 local licences for wide bandwidths at 26 GHz for up to three years, but holders of the licences must make their networks available on an open basis for third-party 5G-trials.

These developments are described in our updated spectrum profiles for the world’s most important economies. These new profiles are available to Spectrum Research Service subscribers here.