Although spectrum policy involves many stakeholders, ultimately it is mobile operators who are serving the mass markets and have to ensure their 5G business model works.
Operators in Europe have recently been found to have been willing to pay $0.42/MHz/POP in for C-Band spectrum, and current bidding for 28 GHz band licences in some of the USA’s less lucrative market areas has now passed $0.01/MHz/POP.
Our profiles of mobile operators’ spectrum positions and strategies are now fully updated for 2019 and are available for Spectrum Research Service subscribers here.
The key difference since our last study a year ago is that operators’ plans have become more concrete. We now see this marked difference between approaches on either side of the Atlantic, whereas previously European operators had expressed general concerns about overhyping 5G. This has developed into contrasting deployment strategies: these rely on mmWave in the US but avoid it in Europe.