mmWave 5G spectrum: what has happened over the past year?
Nov 29, 2018 by Spectrum Research Service Blog


Our Research Notes on 5G spectrum have been updated here, covering the developments of the past year and progress for IMT identifications in mmWave bands at the ITU November WRC-19 Inter-Regional Workshop.

So what is the current state of play regarding mmWave 5G spectrum? Here is our snapshot summary:

  • The frequencies most likely to win approval for an IMT identification and to be made available for 5G, are 26 GHz and the bands around 40 GHz
    • In general terms, the lower the band, the more support it gets
  • Support for 32 GHz has fallen away with CEPT and the members of the relevant ITU study group withdrawing their backing
  • The US is effectively releasing for 5G all the ITU candidate bands above 47 GHz but support from other countries is limited:
    • The most hopeful prospect among the higher bands is 66-71 GHz. An IMT identification in this band has definite backing from CEPT and ATU and possible support from CITEL and APT.
    • The frequencies around 50 GHz  have a limited chance of success as Africa and the former Soviet countries support them
    • An IMT identification for 71-76 GHz  and 81–86 GHz seems unlikely
  • In 26 GHz different regions may end up with different power limits
    • Europe is proposing much stricter limits to protect adjacent satellite monitoring services than African and Arab countries, but WRC-19 will try to build a consensus
    • The protection limits may mean only the top part of 26 GHz will be economically feasible, but equipment tuning ranges may straddle both this and 28 GHz, making them effectively one band