How much are the new 5G bands worth?
Nov 30, 2017 by Spectrum Research Service Blog

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TagsEricsson, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm

There has been much discussion of what 5G will be able to do; how countries can become leaders in the field; and which bands should be used for the technology.

But there has been little discussion of the value of the frequencies above 3 GHz where 5G can demonstrate its true potential.

Will operators pay a lot – suggesting a positive assessment of the technology’s prospects? Or not much, suggesting the opposite?

We have a real-life example – Ireland’s 3.5 GHz auction – and this is the subject of our latest auction analysis.

Research notes

3.5 GHz in Ireland: the first auction of a higher frequency “5G” band

29 November 2017 at 17:23
Despite better than expected revenues, the prices paid in Ireland suggest that operators regard 5G bands as a welcome addition rather than a prerequisite for a new era of mobile services. By early 2016 WRC-15, the US and European regulators had identified a range of possible 5G frequencies and the focus is now on three bands where […]

FCC 600 MHz incentive auction

17 November 2017 at 16:25
In March 2017 the FCC assigned licences in the 600 MHz band by means of an incentive auction where broadcasters offered their spectrum through a reverse auction and this was made available to operators through a forward auction. The auction raised USD 19.7 billion and awarded licences in 70 MHz of the 600 MHz band to 50 […]

Biggest winners in the US 600 MHz auction

17 November 2017 at 16:10
These graphs show the licences won by the five biggest winners in the 2017 US incentive auction. Licences bought by T-Mobile Licences bought by Dish Licences bought by COMCAST Licences bought by Bluewater Wireless Licences bought by AT&T

3.6 – 3.8 GHz

15 November 2017 at 09:00
3.6-3.7 achieved a wider IMT identification at WRC-15 but 3.7-3.8 GHz did not enjoy the same success. Europe is pushing ahead with releasing 3.6-3.8 GHz along with 3.4-3.6 GHz, while the US is considering how to encourage the use of fixed and mobile broadband services in 3.7 GHz -4.2 GHz. C-band spectrum will not be […]

4.5 GHz

13 November 2017 at 00:00
This band – 4.4-4.9 GHz – has been used for 5G trails by Nokia; Ericsson and Softbank; Intel and also figures in Qualcomm’s 5G plans. It is expected to be included in the 3GPP’s early release of the 5G standard. In terms of countries, Japan has shown the most interest in this band so far.

Auction Tracker updates

29 November 2017 at 00:00

Austria 3.4-3.8 GHz “5G auction”

27 November 2017 at 00:00

Sweden 2.3 GHz

20 November 2017 at 15:47

Sweden 450 MHz

18 November 2017 at 00:00

Sweden 1.5 GHz

17 November 2017 at 12:31

News articles

Mobile industry sceptical about broadcasters’ UHF band proposal

29 November 2017 at 13:36
Representatives of the mobile industry have questioned several aspects of broadcasting group DigitalUK’s proposals for the UHF band. DigitalUK recently announced a set of proposals to reshape 694-960 MHz in order to make it more efficient for mobile users. Time division duplex (TDD) transmission schemes are a signficant part of the proposals. The group knows […]

Digital radio is growing but global switchover unlikely

28 November 2017 at 14:08
Norway will switch to digital radio in December and three other countries are heading that way. But while DAB take-up is growing as receivers become available and cars install the technology, many markets are not – and may never be – ready for switchover, WorldDAB President Patrick Hannon told us. Norway’s DAB switchover is a […]

Europe still divided on replacing GSM-R for rail connectivity

27 November 2017 at 13:42
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has officially adopted the results from a study by consultants LS telcom on the coexistence of the railway communication standard GSM-R with other communication systems. This is part of efforts to define and specify the next generation solution “Future Railway Mobile Communications System” (FRMCS). These efforts are a European […]

UK government commits £5 million to 2018 5G trial

24 November 2017 at 12:57
The amount is less than previous commitments to similar 5G testbed projects at three UK universities. The UK government has set aside £5 million (€5.6 million) for a 5G trial in 2018, as well as a further £160 million (€180 million) for “new 5G networks” and close to £1 billion (€1.1 billion) over the next […]