An unusual thing happened at the beginning of 2022; spectrum management issues made the mainstream news.
The news focussed on a last-ditch effort by the US aviation industry to block use of the 3.7 – 3.98 GHz band for 5G, even though operators had already obtained the spectrum at great cost almost a year earlier. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had concerns about interference to radio altimeters that operate at 4.2 – 4.4 GHz. Mobile operators rejected these claims.
The CTIA, which represents the larger US mobile operators, made a website stating that “nearly 40 countries are already safely using these and similar radio waves for 5G and other wireless service”.
But the FAA says the international regulations only support mobile broadband use up to 3.7 GHz.
So how can you quickly get an accurate picture?
The newly-available online PolicyTracker Spectrum Database allows Spectrum Research Service subscribers to quickly filter assignments by band. It is then possible to gain more detailed information about individual assignments by clicking on the rows, as shown below. It is also possible to export the data for further analysis.
In this case, it is clear that 72 countries have assigned spectrum for mobile in the 3.3 – 3.8 GHz band, 42 countries of which assigned the spectrum from 2017. But only two countries, Japan and the United States, have assigned spectrum in the 3.7 – 4.2 GHz band. Distinctions between these two ranges are explained in the Bands section of the Spectrum Research Service.
The interactive datasets are available to Spectrum Research Service subscribers here.