The GSMA is urging international lawmakers to adopt uniform policies when it comes to the licensing of the 6 GHz spectrum. The organization noted that data-intensive 5G networks need about 2 GHz of mid-band spectrum to reach their full speed and capacity, and that 5G networks (and smart cities) will not be able to meet that potential if that spectrum is not available.
Unfortunately, many countries have not prioritized 5G in their decision-making. Europe, for example, has split its 6 GHz band, earmarking the upper segment of the band for 5G while clearing out 500 MHz for Wi-Fi applications. The US and Latin America are giving the technology even less consideration, dedicating the entire band to Wi-Fi and other technologies while leaving nothing available for 5G infrastructure. That stands in direct contrast with China, which has gone in the other direction and devoted all 1200 MHz to 5G technology.
For its part, the GSMA stopped short of such an all-encompassing policy recommendation, but does believe that every country should free up at least some of its available mid-band spectrum for 5G. The organization specifically suggested that countries should make 6425-7125 MHz available for licensed 5G, and that the lower range at 5925-6425 MHz could be opened on a technological neutral, licence-exempt basis. It also asked countries to make sure that backhaul services are protected.
“5G has the potential to boost the world’s GDP by $2.2 trillion,” said GSMA Chief Regulatory Officer John Giusti. “But there is a clear threat to this growth if sufficient 6 GHz spectrum is not made available for 5G. Clarity and certainty are essential to fostering the massive, long-term investments in this critical infrastructure.”
The GSMA has been a staunch advocate for 5G technologies over the past few years. The organization’s most recent Mobile Trends report predicts that 5G will soon account for 20 percent of all mobile connections, and a full half of the connections in North America. However, the organization has stressed that governments need to pass good policy to promote that development, and that those that don’t will hinder their 5G progress.