5G has yet to be standardised. However, some 5G networks are already seeking new frequencies to provide very high data rates everywhere, in all spectrum ranges.
A set of frequencies were allocated to IMT use at WRC-15. The first bands in Europe will be the 700 MHz band and the 3.4-3.8 GHz bands. Millimetre frequencies are currently the object of compatibility studies at academic and industrial levels.
Competition is heating up between regions on which bands to select. Globally, 5G will aggregate more spectrum in the three types of bands i.e. sub-1 GHz, sub-6 GHz and above 6 GHz. It will mostly result in a trade-off between technical feasibility and consumer/use case needs based on propagation characteristics.
This report presents the regulatory status associated to 5G spectrum and presents the future bands for 5G use. It also analyses the bands likely to be used by 5G networks below 6 GHz and in millimetre bands.
Regulatory status and potential harmonisation
- Post-WRC-15 IMT/5G status in the 700 MHz band
- Post-WRC-15 IMT/5G status in C-band (3.4-4.2 GHz)
- Pre-WRC-19 IMT/5G status: Low and medium bands targeted for 5G
- 24-47 GHz bands targeted for 5G: potential fine tuning between 24 and 28 GHz
- 45-90 GHz bands targeted for 5G
- IMT allocations and targeted channels in 3.4-4.2 GHz frequencies
- IMT allocations and targeted channels in 4.2-5.0 GHz frequencies
- Comparison of expected 5G timetables
Early 5G bands in Europe
- Current status of the 700 MHz band in Europe
- Very limited usage in Europe in the 3.4-3.8 GHz frequencies
5G bands above 6 GHz
- Propagation characteristics of spectrum above 6 GHz and major impacts on deployments
- Indoor and outdoor use of millimetre waves: the IDATE view
- Trials at 24-26 and 28 GHz
- 5G use cases and related bands
1. Executive Summary
1.1. Regulatory status
1.1.1. Frequency targeted by the mobile sector
1.1.2. Wrap-up on expected timetables and management models
1.2. Early 5G bands in Europe below 6 GHz
1.3. Which frequency bands above 6 GHz will be used by 5G networks?
1.3.1. Will millimetre wave bands really support mobile services?
1.3.2. 28 GHz and 26 GHz bands: early adoption for fixed wireless access?
1.3.3. User equipment should be able to support 24-26 and 28 GHz bands
1.3.4. How will spectrum above 6 GHz be used for 5G networks?
3. Regulatory status: between WRC-15 and WRC-19
3.1. Frequency bands targeted by the mobile sector: WRC-15 decisions and WRC-19 expectations
3.1.1. Key WRC-15 decisions on new allocations
3.1.2. WRC-15 decisions on studies to be performed before WRC-19 on 24-86 GHz bands for 5G
3.2. Europe: consistent with the WRC-19
3.3. USA: rush to open up spectrum for 5G in 2016
3.3.1. Low bands below 1 GHz: the 600 MHz auctions
3.3.2. Medium bands
3.3.3. High bands above 24 GHz
3.4. Asia-Pacific: East Asia has hurried to trial 5G
3.4.1. Australia is considering spectrum below 6 GHz
3.4.2. China eyes 2020 launch
3.4.3. Japan targets 2020 (Summer Olympic Games)
3.4.4. South Korea has to be ready for the February 2018 Winter Olympic games
3.5. Wrap-up and potential impact on international harmonisation and standardisation
3.5.1. A set of frequencies is emerging despite various groups and propositions
3.5.2. Potential impact on international harmonisation
3.5.3. Spectrum-sharing schemes and licensing regimes
3.5.4. Expected timetables
4. Early 5G bands in Europe below 6 GHz: status and future availability
4.1. 700 MHz band in Europe: 5G coverage and IoT
4.1.1. The 700 MHz globally identified for IMT use
4.1.2. Deployment plans
4.2. 3.4-3.8 GHz (#42-43): capacity spectrum for 5G
4.2.1. Very limited usage in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band in Europe
4.2.2. A significant potential for 5G with broad channels
5. Which frequency bands above 6 GHz will be used by 5G networks?
5.1. Will millimetre wave bands really support mobile services?
5.1.1. Propagation characteristics above 6 GHz
5.1.2. Massive MIMO and beamforming benefits
5.2. 28 GHz and 26 GHz bands: early adoption for fixed wireless access?
5.2.1. 28 GHz frequencies
5.2.2. 24-26 GHz frequencies
5.2.3. User equipment should be able to support 24-26 and 28 GHz bands
5.3. Other bands (30-86 GHz)
5.4. How will spectrum above 6 GHz be used for 5G networks?
5.4.1. 3GPP scenarios
5.4.2. Indoor and outdoor usage
5.4.3. Expected 5G use cases
5.4.4. The viewpoint of researcher on spectrum use above 6 GHz
6.1. Key WRC-19 Agenda Items
6.2. Preliminary key items for WRC-23
Tables & Figures
Table 1: 5G bands currently under study for WRC-19
Table 2: Frequency bands above 24 GHz identified by FCC for 5G use in USA (R&O bands)
Table 3: Comparison of main existing spectrum management schemes
Table 4: Key characteristics of scenarios operating at above 6 GHz
Table 5: Attributes for indoor hotspot
Table 6: Attributes for dense urban
Table 7: Attributes for urban macro
Table 8: Attributes for satellite to terrestrial
Table 9: Indoor and outdoor use of millimetre waves
Table 10: Potential uses of spectrum above 6 GHz in Europe – 2020-2025 / 2025-2030
Figure 1: Candidate bands for 5G in Europe identified at WRC-15
Figure 2: 35 GHz spectrum in the USA
Figure 3: 5G spectrum considerations in China
Figure 4: Opportunities for international harmonisation: FCC/USA views
Figure 5: Frequency bands under consideration for 5G use – 24-47 GHz
Figure 6: Comparison of expected 5G timetables
Figure 7: Frequency bands under consideration for 5G use – sub-6 GHz
Figure 8: Price of 700 MHz spectrum per MHz per pop for 10 years
Figure 9: Current allocations in the 34-36 GHz band in Europe (Country examples)
Figure 10: Main spectrum allocations above 6 GHz
Figure 11: Millimetre use in mobile networks
Figure 12: The three ITU-R IMT 5G scenarios