5G Spectrum Key points
- The frequency bands for 5G networks come in two sets: FR1 (450 MHz - 6 GHz), FR2 (24.25 GHz - 52.6 GHz)
- To share frequencies used by LTE and 5G networks, frequency and time division duplexing can be used.
- Lower frequency spectrum bands will not be available for auction because of the existing licenses.
- Higher frequency bands are available for auction because they are not currently licensed.
Large quantities of the new radio spectrum, also known as New Radiofrequency bands, have been allocated to the 5G technology to fulfill all the requirements of 5G. U.S FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has freed up vast amounts of bandwidth for 5G use cases.
Higher frequency bands in different countries
- Europe: 3400-3800 MHz
- China: 3300-2600 MHz
- China: 4400-4500 MHz
- China: 4800-4990 MHz
- Japan: 3600-4200 MHz
- Japan: 4400-4900 MHz
- Korea: 3400-3700 MHz
- USA: 3100-3550 MHz
- USA: 3700-4200 MHz
mmWave frequency bands in different countries
- Europe: 24.25-27.5 GHz for commercial deployment from 2020
- China: focusing on 24.25-27.5 and 37-43.5 GHz studies
- Japan: 27.5-28.28 GHz
- Korea: 26.5-29.5 GHz
- USA: 27.5-28.35 GHz and 37-40 GHz
Lower 5G frequency bands
The bands 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1.5 GHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.3 GHz, and 2.6 GHz are considered for traditional coverage applications and new specific usages such as the Internet of things (IoT), Industry Automation, and business-critical use cases. Spectrum refarming will be required for most of the spectrum bands, hence the time required to have them allocated to 5G will be much longer than the higher bands.
How much spectrum does 5G need?
NR specifications include traditional as well as new frequency bands. It supports channel bandwidth ranging from 5 MHz to 100 MHz for bands below 6 GHz and channel sizes from 50 MHz to 400 MHz in bands above 24 GHz. 5G supports carrier aggregation to enable very high speeds which makes it possible to have faster, lower latency, and greener 5G services.