Hundreds of megahertz of additional midband spectrum with exclusive licenses, full power and wide channels are needed to fuel 5G innovation, study finds


WASHINGTON, November 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Allocating hundreds of megahertz of additional median spectrum for exclusive full-power licensed commercial use in contiguous wide-spectrum channels is essential to fully leverage next-generation 5G networks and unleash innovation , according to a new report from Rysavy Research, commissioned by CTIA.

“In order to unlock the innovations that will define the next decade, such as wireless home broadband, industrial IoT, extended reality and the metaverse, it is essential that decision makers prioritize the allocation of hundreds of megahertz of additional medium spectrum with innovation-friendly rules,” said Pierre Rysavy, President, Rysavy Research. “Exclusive user licenses, full power levels and large continuous channel sizes allow providers to build highly efficient and cost-effective 5G networks with the speed, latency and security these applications need to transform the way we to live and work.

Mid-band provides the balance between wide geographic coverage and high bandwidth essential for 5G services. United States is currently following other leading countries that have made available an average of 140% more median spectrum for their 5G networks. Closing this gap is critical to maintaining US leadership in 5G and meeting growing demand. According to Rysavy Research, however, to unlock the full potential of 5G and enable the industries and innovations of the future, this spectrum must be made available with innovation-friendly rules, including:

  1. Exclusive licenses that offer wireless operators the ability to develop highly secure, interference-free networks and deliver a consistent quality of customer experience. They also provide the certainty operators need to invest tens of billions each year to grow their networks, including a record $35 billion in 2021 and $121 billion over the past five years.
  2. Full power levels that increase capacity, while requiring fewer cell sites, allowing carriers to cost-effectively provide wider coverage. According to Rysavy Research, it would take five times as many cell sites to cover a suburban area and seven times as many to cover a rural area with low power levels similar to CBRS than with high power levels similar to C-band. more cell sites increases costs and slows deployments.
  3. Wide bands contiguous spectrum, which means providers can achieve high throughput and faster speeds more efficiently than approaches that require operators to run networks on narrow, non-contiguous spectrum channels. Wide channels also reduce costs per bit by up to 70% compared to narrow channels.

The report provides an in-depth analysis of how and why these spectrum characteristics are so important.

“5G networks are rolling out faster than any previous generation of wireless, and with 5G for home broadband, bringing true competition to cable and becoming the fastest growing home broadband solution in the country. , it’s already having a big impact,” said Meredith Atwell Baker, President and CEO, CTIA. “As policymakers develop a new national spectrum strategy, it’s critical that we build on this early success and power these networks with the exclusive-use licensed commercial spectrum we need to drive innovation in our economy. “

Building robust 5G networks is also key to meeting America’s growing demand for mobile data. Mobile data consumption has increased more than 100 times since 2010, and Ericsson’s Mobility Report predicts that smartphone usage alone will increase to 52GB/month in 2027, from 15GB in 2021.

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