GSA ITU Article: Global opportunities for 5G terrestrial communications.
This GSA ITU article is featured in the ITU News Magazine No. 4 2019 and considers the broad range of opportunities 5G brings to the global market providing key considerations are met.
The key message is that spectrum must be utilised in the most efficient and cost effective way, and spectrum availability must not impact the commercial requirements of the broader mobile ecosystem.
This is already happening with infrastructure, chip and device manufacturers accelerating the availability of 5G software and hardware, while also making economic strides in reducing the costs of deployment and management of 5G technology.
5G will require spectrum in the low bands (below 2 GHz), mid bands (2 GHz to around 6 GHz) and high bands (above 6 GHz) to achieve the full IMT‑2020 vision of mobile broadband for the mass-market, including serving rural areas that have not always benefited from mobile communications.
The quality of 3G or 4G coverage in buildings needs to improve, and is a major headache for enterprises, which will only increase in severity, since modern buildings are built to reflect radio waves. This restriction can be turned into an advantage by using the high bands in-building in addition to outdoor.
GSA fully expects that, with the right industry focus, 5G technology will be deployed faster than previous technology generations. According to Ovum data, 3G took 10 years to reach 1 billion subscriptions; by comparison 4G took less than six years. GSA expects 5G to take less than five years to reach 1 billion subscriptions.
©2019 GSA ITU