Sub 1 GHz Spectrum for LTE and 5G.
This report provides a snapshot of the global status of national usage of spectrum below 1 GHz for LTE and 5G services. It is part of a series of reports which separately also cover spectrum from 1 to 6 GHz and spectrum above 6 GHz.
Sub-1 GHz spectrum bands are very important for expanding 5G NR coverage in all urban/suburban/rural deployment scenarios, ensuring service continuity across different geographies, enhancing service quality in indoor environments, and helping to close the digital divide. Mobile operators are demanding spectrum below 1 GHz, and these spectrum bands will also play an important role in industry for the creation of private networks. For these reasons, GSA foresees an increase in the number of auctions of sub-1 GHz spectrum in the coming years, as well as 5G NR deployments using already assigned spectrum licences.
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Several key spectrum bands Sub 1 GHz spectrum are used for LTE. Many of the same bands are also used for networks based on 2G or 3G technologies (but those are not analysed in this report) and for 5G.
The 800 MHz band is most used, followed by 700 MHz and then 900 MHz. Deployment details for the various bands are:
GSA has also identified 99 operators investing in LTE in one of the American 700 MHz bands (Bands 12, 13 ,14 or 17, between them covering 75 MHz within 699 MHz and 798 MHz). Of those, 81 have used one of the bands to launch their LTE network.
Band 20: (832–862 MHz/791–821 MHz) is the most used band, with 225 operators investing in LTE using this frequency range, including 198 that are understood to have launched networks, 25 other licensed operators and two more planning networks.
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