Ovum Says Rush To 5G Could Create Spectrum Anarchy

Written by Fergus Halliday     07/07/2016 | 12:32 | Category: INDUSTRY

Mobile network operators' eagerness to launch 5G mobile services as early as possible could undermine global spectrum harmonisation efforts, according to analyst firm Ovum.

Ovum Says Rush To 5G Could Create Spectrum AnarchyGlobal spectrum assignments for all radio services are normally thrashed out at the International Telecommunication Union's World Radio Communications (WRC) conferences, held every three to four years but, says Ovum senior analyst Julian Bright, mobile operators in some of the world's most advanced telecoms markets appear to be bypassing the WRC in their drive to launch commercial 5G networks  by 2020.

"Japan's NTT DoCoMo, South Korea's SK Telecom, and four major US mobile operators - AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon - are all pressing ahead with trials of 5G technology using spectrum, including the 28GHz band, even though those frequencies have not yet received WRC approval, Bright said. 

"It appears likely that operators will receive backing for their plans from national regulators frustrated with the protracted and sometimes politically charged processes of the WRC .. 

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"Equipment vendors have also indicated that they are ready to supply equipment supporting the new bands, regardless of whether the bands have received WRC approval." - Stuart Corner