5G Services Will Demand New, Shared, Tradable Spectrum, ABI Report Says

July 17, 2019 Brandon Lewis

A report from ABI research indicates that licensed, unlicensed, and shared spectrum spanning sub-1 GHz to 100 GHz radio frequencies will be required to support enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC), and massive machine-type communications (mMTC) 5G services.

These services are built on the three main categories of 5G services - enhanced mobile broadband speeds of at least 100 Mbps for all users, ultra-low latency and reliability, and massive machine type communications for internet-connected devices. Currently, bandwidth is limited by the availability of spectrum and the laws of physics, which are complicating 5G technologies such as beamforming and millimeter wave communications.

With global mobile dat traffic projected to grow from 306,000 Petabytes to 1.5 million Petabytes in the next four years, sufficient spectrum will be mandatory. The telecom industry can address this demand by using new millimeter wave frequencies or maximizing the efficiency of frequency bands currently in use. The latter may result in dynamic capacity trading in which wireless broadband becomes a commodity, although no current marketplace exists.

“As spectrum becomes an increasingly more valuable asset, spectrum trading will become more relevant, which will result in a more efficient outcome where the cumulative spectrum supply is higher,” says Emanuel Kolta, Senior Analyst at ABI Research.

As mobile service providers currently purchase dedicated spectrum for periods of five to twenty years, regulators will need to assist vertical industries such as automotive and manufacturing access this spectrum

“To achieve the full scale of benefits and a leading position in the 5G race, governments and regulators have to support and stimulate mobile network operators with a huge amount of continuous 5G spectrum. The FCC and Ofcom in the UK are beginning to allocate said spectrum for vertical industries, and may provide an example for other regulatory bodies in the future.

For more on ABI’s findings, access an overview of “Making Spectrum Fit for 5G Services & Competition” application analysis report here: www.abiresearch.com/market-research/product/1033842-making-spectrum-fit-for-5g-services-and-co/.

About the Author

Brandon Lewis

Brandon Lewis, Editor-in-Chief of Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for guiding the property's content strategy, editorial direction, and engineering community engagement, which includes IoT Design, Automotive Embedded Systems, the Power Page, Industrial AI & Machine Learning, and other publications. As an experienced technical journalist, editor, and reporter with an aptitude for identifying key technologies, products, and market trends in the embedded technology sector, he enjoys covering topics that range from development kits and tools to cyber security and technology business models. Brandon received a BA in English Literature from Arizona State University, where he graduated cum laude. He can be reached by email at brandon.lewis@opensysmedia.com.

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