Accenture Claims that US Needs Additional Mid-band for 5G

The 5G midband spectrum, also known as the goldilocks of spectrum, offers greater speeds than low-band and better coverage than high-band. Since the C-band auctions and CBRS have already taken place, they must re-farm [additional midband] spectrum to make it available for 5G.

Highlights

  • The United States' wireless industry now has access to 5% of lower midband spectrum.
  • T-Mobile US also received more than 100 megahertz of Sprint's 2.5 GHz midband spectrum.
  • This 5G generation will change the game in a manner that most previous technologies haven't.

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5G spectrum

The 5G mid-band spectrum, also known as the goldilocks of the spectrum, offers greater speeds than low-band and better coverage than high-band. It is generally acknowledged that despite the fact that C-band and CBRS deployments are already ongoing, more mid-band spectrum must still be released for service providers to use. The United States has been relatively tardy in doing this. Tejas Rao, managing director at Accenture, gave some clarification as to why exactly that would be the case and why 5G marks a shift in how network rollout performance should be measured.

Spectrum Utilization in the US Was Analysed by Accenture and CTIA

Since the C-band auctions and CBRS have already taken place, they must re-farm [additional midband] spectrum to make it available for 5G. However, they still believe that some midband space should be made available. They have coverage and speed, but as the amount of data increases, the mid-band will eventually reach its capacity.

The United States wireless industry now has access to 5% of the lower mid-band spectrum, according to a recent analysis by Accenture and CTIA that looked at spectrum allotment in the country. Government users and unauthorised users of the spectrum, however, have access to 7x and 12x that amount, respectively. They determined that three lower-mid-band spectrum bands, including the lower 3 GHz band (3.1-3.45 GHz), the 400 megahertz in the 4.4-4.94 GHz band, and the 400 megahertz in the 7.125 and 8.4 GHz band, should be opened up and allocated for cellular use because they are thought to have the greatest potential for 5G development. As per CTIA, if these three bands were given to commercial wireless users, they would have access to 1.19X more spectrum than unlicensed users and 1.34X more spectrum than government customers.

Mid-band was put on the back burner when 5G deployment plans got underway since the U.S. as a whole was so focused on assigning low band to address coverage and then high band for speed and capacity. T-Mobile US also received more than 100 megahertz of Sprint's 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum as part of the latter's acquisition, which was significant for the former.

Historically, mobile networks have deployed a lot of gear for peak loads, even if it may not be essentially most of the time because they are always intended to accommodate the carrier's heaviest traffic. They firmly believe that this 5G generation will change the game in a manner that most previous technologies haven't. They were gradual; the goal of 2G was to cut the telephone connection, 3G enabled the internet, and 4G is all about video. As per Rao, everything you wanted to do is now possible with 5G. In terms of POPs covered, carriers describe their network. Due to its emphasis on ensuring pure coverage, that has been the standard deployment model. But now you have this tremendous freedom for the first time, added Rao, noting characteristics specific to 5G that enable this, like virtualised core and edge networks.

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