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5G is the hype of our industry, and recently, countries have been announcing what’s new in this sphere – this is even before ITU’s allocation of spectrum, which will be very important for device manufacturers and for roaming users.

“Forward-thinking spectrum policy, modern infrastructure policy, and market-based network regulation form the heart of our strategy for realizing the promise of the 5G future." – FCC Chairman Pai of USA.

The Communications Authority of Hong Kong announced it would open up spectrum in the 26GHz and 28GHz bands in 2019 and in the 3.4GHz to 3.7GHz band in 2020. In addition, it also disclosed plans to conduct a public consultation in the second half of 2017 on vacating spectrum that is currently occupied by satellite services. 

The Canadian Government stated that here is a need to consider additional spectrum releases in order to respond to the expected future data and capacity demands of the evolving Canadian telecommunication infrastructure. Frequency bands that could potentially be released in the next five years will be allocated for commercial mobile, license-exempt, satellite and backhaul services and applications. In many cases, the potential use of the frequency bands overlaps between these four services and applications.

The Telecom regulator TRA of the UAE supports allocating and identifying certain harmonized frequency bands to IMT 2020, and promotes globally harmonized ecosystems that will best serve the UAE public interest and will decrease deployment costs.

Different frequency bands are considered to facilitate the deployment of 5G in the UAE for the purposes of coverage and capacity over wide areas, small areas, hotspots and indoor implementations. The deployment plans and venues are discussed closely with operators to ensure the successful launch of this technology. The UAE’s TRA will support the suitability of some of these bands and will initiate 5G technology’s early deployments in the following bands by 2020:1427-1518 MHz, 3300-3800 MHz,24.25 – 27.5 GHz.

In South Africa, trial has been conducted but concerns remain over the failure by the South African government to allocate extra spectrum. MTN and Ericsson launched the trial in Johannesburg achieving a throughput in data transmission. Network throughput is the amount of data moved successfully from one place to another in a given time period. More than 20 GB/ps with less than 5 milliseconds (ms) latency was achieved which is among the highest achieved in Africa.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is acting fast and has officially reserved 3.3-3.6 GHz and 4.8-5 GHz for 5G services, and it will likely free up 3.6-4.2 GHz for future 5G allocation, according to analysts.

To show the importance of 5G and China’s commitment, the MIIT mentioned for the first time making more spectrum available at low frequencies (below 3 GHz) for 5G, the analysts believe the biggest piece of spectrum available in that range is at 700 MHz.

The MIIT previously issued a request for opinions for high frequencies, so the issue of more spectrums at super high frequencies is not a surprise. “We always believed that China will eventually adopt mm Wave for 5G as a supplement,”

But why haven’t the GSMA and ITU issued the standard 5G spectrums yet?

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