5G: Mobile group wants govt support

5G: Mobile group wants govt support

5G: Mobile group wants govt support

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The GSM Association (GSMA) wants governments and regulators the world over to supporting the needs of 5G in the lead-up to the World Radio-communication Conference in 2019 (WRC-19).

The call by the world mobile industry pressure group comes amid recent development in the roll out of the 4G networks in the telecoms sector by developing countries including Nigeria.

GSMA says 5G can create a ‘hyper-connected’ society, supporting varying needs of a hugely diverse set of connections, from industrial machinery in factories to automated vehicles, as well as rapidly growing services such as on-demand video.

“Although the mobile industry, academic institutions and international standards-making bodies are developing the technologies central to 5G, success will depend heavily on affordable access to the necessary amount of spectrum,” John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA, says.

“It is essential that sufficient new mobile spectrum is made available – and that operators are allowed to re-purpose existing spectrum for 5G when required. Governments are central to the WRC-19 process to identify harmonised spectrum for 5G and incentivize the necessary network investment,” he adds.

According to the GSMA, ultra-fast 5G services will require such large amounts of spectrum that governments and regulators are already looking at significantly higher frequencies than those traditionally used in mobile services.

According to the GSMA, ultra-fast 5G services will require such large amounts of spectrum that governments and regulators are already looking at significantly higher frequencies than those traditionally used in mobile services.

Ikeja Computer Village in Lagos, Nigeria
A mobile phone user in Ikeja Computer Village Lagos, Nigeria

While this work is critical, the GSMA has highlighted that mobile spectrum must be quickly identified within three key frequency ranges – including traditional low frequency bands – to deliver widespread coverage and support all use cases.

The three frequency ranges identified by GSMA are: Sub-1 GHz, 1-6 GHz and above 6 GHz:

  • Sub-1 GHz will support widespread coverage across urban, suburban and rural areas and help support Internet of Things (IoT) services.
  • The 1-6 GHz range offers a good mixture of coverage and capacity benefits, including spectrum within the 3.3-3.8 GHz range that is expected to form the basis of many initial 5G services.
  • Above 6 GHz is needed to meet the ultra-high broadband speeds envisioned for 5G; a focus will be on bands above 24 GHz.

GSMA further recommends some policies to ensure the 5G Future, enabling the mobile industry to secure the necessary spectrum required for 5G, which include:

  • Harmonized high-frequency mobile spectrum is needed to ensure 5G services meet future expectations:Global governments need to collaborate on a harmonized approach as 5G services will require large amounts of spectrum. According to GSMA, without making these higher frequency bands available for 5G, it may not be possible to deliver a step change in mobile broadband speeds and support rapidly growing mobile data traffic, especially in busy urban areas.
  • Governments need to adopt national policy measures to encourage long-term heavy investment in 5G networks:Deployments will require significant network investment given the very large number of small cell sites needed to deliver ultra-high speeds. The speed of rollouts, quality of service and coverage levels will all be compromised without government encouragement. Governments need to review and take appropriate action on policy measures at a national level to future-proof networks to accommodate 5G, GSMA says.
  • WRC-19 will be vital to realise the ultra-high-speed vision for 5G and low-cost devices: The Association says governments and regulators hold the key to enabling the fastest 5G speeds, low-cost devices and international roaming and minimizing cross-border interference. They need to plan for the future, supporting 5G spectrum in the run-up to and at WRC-19. GSMA further says that if governments fail to agree a common set of bands, then 5G spectrum could become fragmented, which could drive up device costs and undermine access to widespread, affordable 5G.

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, including those in Nigeria, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organizations in adjacent industry sectors.

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Success Kafoi Journalist at Technology Times Media. Mobile: 08077671673 email: success.kafoi@technologytimes.ng

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