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ITU Inches Closer to Defining 5G Spectrum

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Dec 4, 2015, 11:31 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper
updated Dec 4, 2015, 12:29 PM

The International Telecommunications Union recently concluded the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) and moved forward several initiatives meant to allocate spectrum for mobile broadband. The conference, which recorded some 3,300 attendees, covered more than 40 topics across the gambit of wireless services. One of the key outcomes took steps to address finding spectrum for mobile broadband communications. For example, WRC-15 identified frequency bands in the L Band (1427-1518 MHz) and in the lower part of the C Band (3.4-3.6 GHz) as ideal for meeting the growing demand for cellular broadband around the world. Importantly, WRC-15 defined the 694-790 MHz frequency band in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia as spectrum that can be used across these regions for globally harmonized mobile broadband. The ITU also concluded that research is needed to assess the viability of spectrum above 6 GHz for mobile broadband, and thus wants to see studies conducted on that topic ahead of its next conference, scheduled for 2019. The ITU believes these steps will allow telecommunications equipment companies to "concentrate on the development of necessary technologies in line with the schedule for the implementation of IMT-2020," or 5G. In October, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he would use the WRC-15 as an opportunity to recommend the ITU adopt certain spectrum bands for 5G, including the 28 GHz, 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 64-71 GHz bands. These are the bands the FCC believes will be ideal for 5G in the U.S. The ITU did not specify if it agreed with or will entertain Wheeler's proposal for adopting those bands on a global basis.

more info at ITU »
more info at Dept. of State »

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