LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS AMERICAS 2017: US policy makers “appreciate the substantial economic growth that 5G will bring across virtually every facet of American life”, but the benefits of 5G are only achievable if a “steady stream of additional spectrum is made available”, Dean Brenner, SVP of spectrum strategy and technology policy at Qualcomm, said.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has demonstrated “strong, bipartisan leadership” in making spectrum available for 5G. But in order to enable 5G nationwide by 2019, there is “much more work to be done”, he told Mobile World Live.
“To deliver multi-gigabit, ultra-low latency, and ultra-reliable connectivity, 5G will use low, mid, and high-band spectrum with every regulatory paradigm (licensed, shared, and unlicensed). The FCC needs to complete the proceedings started in the 2016 Spectrum Frontiers Order and the 2017 Notice of Inquiry, which would make far more spectrum available for 5G,” Brenner said.
In the meantime, the nationwide rollout of Gigabit LTE is also “crucial for 5G and requires key FCC actions in the short term”, taking into account the fact it will be years before 5G is available coast-to-coast.
“Keeping the 600MHz transition on track without delay and changing the 3.5GHz technical rules to enable channels wider than 10MHz without requiring power reductions are essential regulatory steps for Gigabit LTE now and ultimately 5G”, he said.
A key technology for delivering Gigabit LTE is LTE Unlicensed – using unlicensed spectrum to deliver 4G services alongside operator licensed bands.
“We strongly support the FCC’s policy of allowing any technology to be deployed in the 5GHz band. That policy enabled deployment of LTE-U and LAA, which are both being used to deliver Gigabit LTE for consumers. This technology is now being launched successfully all over the world,” Brenner said.
And this flexible use of spectrum, blending licensed and unlicensed, and sharing with other users, will be equally important as the mobile industry progresses toward 5G.
“The top priority for the wireless industry continues to be obtaining more licensed spectrum. However, some bands cannot be made available by a certain date or in a reasonable timeframe, and, in those cases, Qualcomm and its partners want to use such spectrum to the greatest extent possible, using spectrum sharing techniques,” the executive noted.