GSMA and GSA unite to drive 5G spectrum allocation

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An agreement signed by the GSMA and the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) will see the two organisations collaborating to help manage the allocation and market availability of 5G spectrum bands.

The Memorandum of Understanding will see the two industry bodies working together in a bid to ensure a coherent approach to new allocations of spectrum for mobile networks.

It will include addressing spectrum that has already been identified for 5G.

The two organisations said they also planned to jointly identify and support key countries to facilitate the availability of the allocated spectrum. This will include carrying out in-country studies and technical analysis as required.

Joe Barrett, President of the GSA, said: “Our collaboration and combined messaging on spectrum allocation will support the global deployment of 5G to meet industry expectations of extended coverage and gigabit data rates.” 

John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer at the GSMA, added: “It is through close collaboration that we can raise awareness of the need to connect more and more consumers and businesses.”

The partnership comes ahead of the World Radio Conference in 2019 (WRC-19), during which the International Telecommunication Union will determine the spectrum to be used in 5G. This conference will precede the IMT-2020 conference in 2020 that will determine the specifications for 5G.

In the meantime, European regulators are working on ascertaining and clearing the prospective bands.

In a briefing document entitled ‘Update on 5G in the UK’, UK regulator Ofcom said that the 700MHz, 3.4 to 3.8GHz and 26GHz bands would provide the best opportunity for the UK to benefit from 5G.

It said that it had begun the work of clearing the three bands.

France's regulator Arcep also announced in January that it is exploring how the 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz bands could meet cellular demand for LTE, 5G and Internet of Things networks.

Read more: GSMA urges government action "today" on preparing for 5G