Get it right on mmWave, GSMA urges WRC

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Taking the right approach to spectrum could lead to a $565 billion boost to global GDP and $152 billion in extra tax revenue from 2020 to 2034, claimed the GSMA in its latest plea for a common sense approach to frequency distribution.

The trade association is calling for the 26 GHz, 40 GHz and 66-71 GHz to be harmonised at the forthcoming WRC-19 conference, which will determine who will get to use certain bands.

Europe would be the continent to get the biggest boost, 2.9 percent, to GDP through mmWave 5G, the GSMA claimed. The Asia Pacific and Americas regions would generate the largest overall share.

Healthcare, industrial automation, virtual and augmented reality, education will be among the sectors that will benefit the most from mmWave, the association claimed. These bands would support the high data transfer rates and low latencies, which will suport new use cases.

Brett Tarnutzer, Head of Spectrum, GSMA, said: “The global mobile ecosystem knows how to make spectrum work to deliver a better future. Mobile operators have a history of maximising the impact of our spectrum resources and no one else has done more to transform spectrum allocations into services that are changing people’s lives.

"Planning spectrum is essential to enable the highest 5G performance and government backing for mmWave mobile spectrum at WRC-19 will unlock the greatest value from 5G deployments for their citizens.

“More than five billion people already rely on the mobile ecosystem to deliver services that are integral to their daily lives and fundamental to the economic sustainability of the communities they live in. 5G can offer more benefits and a whole new range of services to even more people, but this will not be possible without access to this vital spectrum.”

This research is the GSMA's latest intervention into the spectrum debate as the widespread launch of 5G services comes ever closer.

Last month it warned that 5G was at risk entirely if a sensible spectrum policy was not taken.

It said operators would need a minimum of 100MHz in the 5G mid-bands and 1GHz in millimetre wave bands.

It has also raised concerns about the German spectrum auction, warning the country's regulator that it is at risk of poisoning 5G through its demands for national roaming and opening the market to a fourth player.