A new report suggests the number of cell sites needed for 5G wireless may not be as high as previously thought. According to ABI Research, nearly 20 countries have made regulatory announcements pushing for the use of 3.4-3.8 GHz bands with the 2019 launch of commercial 5G. The lower bands can transmit further than the higher frequencies previously used by companies with 5G spectrum plans, which may reduce the facility densification needed to support 5G.
In response to a request made by CTIA – The Wireless Association, the FCC is reviewing its plan for the Citizens Broadband Radio Service band (3550-3700 MHz), Inside Towers reported. The Commission previously designated this spectrum for small Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) to use for fixed wireless broadband, says Telecompetitor.com.
Issuing a regulatory change would represent a major focus shift for many companies, and WISPs may lose out if popularity for using 3.5 GHz spectrum for 5G gains more momentum. Researchers state, “the whole breadth of the sub-1 GHz to 100 GHz spectrum range will be critical to address the various use cases and meet enhanced speeds, latency, reliability and other 5G metrics in different usage scenarios.” Find the full text of the report here.