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Despite the scarce nature of spectrum, it is often underused or unused. There is great opportunity for regulators to revise the rules governing certain frequency bands to make more efficient use of this resource and lay foundations for 5G deployment.


  • The higher the spectrum bands, the lower the coverage capabilities so to compensate for this, operators must build a very dense radio base station network which is very costly. By increasing spectrum license durations, operators are more easily able to make a return on their investments and encourages them to make such substantial investments.

Features and Benefits

  • Assesses EU announcement to increase spectrum license durations.
  • Compares global approaches to spectrum caps.

Key questions answered

  • What changes to spectrum policy are needed to support 5G?
  • What changes to spectrum policy have been made globally in recent times?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Longer spectrum licenses ensure that 5G is financially viable by providing operators with greater investment certainty
  • The RSPG calls for 3.4–3.8GHz bands to be made available across the EU by 2020
  • Regional licensing in the EU will deliver greater flexibility in spectrum authorizations
  • Raising spectrum caps is necessary for operators to acquire sufficient amounts of contiguous spectrum


  • Further reading
  • Author

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