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Policy-makers are making progress in allocating technology-neutral spectrum for 5G. But as well as ensuring there is a sufficient amount of spectrum available, regulators should consider more flexible and innovative approaches to spectrum management.


  • Data from 5G trials has indicated that the highest speeds are best achieved in bands above 24GHz. But although these higher bands allow greater speeds to be reached, and offer increased performance and capacity, they are less capable of penetrating obstructions. Regulators will therefore have to ensure that they allocate a range of frequencies to operators for 5G to meet varying needs.

Features and Benefits

  • Assesses which spectrum bands have been identified by regulators as suitable for 5G use.
  • Evaluates innovative spectrum management approaches taken around the world.

Key questions answered

  • Which spectrum bands are most suitable for supporting 5G?
  • What are the different licensing regimes being considered?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Identifying suitable spectrum bands for 5G is still in the early stages, but millimeter wave spectrum is proving popular
  • Bands above 24GHz are achieving the highest speeds in trials, but these frequencies are less able to penetrate obstructions
  • The Consumer Broadband Radio Service will be the first major test for industry spectrum sharing


  • Further reading
  • Author

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