The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) today announced that 515 operators in 173 countries hold licences enabling launch of LTE or 5G using low-band spectrum and that nearly 400 operators are known to have launched LTE or 5G networks using low-band spectrum.
In its brand new Low-Band Spectrum for LTE and 5G Report, GSA reports that not only are there now over 15,000 LTE devices are capable of supporting low bands according to its database GAMBoD, but also that out of 316 announced 5G devices supporting low-band spectrum bands for NR, 219 are already commercially available.
This latest GSA report also discloses that 37 countries/territories have announced formal (date-specified) plans for allocating 5G-suitable low-band frequencies between now and 2022 (including technology-neutral licences or licences for mobile broadband services). As a result, GSA foresees an increase in the number of auctions of low-band spectrum in the coming years, as well as 5G NR deployments using already assigned spectrum licences.
The Low-Band Spectrum for LTE and 5G Report (April 2021) can be downloaded here: https://gsacom.com/paper/low-band-spectrum-for-lte-and-5g-may-2021/ (registration required)
“Low-band spectrum is very important for expanding network coverage especially in suburban/rural deployment scenarios, ensuring service continuity across different geographies, enhancing service quality in indoor environments and helping to close the digital divide,” commented Joe Barrett, President of the Global mobile Suppliers Association. “Mobile operators are demanding low-band spectrum, and some specific bands like 410–430 MHz, 450 MHz or 900 MHz also play an important role in specific industries for the creation of private networks. For these reasons, GSA foresees an increase in the number of auctions of low-band spectrum in the coming years, as well as 5G NR deployments using already assigned spectrum licences.”
This new report includes market insight and statistics on the use of low-band spectrum for LTE and 5G, recent spectrum assignments by country, future licensing plans by country/territory and a calendar of planned low-band LTE and 5G auction, together with information on LTE and 5G device support for low-band frequencies.
More detailed data on device support can also be found in the latest 5G Devices report, available here: https://gsacom.com/paper/5g-devices-may-2021-executive-summary/.