The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) announced that 515 operators in 173 countries hold licenses 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 can support 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 licenses or licenses 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 licenses.
“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 GSA. “Mobile operators are demanding low-band spectrum, and some specific bands like 410 to 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 licenses.”