ITU agrees to put 5G frequency band allocation on agenda

The ITU’s WRC-15, its four-yearly spectrum harmonisation forum, has agreed that its next meeting, to be held in 2019, will allocate specific bands for 5G mobile network use above 6GHz.

It further agreed that its 2019 meeting would add further agenda items for 2023.

There is likely to be considerable information sharing and trading going on well before 2019, however, as vendors and operators will want certainty on certain bands in the microwave ranges well before 2019. The first 5G commercialisation is expected to occur by 2020, with some 5G-like features being deployed in the network, probably below 6GHz, before than, as Japan and South Korea push for regional supremacy and to meet key sporting dates.

Even mmWave research is progressing rapidly, and the industry will want to know which bands area likely to be available for commercialisation of technology that is in the labs right now.

One thing we do know is that 5G will not include satellite allocations in C, Ku or Ka bands which are currently used for a range of key satellite services.