GSMA Warns Mobile Operators About Access to the Right 5G Spectrum

The Global System for Mobile Communications Association (commonly known as the GSMA) has released a warning that the successful rollout of ultra-fast 5G services is solely dependent on access to the right type and amount of spectrum in the next year.

As the industry moves towards launching 5G services, the GSMA says that governments, regulators and the mobile industry will need to work together to deliver widespread 5G coverage that will be of value to everyone.

The GSMA Public Policy Position on 5G Spectrum specifies that 5G quality, services, speed and reach could vary drastically between countries. This is because governments globally have started to auction spectrum for 5G networks, but differences in how much spectrum has been assigned, different infrastructural conditions and the cost of access to that spectrum will determine the quality of 5G services from one country to the next.

Early adopter countries will be first in line in the rolling out of 5G and will stand to reap significant socio-economic benefits including GDP growth.

GSMA Intelligence predicts that there will be 1.3 billion 5G connections by 2025, depending on operators gaining access to sufficient spectrum.

Brett Tarnutzer, the Head of Spectrum at GSMA said that operators urgently need more spectrum to deliver the endless amount of services that 5G will provide. He stated that the future of 5G relies primarily on government involvement and on the outcomes of the decisions that are to be made by the different governments as the world moves towards the arrival of 5G.

Tarnutzer declared that without strong government support to provide sufficient spectrum to next-generation mobile services, it would be impossible to make 5G affordable and accessible for everyone.
According to GSMA, governments should focus on making sure that consumers get the most value out of 5G instead of trying to maximise auction revenues to meet short-term goals.

Tarnutzer added that it is crucial for governments to make the right decisions early on in the process because history has shown that once a spectrum is granted to mobile at WRC, it can take almost ten years to licence that spectrum at a national level.


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