The TLC industry discusses the future of the 6 GHz and UHF bands

The TLC industry discusses the future of the 6 GHz and UHF bands

During the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​GSMA and ETNO organized, with the collaboration of a large group of operators and technology suppliers, an event to reflect on the latest technological and regulatory developments concerning the use of the most sought-after frequency bands, i.e. the 6 GHz and UHF.

The event involved policy makers, representatives of industry and academia from all regions of the world and represented an important opportunity for comparison and discussion, in view of the World Radio Conference to be held in Dubai between November and December.

In fact, in this crucial appointment, the political leaders of the whole world will meet to make fundamental strategic decisions, which will influence the development of 5G networks and of the future 6G, expected for the end of the decade.

The bandwidth needed

The debate involved telecommunications experts, who discussed the need for a vere additional spectrum to support the digital transition through the evolution of 5G and the introduction of 6G.

In particular, the unique role of the band above 6 GHz (6425 – 7125 MHz) was discussed to meet such demand, and the environmental impact that would be caused by network densification needed to support expected capacity demand in the absence of the above 6 GHz band.

Speakers explored the feasibility of coexisting macrocellular implementations with satellite receivers of the fixed satellite service; in addition, a series of field tests in various EMEA and Asia Pacific countries were illustrated which have begun to quantify the performance achievable in the band above 6 GHz in terms of coverage and capacity.

The suppliers of network equipment and chipsets have underlined the importance that the IMT (International Mobile Telecommunications) assignment would have at the next WRC 23 for the consolidation of the ecosystem and have provided reassurances on the degree of technological readiness.

In general, all participants showed interest in a “balanced approach” to the 6GHz band where the lower portion would be used for Wi-Fi and RLAN, while the upper portion could be allocated to telecommunications.

Nuanced positions

Regarding the position of the different regional groups, Europe has reached a compromise in which it would accept IMT identification at WRC-23, without however actively support it.

The Middle East, African and Central Asian countries have all made it clear that there is cautious optimism that there will be support from all ITU-R groups in EMEA to condition that the servants zi incumbents of an international nature are protected.

Lastly, Latin America explained that the debate in the region is open and several countries will wait to see what position will emerge from the Dubai conference. The official positions of the regional groups will in any case be finalized by September.

The general hope that emerged from the meeting is that the political decision-makers find an agreement to assign the bands involved to telecommunications; the evolution of 5G and the next generation of mobile communications require, in fact, more space to guarantee the performance and scalability necessary to support the growing connectivity needs.