The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new
rules for wireless broadband operations in frequencies above 24 GHz,
making the United States the first country in the world to make this
spectrum available for next-generation wireless services.
According to the FCC, these rules set a strong foundation for
the rapid advancement to next-generation 5G networks and technologies in the
United States. The new rules open up nearly 11 GHz of high-frequency spectrum
for flexible, mobile, and fixed-use wireless broadband—3.85 GHz of licensed
spectrum and 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum.
The rules adopted create a new Upper Microwave Flexible Use
service in the 28-GHz (27.5–28.35 GHz), 37-GHz (37–38.6 GHz), and 39-GHz
(38.6–40 GHz) bands and a new unlicensed band at 64–71 GHz.
In the licensed bands, the rules make available 3.85 GHz of licensed,
flexible-use spectrum, which is more than four times the amount of flexible-use
spectrum the FCC has licensed to date. In the unlicensed band, the rules make
available 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum, which, when combined with the existing
high-band unlicensed spectrum (57–64 GHz), doubles the amount of high-band
unlicensed spectrum to 14 GHz of contiguous unlicensed spectrum (57–71 GHz).
These 14 GHz will be 15 times as much as all unlicensed
Wi-Fi spectrum in the lower bands. The rules balance different spectrum-access
approaches, including exclusive use licensing, shared access, and unlicensed
access to meet a variety of different needs and use cases.
Click to enlarge
According to a new Global System for Mobile Communications
Association (GSMA) study, “The Mobile Economy: North America 2016,” North America’s
mobile industry will be worth almost US$1 trillion a year to the region’s
economy by 2020. The report forecasts that the industry will account for 4.5%
(US$1 trillion) of projected regional gross domestic product (GDP) by the end
of the decade, up from 3.6% (US$710 billion) last year.
The report indicates that the number of unique mobile
subscribers in the region is expected to increase to 315 million by 2020 from
284 million at the end of 2015. There were more than 60 million cellular
machine-to-machine (M2M) connections in the region at the end of 2015,
accounting for nearly 15% of the total mobile connections, and the report
estimates that it will increase to 30% by 2020.
5G Americas announced that North America has a 60% share of the
market for LTE technology (compared to 30% in Western Europe). Also, the
penetration rate of LTE connections to the population reached 74% in the region
(against 39% in Western Europe). The organization announced also that there are
1.4 billion LTE connections out of a total of 7.5 billion total cellular
connections worldwide and that these will reach close to 4 billion by year-end
2020 (without including M2M).
Full article: IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, Volume 12,
Number 1, March 2017