High 5G Spectrum Prices Are Braking European Rollouts
While low-band spectrum is ideal in providing wide area coverage, mid-band spectrum can satisfy booming capacity demand for dense urban areas. High-band spectrum is optimal in providing ultrahigh speed mobile broadband and fixed wireless connectivity, even replacing Fiber to the Home (FTTH). Midrange frequencies have specific attributes enabling them to deliver Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) with the best compromise between capacity and coverage. This gives a unique importance and attention to the 3.4–3.8 GHz spectrum in the early times of 5G. However, the available midrange frequencies are limited. Radio astronomy, satellites, military, radio, and TV services are using this block in many countries, and industry activities are now underway to free spectrum for 5G. The stakes are high: allocating spectrum early helps vertical industries to achieve critical mass in their 5G-related products and services before others. Most countries have not auctioned 5G spectrum yet, but a few have already completed 5G spectrum auctions.
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