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Blocking 5G from mmWave Will Limit its Potential, GSMA Warns

eetimes.com, Jul. 31, 2019 – 

The trade body representing the mobile communications industry, GSMA, has issued a statement warning the space industry not to prevent 5G services from accessing millimeter wave spectrum at the forthcoming World Radio Communications Conference 2019 (WRC-19). The mmWave spectrum is expected to be allocated at the conference taking place at the end of October 2019 in Egypt.

The GSMA is worried the space industry's protectionist attitude will limit spectrum allocation to 5G in the bands above 24GHz and up to 86GHz. It said the full potential of 5G applications and their socio-economic impact, in terms of high-capacity and low-latency, requires access to sufficient spectrum in the mmWave band.

As part of its lobbying, the GSMA presented a host of numbers to illustrate the societal and economic impact of 5G, and how blocking spectrum access would be detrimental to the world economy. In a report released this month, it said that releasing 5G mmWave capacity will create $565 billion of economic expansion. This figure represents 2.9% of global GDP growth by 2034. And it points to a huge impact on developing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, and Latin America. The GSMA's research into the global reach of 5G technology highlights a $5.2 billion boost to GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa over the period. South East Asia will see a huge $45 billion rise in GDP and Latin America will benefit by $20.8 billion.

All of this economic growth hinges on the availability of access to specific millimeter wave frequency bands. The GSMA stated this spectrum and the 5G services it will enable are under threat due to a territorial dispute triggered by the space industry. The WRC-19, taking place from 28 Oct to 22 Nov, will see 3000 delegates from over 190 nations meeting in Egypt to agree on how radiowave capacity will be used. The GSMA said "Some in the space industry are determined to limit mobile use of airwaves that 5G requires to reach its full potential. This protectionist attitude is ringing alarm bells throughout the mobile communications world."

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