Advanced Television

NGMN calls for new spectrum to deliver IMT vision

October 21, 2015

By Colin Mann

ITU Member States have been urged to initiate studies and adopt an agenda item for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 to identify additional spectrum bands for IMT to realise the benefits of 5G mobile telephony.

According to Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, Chairman of the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN), 5G mobile systems will require access to new spectrum bands supporting much wider bandwidths than those available today if the full capabilities of the 5G vision are to be delivered. “Therefore a decision to initiate studies and schedule an agenda item to decide on new spectrum bands above 6GHz at the next conference in 2019 is an important objective to be achieved at the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) that convenes in Geneva next month,” he stated. The views of NGMN – founded by leading international network operators in 2006. Its objective is to ensure that the functionality and performance of next generation mobile network infrastructure, service platforms and devices will meet the requirements of operators and, ultimately, will satisfy end user demand and expectations – on the future IMT spectrum to be discussed at WRC-15 have been published in a briefing paper – Future IMT spectrum goals for ITU WRC-15.

Key points from the NGMN briefing paper include:

  • Future 5G mobile systems (provisionally referred to as IMT-2020 within the ITU) are anticipated by NGMN to start beyond 2020 and will require new spectrum bands in addition to existing bands to deliver those new capabilities that require access to much wider channel bandwidths than those of today’s networks: bands above 6GHz will be needed to support these high bandwidth requirements.
  • NGMN supports ITU to initiate studies of a range of potential bands with a view to eventually concluding on identification of frequency bands for IMT supporting IMT-2020 applications. NGMN would encourage studies focused on a specific set of frequency bands drawn from the entire range of approximately 6GHz to 100GHz.
  • Sufficient spectrum needs to be identified in a range of bands to support the range of capabilities that will be required for future 5G applications in a multi-operator environment.
  • Aside from the new spectrum requirements above 6GHz, in general, low frequency spectrum (below 6GHz) is absolutely essential for an economical delivery of mobile services and this holds true for existing systems as well as future 5G systems.

“NGMN is committed to working with ITU members to complete the necessary studies to enable decisions to be taken on IMT above 6GHz at WRC-19,” concluded Jacobfeuerborn.

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