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FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum on July 14

The FCC commissioner is pushing for the US to be the "first country" in the world to open up vast amounts of high-band spectrum for 5G uses in the coming years.

"5G is a national priority," Wheeler said in a speech in Washington, D.C., on Monday. He is putting new rules about a "Spectrum Frontiers proceeding" before the other commissioners this Thursday. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on proposals on July 14.

The high-band radio spectrum under discussion -- known as the centimeter (cmWave) and millimeter wave (mmWave) bands -- is one of the building blocks of 5G. The next-generation wireless standard, which is expected to be in commercial deployment by 2020 but could arrive earlier, is anticipated to deliver data over-the-air at gigabit speeds, allowing a movie to be downloaded in seconds. (See 5G: As Close as You'll Get to a Jet Pack!)


For all the latest news on 5G, visit the dedicated 5G site here on Light Reading.


Wheeler didn't reveal the full extent of the spectrum planning for an mmWaves (30GHz to 300GHz) future. He did say that the plans call for "a massive 14 gigahertz unlicensed band." This could be at 60GHz and is a much larger unlicensed spectrum set aside than has been proposed before by the FCC. (See 60GHz: A Frequency to Watch.)

Wheeler hasn't yet said what he proposes opening up in licensed bands like 28GHz. It looks likely to be another massive allocation though.

"Current blocks of licensed low-band spectrum are usually 5 to 10 MHz in width," Wheeler said. "With 5G, however, we are looking at blocks of at least 200 MHz in width." (See Sprint's Big Game: 5G at 2.5GHz for more on how much bandwidth early 5G tests are using.)

Wheeler stressed that the US could take a leadership role in 5G by moving quickly on opening up licensed and unlicensed spectrum. "Unlike some countries, we do not believe we should spend the next couple of years studying what 5G should be, how it should operate, and how to allocate spectrum, based on those assumptions," Wheeler said.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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TV Monitor 7/4/2016 | 5:35:26 PM
Re: FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum kq4ym

"if there's anything hidden behind the FCC thought that "we do not believe we should spend the next couple of years studying what 5G should be."

FCC has been to Samsung's US lab and seen the Samsung 5G in action, and has concluded that there is no need to waste any precious time debating what 5G should be, because they saw a functional 5G network with their own eyes.
kq4ym 7/4/2016 | 2:23:12 PM
Re: FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum It makes me wonder if there's anything hidden behind the FCC thought that "we do not believe we should spend the next couple of years studying what 5G should be." Would that play to the advantage of some folks over others, and just what might be the thinking of the countries that want to contemplate 5G use before moving forward quickly?
TV Monitor 6/22/2016 | 9:01:44 AM
Re: ZTE completes 15 Ghz band testing Gabriel Brown

"an issue for Samsung is to develop a standards based system in which each end of the link (device and base station) can come from different suppliers."

There will be handsets from multiple vendors from the start, so handset is not a problem.

Basestation is a bit more tricky, because it will take some time before other vendors catch up once Samsung 5G has been made the 28 Ghz open standard in the absense of a comparable competing technology by 2018. But you bet there will be multiple basestation vendors for Samsung 5G by 2022.

WiBro has been used as an analogy on these boards a few times already.

WiBro analogy doesn't work here. WiBro/Mobile WiMax(Different from Intel Fixed Wimax)'s problem was that it was a TDD system, when most of bands allocated for 4G were FDD. This made WiBro/Mobile WiMax deployment impossible for telcos with no TDD spectrum holdings, which is pretty much everyone in the US with the exception of Sprint.

By comparison, the US 28 Ghz 5G spectrum is essentially tailor made for Samsung 5G, and no other vendor's technology is better suited for this spectrum than Samsung's. This is why Samsung's now coming out that they would be generating $8 billion a year in 5G basestation sales in 2020, from KT, SK, and Verizon.
Gabriel Brown 6/22/2016 | 5:26:33 AM
Re: ZTE completes 15 Ghz band testing TV Monitor -- an issue for Samsung is to develop a standards based system in which each end of the link (device and base station) can come from different suppliers. 

WiBro has been used as an analogy on these boards a few times already.
Gabriel Brown 6/22/2016 | 5:23:23 AM
Re: FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum Ianbrown -- This is pretty much what happens: spectrum is allocated / licensed on a technology neutral basis by the FCC. Actually, this is one thing the UK regulator, Ofcom, got right years ago.

"The FCC shouldn't be looking at standards, the industry as a whole should... The FCC and the likes should just sell the spectrum, take the money and move on."

It is true that regulators are sometimes too clever about how they sell spectrum (e.g split it up into little units) because in most cases technology and the market determine how it is used.
TV Monitor 6/22/2016 | 12:13:39 AM
ZTE completes 15 Ghz band testing http://www.telecompaper.com/news/zte-completes-5g-high-frequency-tech-test--1149589

ZTE completes 5G high-frequency tech test

"ZTE, in partnership with the China Mobile Research Institute in Shanghai, has completed its prototype verification and performance testing of key 5G high-frequency technology. The joint test verified multiple technical performance indicators, including indoor transmission, performance of the 5G high-frequency prototype in the 15 GHz band, single-user peak rate, transmission rate in line-of-sight/non line-of-sight (LOS/NLOS) scenarios and indoor penetration loss and coverage. ZTE said the test achieved a single-user peak rate of over 3.7 Gbps and the service transmission performance for direct wave, reflection and transmission scenarios was deemed good."

Seems that 15 Ghz is the limit for vendors lacking the electrically steered beam antenna technology.

This is why Nokia, Ericsson, and ZTE all hang around at 15 Ghz. 

Samsung owns 28 Ghz and up.
TV Monitor 6/21/2016 | 11:08:31 PM
Verizon is a likely launch customer of Samsung 5G http://www.reuters.com/article/us-samsung-elec-5g-idUSKCN0Z70KW

Samsung Electronics bets on 5G to jump-start networks business

Trailing its rivals after misplaced bets on wireless technology standards, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd aims to become a global top-three player in 5G mobile networks by moving quickly in markets like the United States, an executive said.

Crucial to its plans is a partnership with New York-based Verizon Communications Inc to commercialize the technology. Other firms working with Verizon on 5G include Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Intel Corp.

Verizon conducts field tests this year and aims to begin deploying 5G trials on home broadband services in 2017 in the United States, likely the first 5G application commercially available before a broader mobile network standard is agreed.
TV Monitor 6/21/2016 | 5:21:39 PM
Re: FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum IanBrown

"So even if 15GHz, 28GHz and 60GHz are used, it really wouldn't matter as long as the modem supports the bands."

Different 5G standards being promoted by different vendors are using different modulation schemes. The complexity and computational requirements of these different modulation schemes prevent single chip able to support all; they are just all drastically different from each other.

15 Ghz : Some kind of extensions to OFDM
28 Ghz : QAM-FBMC.
60 Ghz : ???

"The question is, will 2.5GHz be included?"

Qualcomm's modems will likely support 2.5 Ghz and possibly 15 Ghz, but no 28 Ghz and 60 Ghz. Qualcomm is working on a 28 Ghz solution, but Qualcomm has fallen years behind Samsung in 28 Ghz technology that it is uncompetitive. For US 28 Ghz, a Samsung modem is a must.

" So if Sprint used phones with modems for the Chinese market, it may not play nice when you need to roam in North America in terms of supporting the required bands and/or the technology used."

Qualcomm's modems will support both Chinese 5G and all LTE variants, and Apple and Samsung's Chinese market phones will use Qualcomm modems.

Qualcomm may suck above 6 Ghz, but is very competitive and will support pretty much anything and everything under 6 Ghz, including Chinese 5G.
lanbrown 6/21/2016 | 4:24:54 PM
Re: FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum That is why I said they *WOULD* rather make one product for everywhere.  It is more or less the government and their interference in the matter.  It is one thing if the spectrum is currently allocated and used; it is an entirely different matter if the spectrum is not used or could be easily cleared.

 

A single standard could cover all three regions though, but the governments of the world just won't let that happen.

 

As for CDMA vs GSM...not at all.  CDMA and GSM did share bands at least in the US.  Might as well as toss TDMA in there since it too shared the same bands and predates CDMA.  The first commercially deployed TDMA network for North America was 1993 whereas the first CDMA interim standard was published in 1995.

 

Today you have LTE and you have two flavors of it and many bands.  So even if 15GHz, 28GHz and 60GHz are used, it really wouldn't matter as long as the modem supports the bands.  The question is, will 2.5GHz be included?  Until recently there wasn't a single LTE modem that covered all of the bands used worldwide.  So if Sprint used phones with modems for the Chinese market, it may not play nice when you need to roam in North America in terms of supporting the required bands and/or the technology used.

 

Another issue is wil China do the TDD thing again whereas pretty much everyone else went FDD?
TV Monitor 6/21/2016 | 3:37:39 PM
Re: FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum Ianbrown

"Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericson, Huawei and the others would rather make one product that could be sold everywhere."

Well, that is not possible because different regions have different spectrums available for 5G.

"The industry will determine which one(s) will prevail.  If you let the governments of the world control the process, you get more than three and you can almost forget about interoperability."

What can you do?

China prefers 2.5~3.5 Ghz for 5G.
Europe prefers 15 Ghz and 60 Ghz for 5G.
US and Korea prefer 28 Ghz for 5G.
Japan is unique but is more like China than elsewhere. The demise of Japanese wireless equipment and phone industry means Japan's a non-player in terms of standard setting.

A single standard cannot cover all three regions, so the standards fregmentation is unavoidable. The world is going back to CDMA vs GSM war days, but this time three incompatible 5G standards competing.
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