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Pressure building for 5G to use 28GHz band as the standard

by on21 December 2016

South Korea, US and Japan have agreed to back it

A row is brewing over which frequency will be used for 5G.

South Korea, US and Japan have agreed on the 28GHz frequency as a part of a standard and formed a consultative group to establish 28GHz band as the standard for 5G network. The three are going to work together to discuss about making 28GHz band as the international standard.

Dubbed the ‘28GHz Initiative’ the three will have considerable clout when setting the international standard. However it is not a slam dunk as China, Middle-Eastern countries, and some European countries don’t want the 28GHz band because they are using it for satellite telecommunication. The band was excluded as one of candidates by ‘WRC-19 (World Radiocommunication Conference 2019)’ for this reason.

28GHz band was presented by MSIP and the U.S. to ITU (International Telecommunications Union) as a candidate for international standard of 5G band.Qualcomm's first 5G Snapdragon X50 supports operations in the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum in the 28GHz band, this is what makes the announcement rather exciting.

The three have been speeding up development of 5G services that use 28GHz since last year. South Korea selected 28GHz band as the frequency that they will use during 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) supplied 28GHz band as the first commercialised frequency to major mobile network providers such as Verizon and AT&T. Japan is also developing technologies, which utilize 28GHz band, with intent to commercialise 5G network during 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The 28GHz band can use frequencies between 26.5 and 29.5 GHz. It is considered as the only band that can distribute ultra-wide bandwidth with over 800MHz to two to three mobile network providers so that they can provide ultra-fast mobile network with more than 20Gbps which is one of the conditions of 5G technologies.

28GHz Initiative confirmed support from global equipment and chipset manufacturers regarding 28GHz band and shared roadmaps of development of technologies. Chipset and equipment manufacturers also verified the fact that formation of ‘one chip’ between 28GHz band with different frequency is possible through technologies when they manufacture modems and equipment for international purposes. This indicates that they will develop equipment by using international frequency that will be determined by ITU and 28GHz band.

Last modified on 21 December 2016
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