Mid-band Spectrum – March 2021 – Summary

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Mid-band Spectrum – March 2021 – Summary

Many LTE networks have been launched using mid-band spectrum and operators and regulators have come to recognise the value of mid-band spectrum for 5G networks, offering as it does a combination of coverage and capacity.

This report provides a snapshot of the global status of national usage of mid-band spectrum between 1 GHz and 6 GHz for LTE and 5G services. It is part of a series of reports which separately also cover spectrum below 1 GHz and spectrum above 6 GHz.

During 2020, a number of countries/territories allowed operators to make emergency use of spectrum resources to meet demand for broadband services during COVID-19 lockdowns. This report does not track this short-term, emergency spectrum usage.

(Note: all references to countries/territories in this document can be read as also including territories, special administrative regions, disputed territories and dependencies.)

This report reflects a market that is in constant evolution and feedback is greatly appreciated to keep it current. Please send comments and information to research@gsacom.com.

LTE and 5G in bands between 1 and 6 GHz

Several key spectrum ranges between 1 and 6 GHz are used for LTE and 5G. Many of the same bands are also used for networks based on 2G or 3G technologies (but those are not analysed in this report).

The 1800 MHz band is most used, followed by C-Band spectrum and spectrum at 2.6 GHz. The key spectrum bands licensed/deployed for LTE and 5G are:

·      1700 MHz (Band 4 AWS)

·      1800 MHz (Band 3 and Band n3)

·      1900 MHz FDD (Bands 2 and 25, n2 and n25)

·      2100 MHz (Band 1 and Band n1)

·      2300 MHz TDD (Band 40 and Band n40)

·      2600 MHz FDD (Band 7 and Band n7)

·      2600 MHz TDD (Bands 38 and 41, n38 and n41)

·      3300–4200 MHz TDD (C-Band spectrum)

·      4400–5000 MHz (Band n79)

1700 MHz (Band 4 AWS)

Spectrum at 1700 MHz is widely used in the Americas for LTE. In total, 75 operators in 23 countries/territories have been identified as holding licences to deploy networks at 1700 MHz, of which at least 54 have launched or are deploying their networks in this spectrum range.

Mid-band Spectrum – March 2021 – Summary

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Mid-band Spectrum - March 2021 - Summary

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