Light Reading – Cloudy With a Chance of Automation: Telecom in 2018

There has already been a wave of hype — and by no means a millimetric one — about the very high frequency bands that operators could use to support 5G services. In 2018, though, the industry will get over its fascination with so-called millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum and start to focus its efforts on the far more useful 3.5GHz band, says the Northstream consulting business based in Sweden. “Given the limitations of mmWave and low bands, mid-band spectrum such as the 3.5GHz band — although less exotic — brings more practical and realistic benefits,” says the company. “A considerable amount of 3.5GHz spectrum is available and can be directly deployed onto existing grids while still taking advantage of massive MIMO technology.” While US operators have talked up mmWave, and spent heavily on it, several European incumbents have suggested that 5G services will be launched initially over 3.5GHz airwaves.

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