5G – The next generation of Mobile Broadband

The 5th generation of mobile technologies – 5G, is a significant step beyond 4G LTE networks in multiple aspects. 5G was defined to reduce latency, increase bandwidth, increase reliability and allow for significantly greater numbers of devices. 5G, in reality,  is not one, but actually a number of technologies; defined by 3GPP as “5G NR” (New Radio) and SMARTER (Study on New Services and Markets Technology Enablers), and by ITU with IMT-2020.

 The 3 use cases of 5G

5G is focused on three specific and significantly different use cases – Enhanced Mobile Broadband, Massive Machine to Machine, and Ultra-reliable low latency communications.

5G Spectrum

5G has been allocated (and continues to be allocated) spectrum in a number of ranges, low, mid and high frequencies, because of the variety of use cases. In the US, there are 4 major areas.

As of the end of 2022, the FCC has all of these blocks of spectrum allocated or under review for licensed 5G use.

Internationally, each country allocates independently, and thus utilizes different available ranges, but the use cases dictate that there will be some available spectrum within certain general ranges.