Specifically, the GSMA wants 5G to also operate in the 6 GHz bands, but each government has a different opinion. China wants to use the 1,200 MHz of spectrum 6 GHz for 5G networks, while Europe has split it up and will use 500 MHz (5,925 to 6,425 MHz) for WiFi, and the rest for 5G.
5G and WiFi, neither or both: battle at 6 GHz
In the case of America, both the United States and many Latin countries affirm that they will not offer any type of 5G connectivity at 6 GHz, and they will leave that resource to use it exclusively for WiFi and other technologies yet to be licensed.
So we have three big policies around the world that are going to make deployments quite difficult. Europe will be the only area to offer both connectivity on that frequency, where there will be at least three 160 MHz blocks available for high speeds; especially if they are used in combination with other bands.
The 6 GHz in WiFi is very important, since, although the coverage will be slightly lower than that we have with 5 GHz, the channels will double in size, going from 80 to 160 MHz the maximum that we can have, greatly improving the speed and capacity of today’s routers. In the case of 5G, there are experts who say that at least 2,000 MHz of spectrum will be needed over the next decade for connectivity to show its full potential, so all the spectrum that is allocated is little.
In 2023 they will try to solve it
To try to solve this problem, in the year 2023 the World Radiocommunication Conference, where they will seek to harmonize the use of the bands and develop the ecosystem. They estimate that 5G has the potential to boost World GDP in 1.8 trillion euros.
Therefore, the GSMA will ask governments for three things:
- That offer at least the frequencies between the 6,425 and 7,125 MHz for 5G, as the European Union has done
- To ensure that the backbone and all systems are properly protected
- That, depending on the needs of each country and the deployment of fiber optics, the lower half of the 6 GHz (between 5,925 and 6,425 MHz) is opened with a license exemption with neutral technology rules.
In short, the GSMA defends the use of 6 GHz for mobile telephony, while the WiFi Alliance defends the use for WiFi connectivity. We will see what is finally decided, but it is a problem because there are already some devices in the United States that are compatible with WiFi 6E that use the entire 6 GHz spectrum, and could generate interference in the future if it is finally decided to apply the same policy worldwide used by the European Union.