5G Frequency Bands & Spectrum Allocations

5G Frequency bands: Spectrum Allocations for Next-Gen LTE

Introducing 5G Frequency Bands:

5th generation wireless systems, abbreviated 5G, are improved networks deploying in 2018 and later and may use existing 4G or newly specified 5G Frequency Bands to operate. The primary technologies include: Millimeter wave bands (26, 28, 38, and 60 GHz) are 5G and offer performance as high as 20 gigabits per second; Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output – 64-256 antennas) offers performance “up to ten times current 4G networks;” “Low-band 5G” and “Mid-band 5G” use frequencies from 600 MHz to 6 GHz, especially 3.5-4.2 GHz.

The 3GPP Release 15 of December, 2017 is the most common definition. Some prefer the more rigorous ITU IMT-2020 definition, which only includes the high-frequency bands for much higher speeds.

CableFree 5G Frequency Bands
Expected 5G Frequency Band Usage: Reproduced courtesy OFCOM

5G Frequency bands and channel bandwidths

From 3GPP TS 38.101-1, the following table lists the specified frequency bands of 5G NR and the channel bandwidths each band supports. Superseded bands are indicated by a grey background.

Band Duplex-
Mode
ƒ
(MHz)
Common name Included in
(subset of)
Band
Uplink (UL)
BS receive
UE transmit (MHz)
Downlink (DL)
BS transmit
UE receive (MHz)
Duplex
spacing
(MHz)
n1 FDD 2100 IMT 1920 – 1980 2110 – 2170 190
n2 FDD 1900 PCS blocks A-F 1850 – 1910 1930 – 1990 80
n3 FDD 1800 DCS 1710 – 1785 1805 – 1880 95
n5 FDD 850 CLR 824 – 849 869 – 894 45
n7 FDD 2600 IMT-E 2500 – 2570 2620 – 2690 120
n8 FDD 900 E-GSM 880 – 915 925 – 960 45
n20 FDD 800 EU Digital Dividend 832 – 862 791 – 821 −41
n28 FDD 700 APT 703 – 748 758 – 803 55
n38 TDD 2600 IMT-E (Duplex Spacing) n41 2570 – 2620 N/A
n41 TDD 2500 BRS / EBS 2496 – 2690 N/A
n50 TDD 1500 L-Band (EU) 1432 – 1517 N/A
n51 TDD 1500 Extended L-Band (EU) 1427 – 1432 N/A
n66 FDD 1700 Extended AWS blocks A-J (AWS-1/AWS-3) 1710 – 1780 2110 – 2200[2] 400
n70 FDD 2000 AWS-4 1695 – 1710 1995 – 2020 300
n71 FDD 600 US Digital Dividend 663 – 698 617 – 652 −46
n74 FDD 1500 L-Band 1500 (US) 1427 – 1470 1475 – 1518 48
n75 FDD[A 1] 1500 L-Band (EU) N/A 1432 – 1517 N/A
n76 FDD[A 1] 1500 Extended L-Band (EU) N/A 1427 – 1432 N/A
Band Duplex-
Mode
ƒ
(MHz)
Common name Included in
(subset of)
Band
Uplink (UL)
BS receive
UE transmit (MHz)
Downlink (DL)
BS transmit
UE receive (MHz)
Duplex
spacing
(MHz)
  1. Supplemental Downlink only

Other Considerations for 5G Frequency Bands

High 5G Frequency Bands

These bands are usually available and can be quickly cleared for 5G use.

Geographical Area 5G Frequency Band
Europe 3400 – 3800 MHz (awarding trial licenses)
China 3300 – 3600 MHz (ongoing trial)
China 4400 – 4500 MHz
China 4800 – 4990 MHz
Japan 3600 – 4200 MHz
Japan 4400 – 4900 MHz
Korea 3400 – 3700 MHz
USA 3100 – 3550 MHz
USA 3700 – 4200 MHz

Very High 5G Frequency Bands (MMW)

These bands will allow the deployment of hotspots providing very high throughput thanks to the large bandwidth available for operators:

Geographical Area 5G Frequency Band
Europe 24.25 – 27.5 GHz for commercial deployments from 2020
China Focusing on 24.25 – 27.5 GHz and 37 – 43.5 GHz studies
Japan 27.5 – 28.28 GHz trials planned from 2017 and potentially commercial deployments in 2020
Korea 26.5 – 29.5 GHz trials in 2018 and commercial deployments in 2019
USA 27.5 – 28.35 GHz and 37 – 40 GHz pre-commercial deployments in 2018

Lower 5G Frequency Bands (future considerations)

The bands 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1.5 GHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.3 GHz and 2.6 GHz are considered for traditional coverage applications and new specific usages such as Internet of Things (IoT), Industry Automation, and Business Critical use cases.  However “refarming” will be required for most of these bands, hence the time required to have them allocated to 5G will be much longer than the higher bands.

For More Information

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