Ericsson asks for state spectrum plans
Clarity on 5G bandwidth urged
Ericsson Thailand has urged the government to get ready and set a clear roadmap to reallocate spectrum for 3400-3700 megahertz for fifth-generation (5G) wireless broadband, rather than addressing the planned auction of the 700MHz range.
The 3400-3700MHz spectrum is the most widely used range for 5G technology globally, including among network and equipment vendors.
In Thailand, satellite business provider Thaicom uses a slot on the 3500-3800MHz.
According to Jesada Sivaraks, head of government and industry relations at Ericsson Thailand, the telecom regulator and the Digital Economy and Society Ministry should hold negotiations with Thaicom to pave the way to assign unused bandwidth on the 3500-3800MHz spectrum for 5G.
"The lack of decisiveness and a roadmap for spectrum reallocation is creating uncertainty among vendors who need to import network equipment," Mr Jesada said, adding that if vendors import the network equipment to operate 5G on the 3500-3800MHz range, there is still the risk that Thaicom may lodge a complaint and have them move out later.
Standard bands for 5G tech development include the low band (700MHz), middle band (3400-3700MHz) and high-frequency bands (26,000MHz and 28,000MHz)
Vendors and developers are developing 5G technology on the standard ranges, with each 5G range being developed as a complementary band (not stand-alone bands) for the existing 4G spectrum band, called anchor bands: the 28GHz and 850MHz ranges; the 3400-3700MHz with the 1800MHz and 2100MHz ranges; and the 700MHz with the 2600MHz.
No vendors or developers have yet built 5G network equipment exclusive to the 700MHz range for commercial purposes.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is wending its way towards auctioning 35MHz of bandwidth on the 700MHz in seven slots, each containing 5MHz of spectrum bandwidth.
Ericsson yesterday held a press conference on 5G technology, featured in the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility report.
Wuttichai Wutti-udomlert, vice-president and head of network solutions at Ericsson Thailand, said 5G is expected to reach more than 40% of the global population and account for 1.5 billion subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband by the end of 2024.
This will make the roll-out of 5G the fastest among cellular technologies on a global scale. Key drivers for 5G deployment include increased network capacity, lower cost per gigabyte and new use-case requirements.
North America and Northeast Asia are expected to lead the 5G uptake. In North America, 5G subscriptions are forecast to account for 55% of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2024. In Northeast Asia, the corresponding forecast figure is more than 43%.
In Western Europe, 5G is forecast to account for some 30% of mobile subscriptions in the region by the end of 2024.
In the third quarter of last year, mobile data traffic grew 79% year-on-year in the global market, the highest rate since 2013. Increased data traffic per smartphone in Northeast Asia -- mainly in China -- has pushed the global figure notably higher.
For Thailand, a successful mobile broadband business is the base for addressing all the new opportunities that lie ahead with 5G, using 4G as the foundation.