Frequency planning 5G and its measurement with Gigahertz Solutions
Commercial rollout is expected 2019/20+ starting with frequencies between 700 MHz and 6 GHz
Today's plans for PUBLIC-USE 5G WITH WIDE AREA COVERAGE comprise frequencies between 700 MHz and 6 GHz. Both frequency bands in the higher GHz range are intended for locally restricted applications. An internationally advertised demonstration at 28 GHz on the occasion of the Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2018 in London clearly showed the physical limits as soon as the line of sight was only partly interrupted. The frequencies up to 86 GHz are only considered for very short line-of-sight applications (e.g. between PC and monitor). For the time being only test installations for 5G are being implemented worldwide, even though some mobile network operators try to suggest that the technology is already commercially available. Provided that there is an answer to the currently unsolved technical challenges by then, the commercial rollout is expected for 2019/20+ starting with frequencies between 700 MHz and 6 GHz.
Why should the rollout start with the lower frequencies?
Physical laws also apply to 5G and the hardware vendors are predictably responding to this:
First, there is the greater attenuation of high-frequency radiation through the air. From the provider's point of view, "greater attenuation" means "more energy and higher costs" - the commercial consequence: always the lowest possible frequency band is used (which we currently experience with 2G/3G as well as the two wireless LAN bands). The upper bands in the range up to 70 GHz thus remain reserved for direct visual connections in the long run - with a positive side effect for the population: The own four walls offer comparatively good protection (and the Gigahertz product range covers the more relevant reference spectrum under 6 GHz very well).
The situation is similar with regard to the type of modulation used by 5G: In fact, continuously rising crest factors would be expected. However, the chip manufacturers, keep literallyoutdoing each other in presenting new methods, which limit the crest factors to a maximum of 10 dB, because each additional decibel increases the cost of base stations and thus the cost for mobile operators. Positive side effect for the population: no further increase in crest factors (and in terms of the Gigahertz product range: no higher requirements for the measurement of LTE).
The saying "Money rules the world" in this case even forms a benefit for the general public ... a small consolation in the face of 5G and the resulting increase of the overall RF pollution.
These influencing factors are reflected in the frequency scenarios of the global manufacturer consortium responsible for 5G project planning. These are, according to the report of June 2018, the bands "around 700 MHz" (according to European plans this means > 700 MHz), "around 2 GHz" and "around 4 GHz" (details in the related status report of the 3GPP consortium: "3GPP TR 38.913 V15.0.0").
But what are our plans for frequencies above 10 GHz?
Currently there are no end-user devices publicly available for the two projected higher 5G bands at ìaround 30 GHz and up to 86 GHz, let alone the required RF components in an acceptable price range. At the same time, as explained above, those bands are typically less relevant for individuals from a building biologyís point of view. Naturally we will have an eye on the further development but, until the situation changes, we will focus on optimizing our current product range.
Laboratory measurement equipment in the higher frequency range is of course available (for 10,000s of Euros/Dollars). Key players in this field are, for instance, Rohde & Schwarz, Anritsu and Narda-STS.
Gigahertz Solutions, November 2018
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