The newest assessment from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association reflects the continuing momentum around 5G spectrum allocation, with 61 countries having moved forward on either reserving, auctioning or making formal plans for 5G spectrum, or at least beginning the planning and consultation process.
“As national regulators plot their countries’ moves towards 5G, there are important choices to be made about which portions of the spectral range should be either dedicated to terrestrial 5G networks and
services or at least accessible to 5G networks and services,” the GSA said.
Sixteen countries have already held 5G spectrum auctions. Another 20 have held auctions of spectrum that could be used for 5G — such as the U.S., which does not require a specific technology to be used in a specific band. And even more auctions, allocations and plans are in the works, GSA said.
The status of global 5G spectrum allocations, auctions and plans includes:
-In Europe, seven countries have already completed 5G spectrum auctions, and another 12 have held recent auctions of spectrum that “could potentially be used for 5G,” the GSA said. Thirteen countries have confirmed that they will have 5G spectrum auctions between 2019 and 2020, and another seven are in the auction planning process.
-At least eight countries in the Asia-Pacific region have 5G-suitable auctions confirmed between 2019 and 2021, with some already completed.
-In the Americas, the GSA noted that several auctions of spectrum for likely 5G use have been completed this year so far in the U.S.; and that Canada completed its 600 MHz auction in April. Meanwhile, the GSA said, a number of countries including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador and Mexico have announced timetables for future 5G spectrum auctions, and the U.S. and Canada have additional planned auctions as well.
-In the Middle East and Africa, countries which have actively auctioned, allocated or awarded spectrum for 5G services include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Omar, Qatar, Kuwait and Ghana; a number of other auctions are in the works, in Israel, Bahrain, South Africa and Singapore.
In addition to the auctions which have already been held, “as many as 25 more relevant auctions/tenders/allocations in different bands are scheduled to complete in 2019,” GSA said. “At least 27 additional5G-relevant auctions/tenders/allocations are planned by the end of 2020 (with multiple auctions in some countries). With many other countries still toset out their 5G licensing strategies, more will follow in 2022 and 2023,” the group concluded.
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