Paris, 30 July 2018
A disruptive generation, 5G must enable a jump in performance in terms of connection speeds (expected tenfold increase), transmission time (tenfold decrease) and the reliability of communications. It is forecast to be a veritable "facilitator" of society's digitisation, by enabling the development of new uses and applications: virtual reality, autonomous and connected cars, smart cities (traffic control, optimised energy consumption), industry of the future (remote operation of production tools, machine connectivity)…
To satisfy coverage requirements, 5G will need to use new low frequency bands but, to satisfy very high capacity and very low latency imperatives, it will also need to use frequencies well above the highest ones being employed today, notably the millimetre wave bands above 24 GHz.
• What is the outlook for introducing 5G in the 26 GHz band?
Back in May, Arcep consulted with stakeholders to explore what actions were needed to make the 26 GHz band available to host 5G services.
The consultation had a dual objective:
- Obtain feedback from stakeholders on the licensing framework for 26 GHz band frequencies used for radio-relay systems, with a view to freeing up the band for 5G;
- Assess possible coexistence issues and conditions for future 5G networks and the earth stations operated by scientific services and the fixed satellite service.
Arcep received 13 contributions from operators, equipment manufacturers, trade association and industry stakeholders - of which it is publishing a summary today.
The contributions make clear the players' interest in using the 26 GHz band to deliver 5G services, to satisfy local needs for superfast mobile networks in very densely populated areas, and to provide new, dedicated 5G services for industry. Some players believe that the first 5G rollouts should be confined to the band's last gigahertz (26.5 - 27.5 GHz) due to the availability of compatible equipment.
Arcep will now begin consultations with the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the 26.5 - 27.5 GHz band's current user, to propose changes to the national frequency allocation table so that the band be allocated to Arcep.
To prepare for the advent of 5G in the rest of the band, Arcep will work with stakeholders on examining the terms and conditions for migrating radio-relay systems to other bands, and plans on limiting the duration of new licences to 31 December 2023 at the latest.
• Using the 1.5 GHz band for 5G
Arcep's public consultations of December 2014 (on the strategic review on spectrum for superfast mobile services) and January 2017 (to prepare for the allocation of new frequencies for the regions, businesses, 5G and innovation) confirmed stakeholders' desire to use the "1.5 GHz" (1427 - 1517 MHz) band for superfast mobile.
This is why Arcep wants to begin work immediately on preparing for the introduction of superfast mobile services in the 1.5 GHz band, by launching a public consultation that seeks to gather stakeholders' feedback on:
1/ their interest in using this frequency band, possible uses and the outlook for the availability of compatible equipment;
2/ the licensing framework for 1.5 GHz band frequencies for radio-relay systems, to free up the band with a view to its future allocation to mobile networks;
3/ coexistence conditions for 5G and the mobile satellite service operating in the adjacent 1518 - 1559 MHz frequency band.
The public consultation will run until 30 September 2018.
These actions are part of a national roadmap for 5G and Arcep's 5G action plan (pdf - 1.12 Mo), published on 16 July 2018, and follow through on Arcep's previous work on preparing for the advent of 5G, including:
> the publication of a report on "5G: issues and challenges" in March 2017,
> the public consultation on "New frequencies for the regions, businesses, 5G and innovation" in January 2017,
> 5G trial authorisations,
> and the creation of a "5G pilot" window in January 2018.
Associated documents for introducing 5G in the 26 GHz band
• Press release of 22 May 2018 launching the public consultation
• Summary of the public consultation (July 2018) (pdf - 448 Ko)
• Stakeholders' contributions (.rar - 3,2 Mo) (July 2018) (rar - 3.17 Mo)
Associated documents for using the 1.5 GHz band for 5G
• The public consultation (July 2018)
• Work programme for Arcep (pdf - 1.12 Mo)
• Arcep's battle plan (pdf - 126 Ko)