People’s Post and Telegraph: 5G has come, and the allocation of spectrum is urgent.

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Rui Wen
Source: People’s Post and Telegraph
Mobile technology is one of the most far-reaching technologies in history. The evolution to 5G is a key step in the digital revolution to keep nobody behind. 5G is right beside us. Users are keen on ultra-high-speed mobile broadband. They are using more and more data. However, this is only the beginning. Only when the spectrum is divided correctly, can the eye-opening application and speed be fully demonstrated. Its development will have a tremendous impact on society. If the parties concerned do not pay attention to it, the goal of ensuring a better, 5G-driven future for all may be at risk of a decade’s retrogression.
SK Telecom, a South Korean operator, said the use of 5G data had tripled compared with 4G. The daily data usage per user of LG Uplus has reached 1.3G bytes. This real need for 5G proves that spectrum planning needs to be addressed now to ensure that this progress is not interrupted.
5G will promote the development of digital society
As we all know, 5G is not only faster, or can download more videos, it is also expected to accelerate the digital transformation of all industries and departments, and set off a new wave of innovation, benefiting billions of people. The mobile industry knows how to make spectrum serve a better future, and has been working with governments and supranational organizations such as ITU to deploy spectrum efficiently for the benefit of billions of people around the world.
However, the spectrum is limited. Governments need to ensure that this valuable resource is fully utilized, not only financially, but also in a way that brings the greatest benefits to the largest number of people.
In the past 30 years, the mobile industry has made full use of its spectrum and made great contributions to the world. It has connected more than 5.1 billion unique mobile users and nearly 9 billion connections, changing the way we communicate, work, manage health and family, and entertain.
In 2018 alone, the mobile industry contributed $3.9 trillion to global GDP and $510 billion to global public finance. However, the revenue of the ground mobile industry is far more than business and contribution to public finance.
Mobile Industry Dependence on Spectrum
No one has done better than the mobile industry in making the best use of spectrum, nor has anyone been able to go beyond the mobile industry in developing more effective cooperation to create a better future for everyone. More than two-thirds of the world’s people are now connected to mobile networks; for many people, mobile networks are the main, sometimes even the only, access to the Internet and livelihood services. Mobile phones are opening doors to opportunities that were unthinkable decades ago.
The mobile industry was the first industry to commit itself to contributing to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations in 2016, and continues to play a leading role by connecting poorly equipped communities, reducing poverty, improving access to health services and education and promoting sustainable economic growth.
But fundamentally, the mobile industry is a future-oriented industry. Our mission is to enable our customers to do what they can’t do today tomorrow. This means providing 5G networks that support innovations, such as immersive augmented reality and virtual reality education content, to present the best museums, attractions and cultural activities in the world to billions of children and adults who may not have access to these precious experiences.
Ultra-portable, low-power wearable devices, which are widely used, can measure biological characteristics and provide real-time health advice, thus improving health care and people’s health.
By connecting the machine and the robot with millimeter wave wireless connection, zero delay precise control and coordination can be achieved to improve efficiency and reduce waste, thus creating a smarter, cleaner and safer factory.
Connect smart cities and manage transportation, resources, electricity and environment on a large scale and in real time.
5G Spectrum Coexistence and Innovation
Efficient spectrum allocation, especially in the millimeter band, is critical for high-speed, high-throughput and low-latency applications.
Research shows that 5G can not only coexist with other applications, but also accelerate the digital transformation of existing industries, and give birth to a new wave of innovative solutions for our most pressing global problems.
The mobile industry is an efficient ecosystem, with 14 million people directly employed and 17 million indirectly employed.
Just as 3G and 4G networks create disruptive businesses ranging from shared economies to wearable technologies, 5G will create an appropriate environment for sustainable innovation, care for an ageing population and ensure wider fair opportunities. Dividing enough spectrum for 5G International Mobile Communications (IMT) can stimulate the development of the whole ecosystem, support the sustainable development of existing networks, and ensure that no one is left behind in the emerging digital society.
Can’t be resigned to fate
But it can’t depend on luck or delay. In order to enable all walks of life and consumers to enjoy the benefits of mobile services, operators need to obtain appropriate number and type of spectrum under appropriate conditions. In the year of World Radio Communications Conference (WRC), we must make these decisions, otherwise we will face the risk of “stagnation of development” for 5 to 10 years.
In order to fully tap the potential of 5G, the relevant specifications require each operator to obtain 80MHz ~ 100MHz continuous spectrum in 5G mid-end band and about 1GHz continuous spectrum in millimeter-wave band.
There are sufficient socio-economic reasons for dividing these bands. In the 15 years from 2020 to 2034, the millimeter-wave-dependent 5G business will increase the global GDP by 565 billion US dollars, and the total value created by 5G will come from the millimeter-wave band.
ITU has played an important role in creating a better world for billions of people by supporting mobile development. We need to build on that success. Mobile operators, governments, other industries and ITU members need to work together to connect all people and all things to achieve a better future.