Gartner Research

CSPs Must Optimize Frequencies for LTE-A and 5G as the Radio Spectrum Fragments

Published: 24 March 2015

ID: G00273502

Analyst(s): Sylvain Fabre , Kosei Takiishi


Leading communications service providers worldwide are already rolling out LTE-Advanced with commercial standardized 5G scheduled for 2020 — despite concerns that there won't be enough frequencies. For CSPs' CTOs, choosing the right frequencies is a make-or-break decision that must be made soon.

Table Of Contents
  • Impacts


  • Introduction
  • The Time to Act Is Now

Impacts and Recommendations

  • A frequency shortage for LTE-A and 5G will push CSPs to call on standardization bodies and local regulators to allocate more frequencies and use more efficient allocation methods
    • Licensed Frequencies
    • Unlicensed Frequencies
    • Licensed Shared Access
  • Frequency fragmentation and the evolution of technology will increase the frequency combination patterns for cellular systems; CSPs will reuse existing frequencies for 5G as an interim solution
    • Frequency Fragmentation on LTE
    • Carrier Aggregation on LTE-A Will Further Complicate Frequency Fragmentation
    • 5G'sTwo-Phase Process
  • Ongoing competition between CSPs for higher throughput and better coverage will require them to adopt new technology and invest continuously in network deployments


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