Exploring the 6G Spectrum Landscape

This post was originally published on Network Computing

New spectrum has been key to delivering new services, higher capacity, and faster data throughput rates in each new generation of cellular communications. The new spectrum that will be available for 6G remains unclear, but there are three frequency ranges under consideration. These ranges include the upper mid-band between 7-24 GHz, sub-THz bands between 90 GHz to 300 GHz, and maximizing spectrum below 7 GHz through re-farming, new band allocation, and increased spectral efficiency. Figure 1 shows spectrum allocation by generation, including potential bands for 6G. Each proposed band has benefits and drawbacks, as examined in detail below.

The spectrum between 7-24 GHz is the most appealing new spectrum for early 6G systems. The 7-15 GHz range is attractive for its propagation characteristics. At these frequencies, signals have less propagation loss, allowing for better penetration of buildings and other structures for indoor coverage. In this way, operators could increase network capacity without needing to add significant cell-site density.

The main challenge for using this spectrum in 6G is regulatory. The spectrum is fraught with both civilian and government incumbents that use it for applications other than fixed and mobile wireless access. Such applications include meteorology, radio astronomy, and maritime radio

Read the rest of this post, which was originally published on Network Computing.

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