Vodafone Tests Reveal 6GHz Spectrum Gains

Vodafone Tests Reveal 6GHz Spectrum Gains in Last Call to Avoid a 5G Capacity Crunch

Vodafone announced it has successfully tested future mobile spectrum in the upper 6GHz frequency band. Enabling this band for mobile use will ensure consumers and businesses receive even faster and more reliable 5G services over the next five to 10 years, while avoiding a mobile capacity crunch caused by soaring demand for bandwidth.

Using a smartphone tuned to the anticipated amount of 6GHz spectrum band that will be made available in European countries, Vodafone engineers in Spain achieved download speeds of up to five gigabits-per-second (Gbps) – approximately double what today’s networks are capable of – and on average two Gbps across various indoor locations. The latter reading is especially important since around 75% of all mobile traffic originates from users at home, in the office, or in enclosed public places such as cafes, bars, shops, and gyms.

Vodafone also demonstrated that the technology has the potential to achieve comparable coverage levels to today’s 5G networks. This highlights that the band can be readily deployed on existing mobile sites cost effectively and efficiently, providing a capacity boost when current bandwidth becomes exhausted.

Vodafone is presenting its findings ahead of a crucial meeting of national regulators and industry members next month at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23) in Dubai which will decide the future use of this valuable spectrum resource. Vodafone and other mobile network operators are calling for the upper 6GHz spectrum band to be allocated to International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT). This will promote the harmonisation of 5G services across different geographical regions and balance out the allocation of the lower section of the band already allocated to Wi-Fi services. That way businesses, public sector organisations and individuals across Europe get the best of both the mobile and Wi-Fi worlds.

Alberto Ripepi, Vodafone Chief Network Officer said: “Without a fair and balanced allocation of 6GHz spectrum, mobile users worldwide could face a major capacity crunch within just five years. Additional 5G spectrum would boost the digital transformation of businesses and public sector organisations, and support the European Commission’s ambition to have fast connectivity within reach of all populated areas by 2030.”

The pressure to free up more spectrum is mounting with Vodafone alone seeing demand across Europe grow by 30% every year as more devices and services such as augmented reality headsets, health sensors and vehicles, are connected to 5G. These all require mobile networks with greater processing power and capacity.

Vodafone’s latest trial shows how the quality of mobile services across both indoor and outdoor areas can be improved with the allocation of new 6GHz spectrum, allowing the industry to future-proof the progress of new services and technologies and the demands they place on the mobile network.

Source: Vodafone media announcement


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