Research efforts are being impeded by the confusion surrounding exactly which spectrum will be available for important 5G technologies, according to a new article  Analysts say that industry partners can’t invest in “millimeter wave” technology until the ITU makes a final decision concerning which spectrum bands 5G will eventually use. A final decision isn’t expected until the next World Radiocommunication Conference in 2019.


“Millimeter wave” technology operates in higher bands than today’s mobile services, which means it can support wider channels and higher bit rates, making it ideal for bandwidth gobblers like Ultra HD streaming. Unfortunately, all the uncertainty regarding spectrum availability is pushing the debut of these new services further into the future. “A best ‘guestimate’ at this stage is that it could be 2025 before millimeter wave is commercially launched as part of 5G,” an industry pundit predicts.

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