The spectrum game and the millimeter wave challenge (Reality Check)

Spectrum is an operators’ money pit, and its cash cow, and 5G is unlikely to change that any time soon. But in the era of 5G, the focus will change from “how much” spectrum to “what kind”. The path to 5G commercial rollouts is a long and winding one, which will see different phases of 5G come to light, and so different spectrum bands being used.

5G will require both lower and higher spectrum frequencies if it is to deliver on the use cases the industry has projected and proposed. But as operators gear up for 5G, eyes are being cast on the potential of millimeter wave (mmW). While never previously used for telecommunications, its ability to transmit large amounts of data is touted as they key to the 5G treasure chest.

So with 5G just around the corner, could mmW be the next big thing?