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The long wait for 5G-Unlicensed makes FCC’s 4G spectrum efforts crucial

One of the factors which will enable 5G to fulfil its full commercial potential will be support for a variety of unlicensed, shared and dynamic spectrum in addition to traditional exclusive licences. However, these spectrum options will not be available in a standards-based way until Release 16 or later, plus much will rely on the outcomes of next year’s World Radio Conference in terms of global or regional harmonization. That risks limiting the 5G impact in the first years, especially for would-be operators which do not have their own spectrum. It could keep the barriers to private or vertical network operators or ‘thick MVNOs’ high for a few years, which we believe will restrict 5G impact on many enterprise and…

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