The U.S. finally admits its 5G strategic mistakes and chases after Sub-6 technology

According to Reuters, the Trump administration announced a plan on Monday to auction off 100MHz of mid-band spectrum originally used by the military for commercial use, which will begin commercial use in mid-2022 to expand the US 5G network. coverage.

21ic has learned that the United States has been advocating millimeter-wave 5G technology before. Compared with China (Huawei), what China (Huawei) advocates is the centimeter-wave technology below Sub6GHz. Facts have proved that Huawei’s Sub6GHz technology has rapidly matured and become the de facto 5G standard, while the US millimeter wave cannot meet the fundamental requirements of 5G communication. It can be seen from the US government’s frequent use of mid-band spectrum for 5G commercial use. The 5G strategic choice is a failure, and it also shows that the millimeter wave road is not feasible at the current stage.

Millimeter wave has the characteristics of large bandwidth and narrow beam. In the past, it was only used in militarization fields such as satellite communication and radar positioning. Although its advantages are very prominent, high speed and high capacity, millimeter wave can provide a huge carrier bandwidth of up to 400 to 800MHz, which is dozens of times higher than 20MHz of 4G, and can increase the transmission rate of 5G network to the level of 10Gbps. .

But the disadvantage of mmWave is particularly obvious. The transmission distance is short and it is easily blocked by buildings, people, plants, and even raindrops. These higher frequency ranges are not suitable for mobile broadband services. The lack of coverage and lack of mobility support (especially in non-line-of-sight environments) has also made mmWave applications less viable for mobile broadband.

According to the data, among the 63 operators that have opened 5G networks in the world, only 4 operators are using millimeter waves, of which 3 are US operators and 1 is Uruguay operator.

And after more than a year of factual verification, the actual use of millimeter-wave 5G in the United States is not ideal. The millimeter-wave 5G network piloted by Verizon cannot even penetrate leaves, and the “one tree criterion” has also become a joke in the communications industry.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has publicly acknowledged that millimeter waves have high construction costs in 5G networks, poor radio propagation characteristics, and unsatisfactory coverage performance. They no longer insist on using millimeter waves to build 5G, but also use the Sub-6 band.

White House adviser and U.S. chief technology officer Michael Kratsios said the FCC will auction “100MHz mid-band spectrum for military use” to companies such as Verizon Communications and AT&T starting in December 2021, and the U.S. wireless industry will be able to use the spectrum by the summer of 2022. spectrum. Michael Kratsios emphasized that the move “allows us to maximize the use of the 5G spectrum without compromising national security.”

21ic has also previously reported that as early as March this year, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to pass a plan, that is, the US government used $9.7 billion to buy back the 3.7GHz-4.2GHz spectrum used by satellite companies, Telecom company auction for 5G network construction. The expansion of the spectrum to the intermediate frequency band this time shows that the millimeter-wave 5G solution that the United States has previously adhered to has completely failed.

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