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Despite cloud networks, spectrum remains the main driver of 5G performance

Before operators start to deploy 5G cores and Standalone networks (see separate item), most of the performance boost from current 5G is coming from New Radio’s ability to use spectrum differently. For the first time, there is a standardized way for mobile cellular networks to use millimeter wave bands (something already achieved in the WiFi world with 60 GHz WiGig); and the standards support larger channel sizes and higher degrees of carrier aggregation. As 5G platforms evolve and mature, more of the performance advantages will be coming from new architectures, particularly the resource flexibility of a software-defined, cloud-native network. But large channels in high capacity, high frequency spectrum bands will remain critical to the new services, especially those with very…

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