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The spectrum famine is over, but spectrum efficiency is still critical to 5G

One overused phrase that has thankfully largely fallen out of usage in the 5G era is ‘spectrum famine’. Despite the high bandwidth and resulting speeds envisaged for 5G applications, there has been concerted effort by regulators and technologists to maximize the spectrum that the new radios can use, and to start to lower the barriers to using it. Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm, is one executive who has predicted that, while about 1,000 band combinations are possible in 4G (which has 49 official spectrum bands) that figure will be about 10,000 in 5G, making the current model of global band harmonization redundant, and putting dynamic spectrum usage and software-defined radio center stage. The challenge for 5G is not lack of…

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