A worldwide look at the 5G spectrum bands under consideration

Globe earth world map
Different countries vary widely in the bands of spectrum allowed by their respective regulators.

Wireless operators can provide 5G services with spectrum bands both above and below 6 GHz—but that doesn't mean all countries will let them.

In its recent white paper (PDF) entitled "Spectrum Landscape for Mobile Services," industry trade group 5G Americas took a look at the countries pioneering 5G services in North America, Europe and Asia to see which spectrum bands each country's regulator is planning to enable.

FierceWireless rounded up this information in the interactive map below. The countries are color-coded based on whether they are enabling spectrum bands above or below the 6 GHz line; you can click around and hover over different countries to read excerpts from the report on their specific plans.

The difference in spectrum bands matters because they could determine what 5G use cases each country may be able to employ. If spectrum allocations are not globally harmonized—if countries are enabling spectrum bands distinct from one another—then applications developed for one country's spectrum could remain restricted to that market. 

In contrast, "globally harmonized spectrum allocations result in a broader ecosystem for technology, equipment and engineering expertise," 5G Americas said in the white paper. "This, in turn, enables economies of scale, lower costs for deployment, more rapid rollout of new services and enhanced competition among suppliers to the global markets."