What is the range of 5G frequencies?

The range of frequencies used in 5G networks spans a wide spectrum, covering both sub-6 GHz frequencies and millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies. Each frequency range has distinct characteristics and applications, contributing to the overall capabilities of the 5G ecosystem.

  1. Sub-6 GHz Frequencies:
    • Sub-6 GHz frequencies represent the lower frequency bands used in 5G. These frequencies offer better coverage and penetration through obstacles, making them suitable for wide-area deployments. Sub-6 GHz bands typically range from around 600 MHz to 6 GHz. Some common sub-6 GHz bands for 5G include the 600 MHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 5 GHz bands.
  2. Mid-Band Frequencies:
    • Mid-band frequencies fall within the sub-6 GHz range and are known for providing a balanced mix of coverage and capacity. The 3.5 GHz band is a notable mid-band frequency used in many 5G deployments globally. Mid-band frequencies are essential for urban and suburban deployments where a balance between coverage and capacity is required.
  3. High-Band or mmWave Frequencies:
    • The millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies in 5G operate at higher frequencies, typically above 24 GHz. These bands offer extremely high data rates and capacity but have challenges related to propagation, such as shorter range and susceptibility to obstacles. Common mmWave bands for 5G include 24 GHz, 28 GHz, 39 GHz, and others.

The specific frequency bands allocated for 5G can vary by region and country due to regulatory decisions and existing spectrum allocations. The range of frequencies chosen for 5G allows network operators to leverage different bands based on deployment scenarios and use cases.

  • Low-Band Frequencies:
    • Frequencies below 1 GHz are often referred to as low-band frequencies. These bands provide excellent coverage and penetration, making them suitable for rural and wide-area deployments.
  • Mid-Band Frequencies:
    • Frequencies between 1 GHz and 6 GHz are considered mid-band frequencies. They strike a balance between coverage and capacity, making them suitable for urban and suburban deployments.
  • High-Band or mmWave Frequencies:
    • Frequencies above 24 GHz fall into the high-band or mmWave category. While offering high capacity, they are used in specific scenarios like dense urban areas where the shorter range can be mitigated by deploying more small cells.

The range of 5G frequencies is designed to cater to the diverse requirements of different use cases, from providing widespread coverage in rural areas to delivering high data rates in dense urban environments. The combination of these frequency bands allows for a flexible and versatile 5G network deployment.

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