World 5G Communications Frequency Bands and Operation Modes

5g Advantages

5G Communications Frequency Bands and Operation Modes

The frequencies used by each nation are gradually becoming clearer for full-scale deployment of 5G mobile communications, and can be divided broadly into two groups.

The first band defined*1 by 3GPP is from 450 MHz to 6000 MHz and is generally described as the sub-6 GHz band. It is used by the previous LTE/LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) and WLAN technologies, it suffers from relatively few technical issues, such as RF characteristics, and, depending on the selected frequency, has the advantage of making use of RF resources validated previously for 3G (W-CDMA) and 4G (LTE/LTE-A). One disadvantage is that an orderly wide frequency band cannot be secured because most frequencies are already in use.

The second band is from around 30 GHz to about 100 GHz*2; 3GPP defines the frequencies between 24250 MHz and 52600 MHz*1 called the millimeter band (mmWave) where a wideband can be assured because this frequency band is hardly used, offering the advantage of easy support for high-speed, large-capacity, data transmissions. One disadvantage is the large over-the-air (OTA) signal attenuation, presenting a number of technical issues that must be cleared due to the lack of actual usage by mobile operators.

As well as two frequency bands, there are also two operation modes: 1. The Non-Standalone (NSA) mode using a combination of a New Radio (NR) technology for 5G and LTE/LTE-A, and 2. The Standalone (SA) mode using a unique 5G NR technology where data is sent and received using control between base stations and mobile terminals (UE).

5g Advantages
Image of 5G NR NSA and SA

*1: 3GPP TS 38.101 (at June 2018)
*2: Generally, mmWave is regarded as wavelengths from 1 to 10 mm and frequencies from 30 to 300 GHz, but current 5G communications include frequencies below 30 GHz, such as the 28-GHz band, and frequencies up to about 100 GHz as the upper limit.

National Frequency Bands and Operation Modes

According to national reports, 5G communications will be using different frequency bands and operation modes. In China, plans are proceeding to use the SA mode in the sub-6 GHz band. This will be the world's first commercial deployment of 5G, and will implement Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC) as one of the three key features*3 of 5G communications. We believe the intention is to connect industry, such as augmented reality (AR) using 5G.

Other countries consider several frequency bands and the operation mode for their early 5G service, and they are pushing forward with plans to use the NSA mode in the mmWave band. This prioritizes implementation of enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) as one of the three key features of 5G; fixed broadband circuits will be used in the USA, while regions with high population densities, such as Japan and South Korea, are targeting improved data throughput.

*3: Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB); Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC); and Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC).

Sub-6 GHz Band
600 (n71)/700 (n28) MHz,
2.5 (n41)/3.5 (n78)/4.5 (n79) GHz, etc.
mmWave Band
28 (n257)/39 (n260) GHz, etc.
Standalone (SA) China, US
Non-Standalone (NSA) EU, Japan, South Korea, US Japan, South Korea, US
Initial 5G service by world major region

Anritsu Sub-6 GHz/mmWave Solutions

Anritsu offers various solutions combining 5G frequency bands and operation modes tailored to each national standard.

Photograph Name/Explanation
MT8000A Radio Communication Test Station MT8000A
The Anritsu Radio Communication Test Station MT8000A simulates a 5G base station with all-in-one support for both RF and protocol tests from the 6-GHz band including n41 to the mmWave band. Combination with an RF Converter and OTA radio anechoic chamber offers powerful support for R&D of 5G chipsets and mobile terminals used by each national standard.
ME7834NR 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR
The Anritsu 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR is designed for 3GPP Protocol Conformance Tests (PCT) and Carrier Acceptance Tests (CAT) of mobile devices supporting Multi-Radio Access Technology (Multi-RAT). Combination with an OTA radio anechoic chamber and RF converter covers the 3GPP-specified 5G frequency bands, including sub-6 GHz.
MS2850A Spectrum Analyzer/Signal Analyzer MS2850A
With a frequency range up to 44.5 GHz, a maximum analysis bandwidth of 1 GHz, as well as excellent amplitude and phase flatness characteristics, the Anritsu Spectrum Analyzer/Signal Analyzer MS2850A has a wide range of applications from the 5G NR sub-6 GHz band to the 28/39-GHz mmWave band. The wide dynamic range performance even at the 1-GHz analysis bandwidth can capture EVM accurately even for 5G NR signals.
MS2690A Spectrum Analyzer/Signal Analyzer MS2690A
The Anritsu Spectrum Analyzer/Signal Analyzer MS2690A is designed for evaluating TRx performance at development and manufacturing of 5G NR sub-6 GHz chipsets, communications modules, smartphones, and wireless equipment. It is also ideal for R&D of new 5G NR applications and base stations. With a built-in vector signal analyzer using FFT analysis up to a wide bandwidth of 125 MHz, modulation analysis, vector signal generation, and BER measurement functions in an all-in-one cabinet, it is the ideal high-performance, multifunction, benchtop signal analyzer.
MT8870A Universal Wireless Test Set MT8870A
The Anritsu Universal Wireless Test Set MT8870A is designed for the high volume manufacturing test of cellular and connectivity wireless systems supporting 5G NR sub-6GHz, LTE, NB-IoT, Cat-M, V2X, WLAN and Bluetooth etc. An MT8870A instrument mainframe can contain up to four TRX Test Modules and they can run in parallel simultaneously. Different wireless communications systems can be measured in parallel, helping reduce both measurement times and line test equipment footprint.
VNA ShockLine Series Vector Network Analyzer ShockLine™ Series
The Anritsu ShockLine™ series features a full line of compact, low-cost, vector network analyzers (VNA) for measuring the S-parameters and performing time-domain analyses of 5G mmWave components and devices.