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Advantages of 5G: Low-band spectrum and potential benefits to Jordan

Jul 13,2023 - Last updated at Jul 13,2023

The pace of 5G-enabled digitalisation across the world is phenomenal, as nations are increasingly investing in technology and digital innovations. 5G-evolved nations, particularly in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and most recently Jordan, are aware of the benefits of the digital economy and have national visions supported by digital-first strategies.

A number of nations have also established themselves as global frontrunners in the deployment of 5G technology. Among the pioneering nations to introduce 5G networks worldwide, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) operators stand out with exceptional “best-in-class” mobile network performances. The deployment of the fifth-generation network is rapidly moving from trials to commercialisation, and Jordan is the latest addition.

If we consider GCC countries, the fast adoption can be largely attributed to the spectrum availability afforded to operators, enabling them to build mobile networks that offer extensive coverage and deliver high-speed data transmission. GCC operators adopt an efficient strategy by utilising both mid-band and low-band spectrum to construct robust networks, which results in exceptional performance.

Jordan has made commendable recent progress in allocating mid-band spectrum for LTE and 5G deployments. It is expected that the Kingdomwill follow other leading countries across the GCC and enhance 5G performance and capability through the allocation of low-band spectrum. Global experience has demonstrated that in order to achieve the highest level of performance in mobile networks, it is crucial to sufficiently allocate and utilise low-band spectrum together with mid-band spectrum.This approach is preferable to high-band spectrum, which is limited by the radio uplink signal quality and characteristics associated with operating within higher bands.

Effective 5G Spectrum Management will support the ecosystem to ensure innovation and technological advancement across industries as use cases emerge and mature. Ericsson is committed to ensuring that our technology serves Jordan’s digital transformation plans and 5G will be critical in achieving this objective.

5G Carrier Aggregation solutions

Coverage and capacity are the key elements of an optimal 5G experience. Ericsson has addressed the limitations associated with mid-band and high-band spectrum by developing a flexible 5G Carrier Aggregation solution that combines the coverage benefits of a lower frequency band with the capacity benefits of a mid- or high-frequency band. This ensures better coverage, increased capacity, and higher data speeds. Aggregating a 5G low-band with a 5G high-band can extend the high-band cell coverage area by up to 3.7 times, thus enabling operators to offer a broader comprehensive 5G experience without the need to deploy further 5G sites.

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing solution

Additionally, while it is necessary to also operate 5G in lower frequency bands, most operators today have long-term evolution (LTE) technology in those lower bands. Entirely re-farming carriers from LTE to 5G new radio is not currently feasible due to the high penetration of existing LTE devices and the high traffic volume that they generate. This challenge is, however, being addressed with our Ericsson Spectrum Sharing solution (ESS).

The bespoke ESS solution enables the simultaneous use of the same spectrum for both LTE and 5G technologies, ensuring that current LTE customers can enjoy uninterrupted experiences while providing the best experiences for 5G users.

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing completely transforms the way 5G is introduced across the world. It brings 5G to everyone, everywhere, much faster. Ericsson Spectrum Sharing introduces a new way of rolling out 5G that re-uses hardware, spectrum and sites, increases coverage in the mid- and high-band, and offers a clear path to 5G stand-alone, allowing operators to shift capex investments from new sites to new 5G stand-alone use cases.

5G is transforming connectivity and communication in ways we never believed possible while also exposing us to the future we desire. With 5G, Jordanian doctors can make accurate diagnoses remotely, educational institutions will be able to create experiential learning in virtual worlds, businesses can completely go agile and accurately address the ever-changing customer needs. Additionally, enterprises can utilise Dedicated Mission Critical Private 5G Networks to ensure resilience anddefined quality of service, and financial services can be extended to communities without traditional banking infrastructure. Entertainment will undergo a total revolution as connected sensors and wearables using AI, for instance, can help identify mood and environment to recommend entertainment content in real time. More importantly, the Kingdom can leverage 5G to transform critical sectors of the economy.

The telecom industry in Jordan was valued at $1.2 billion in 2022, according to industry experts. The future outlook can only get better with the launch of Jordan’s first commercial 5G network. This will certainly fast-track its National Vision 2030 and launch the Kingdom into a new dimension that will unleash awe-inspiring and thoughtful innovations that positively impact consumers, businesses and communities.

As someone who has seen firsthand the power and potential of utilising low-band spectrum in 5G deployment, I would like to end this by calling on the 5G ecosystem in Jordan to embrace a leading low-band spectrum strategy in order to maximise the full transformative impact of 5G technology across consumers, enterprises and beyond. 

The writer is Vice President and Head of Ericsson Levant Countries and Country Manager of Ericsson Jordan


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