Groundbreaking Study Shows 12 GHz Band will Supercharge 5G Deployment

July 8, 2021 • View all posts

Technical analysis demonstrates the 12.2 to 12.7 GHz spectrum band’s characteristics are highly favorable for 5G, resemble lower-mid band frequencies, and can rapidly accelerate 5G deployment nationwide

Today, RS Access, LLC submitted a groundbreaking analysis to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that demonstrates how 12 GHz will supercharge 5G deployment nationwide. Specifically, the analysis found that the band combines the propagation characteristics and coverage advantages of lower-mid band spectrum with the high capacity and throughput of millimeter-wave (mmWave) bands, making it ideal for 5G mobile networks.

The study was submitted in response to the FCC’s pending Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the future of the 12 GHz band. The analysis was developed by Roberson and Associates, a preeminent spectrum technology and consulting company. According to the analysis, the 12 GHz band offers enormous potential for 5G deployments if the FCC seizes the unique opportunity to modernize the archaic rules that apply to existing terrestrial licenses. It demonstrates that the physical characteristics and technical standards governing the 12 GHz band mean carriers can rely on it to deliver enhanced 5G system design and better network performance while coexisting with other services.

“This analysis by the team at Roberson and Associates clearly demonstrates that the band’s 500 megahertz of licensed terrestrial mid-band spectrum is unique, and the massive amount of bandwidth available has significant advantages for 5G deployment,” said V. Noah Campbell, Co-Founder and CEO of RS Access. “This is the third comprehensive study we have filed with the FCC that demonstrates how a win-win scenario can be achieved to meet the explosive demand for spectrum to power mobile 5G services with minimal to no impact on satellite services.”

The band offers a significant capacity upgrade over lower mid-band frequencies with characteristics that more closely resemble the 3.7 GHz band (C-Band) compared to mmWave frequencies. Critically, Roberson and Associates estimates that 5G deployments in the 12 GHz band will require one-fifth to one-fifteenth the number of base stations needed in similar mmWave deployments–meaning significantly reduced costs for 5G network operators. Combined with the Brattle Group Economic Analysis and RKF Engineering Analysis filed with the FCC in May, these studies demonstrate how 5G, DBS, and Non-Geostationary Orbiting (NGSO) services can coexist in the band while delivering between $264 billion and $1 trillion in societal benefits for American consumers.

The analysis also demonstrates the multiple ways that wireless network operators can leverage the 12 GHz band. For example, because it is uniquely positioned between lower mid- and mmWave bands, networks can combine the frequencies to achieve significantly higher capacity and coverage than previously thought possible.

“Our analysis demonstrates that significant technological advances over the past five years have unlocked the 12 GHz band’s potential and made deployments feasible in terms of cost and performance,” said Dennis Roberson, President and CEO of Roberson and Associates. “The same technologies that already support 5G in other mid-band frequencies will readily allow for the production of 12 GHz compatible equipment, using the same protocols that are now embedded in 5G standards.”

The 12 GHz band’s extraordinary utility can catapult the U.S. to a leadership position in telecom competitiveness globally. The latest study by Roberson and Associates adds to the growing body of engineering and economic analyses that conclusively demonstrate that unleashing 12 GHz is a win-win for consumers and American 5G leadership. RS Access is committed to working with the FCC and other stakeholders to unlock the 12 GHz band’s full potential.

About RS Access
RS Access holds eighty spectrum licenses in the 12 GHz band and operates wireless systems across sixty U.S. markets. The company services clients in various niche and underserved areas, helping a range of customers connect. Deployments range from wireless services at public safety training facilities and educational institutions to veteran organizations and municipalities.

About Roberson and Associates, LLC
Roberson and Associates, LLC, is a technology and management consulting company serving government, commercial, and academic customers and provides specialized engineering focused services in the areas of radio frequency (RF) spectrum management, RF measurement and analysis, strategy development, and technology management.