mmWave 5G holds key for driving digital economy across Europe: Ericsson

5G Innovations

A new Ericsson-backed report by telecoms, media and technology (TMT) management consultancy firm, Analysys Mason, has underlined the key role that millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G connectivity has in driving digital economy ambitions across Europe.

The report, called Status, costs and benefits of 5G 26GHz deployments in Europe, highlights how millimeter wave 5G, operating at the high-end of spectrum bands, can work alongside mid-band 5G deployments to most efficiently meet enhanced mobile broadband, fixed wireless access, workplace, industrial, population density or specific venue needs – such as sports or entertainment stadiums and festivals – and the potential economic benefits to Europe.

The Ericsson and Qualcomm commissioned report endorses the findings of earlier studies which also highlight the significant net economic benefits of deploying 5G mmWave in Europe – primarily when deployed with 3.5GHz and other existing mobile spectrum – but also with 5G Standalone deployments.

For each modelled use case the estimated benefit is between 5 and 20 times greater than the estimated cost, assuming that mmWave is built on top of a ‘base-case’ enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) network deployment.

Aggregated across all the modelled use cases that will deploy mmWave, the report estimates a total GDP benefit (through 2040) of more than EUR 140 billion (cumulative), for around EUR 20 billion of cost* across thirty European markets – the 27 EU member states plus Norway, Switzerland and the UK.

Wassim Chourbaji, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs EMEA, Qualcomm Communications S.A.R.L., says: “It is clear from the report that deploying 5G mmWave alongside sub-6 5G deployments will bring significant positive economic impact to Europe. We are encouraged to see the positive progress made thus far in Europe to award 26GHz mmWave spectrum. It is clear however that there is much work to do to catch up with other regions around the world that are seeing the benefits of commercializing 5G mmWave services.”

Ulf Pehrsson, Vice President and Head of Government and Industry Relations, Ericsson, says: “With close to 90 Ericsson live 5G networks across five continents and more in the pipeline, our experience shows that leading markets offer availability of 5G spectrum in all frequency ranges – low, mid and high.“

He adds: “Europe has indeed harmonized spectrum in the three ranges and we urge nations to release the spectrum to pick up market speed. In particular, the millimeter wave is key to deliver very high capacity in dense areas and a wide range of industrial use cases. Its deployment, building on existing enhanced mobile broadband deployments, is key to bring the economy up post-Covid-19, as shown in this report.“

Janette Stewart, Partner, Analysys Mason, says: “This study demonstrates the importance for European regulators to complete 5G licensing in all of the bands identified at an EU level.”