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How Will Dynamic Spectrum Sharing Ease The Transition To Standalone 5G?

Right now, 5G deployments around the world use an LTE core and radio access network with the addition of a 5G carrier. The next step is to move from that scenario, non-standalone 5G, on to full-blown standalone 5G with a dedicated core and RAN. This week, experts from Qualcomm discussed the role of dynamic spectrum sharing in facilitating the transition from non-standalone to standalone 5G in an interview with RCR Wireless News.

At a high-level, dynamic spectrum sharing allows operators to leverage software to operate 5G and LTE will in the same band at the same time based on the needs of the end user. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg has hit on dynamic spectrum sharing as a key strategic element as the operator looks to expand its 5G offering from concentrated coverage using millimeter wave spectrum to wider area coverage using low- and mid-band frequencies.

Qualcomm’s Dean Brenner, vice president of spectrum strategy and technology policy, said dynamic spectrum sharing “accelerates and expands the 5G roll out instantly because we don’t have to do re-farming. We can immediately get 5G deployed into the legacy 4G bands.”

He said the non-standalone mode of 5G is the consensus route to initial launch but that maximum efficiency and performance comes with standalone. “DSS is a very important bridge to get there. DSS is pushing 5G coverage out as expansively as possible. So that means when the 5G core is launched, you’re already going to have this very, very broad 5G coverage. If you didn’t have DSS you have kind of two problems–you have to get to the 5G standalone core but you also have to get 5G built out.”

Brenner’s colleague Ignacio Contreras, director of 5G marketing, identified three “tailwinds” contributing to the rapid commercialization of 5G. Fist is a single, global standard as compared to the LTE vs. Wi-Max debate. Second, non-standalone mode allowing for a smooth addition of 5G services. And third is dynamic spectrum sharing.

“We truly see that this will enable again wide proliferation of coverage for 5G compared to the traditional re-farming approach,” Contreras said. “We support [DSS] in our Snapdragon X55 modem. On this second phase of Release 15 launches, it will become a key feature to drive wide adoption and proliferation of 5G overall.”—RCR Wireless News

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