Opportunities for 6G in 7 – 24 GHz

With focus moving to early aspects of development for 6G, Plum was commissioned by the UK Spectrum Policy Forum (SPF) to research options for mid-band spectrum in 7-24 GHz in the UK.

The study presents a review of current allocations for this spectrum range and how these may change in the period to 2030 and beyond. The study also considers spectrum sharing scenarios for coexistence with a range of incumbent services and the need to ensure that sharing concepts are considered early in the standardisation and development of 6G. The study concludes that the existing extensive allocations and active use of 7-24 GHz leads to no clear sufficiently large contiguous spectrum being identifiable for 6G use based on current technologies and that sharing arrangements are required. As 6G use cases and their quality of service requirements are not well defined yet it is not possible at this time to set out precisely what these arrangements are.

The study makes several recommendations for further research including considering the centre gap in the 15 GHz (14.5 – 15.35 GHz) band where there is 616 MHz (14.62 – 15.23 GHz), further refining the frequency range likely to be most advantageous (e.g. 7-15 GHz), and the need to ensure that developments in other countries/regions (e.g. Japan, Korea, US, EU) are actively monitored.