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Open for Debate: Spectrum is THE key to unlocking 5G Success

There is no dearth of narrative on the ability of virtual and open networks to help unleash the true potential of 5G technology. And yet, none of this matters if operators lack access to adequate and sufficient spectrum resources. Without spectrum, after all, there would be no 5G. Operators understand this dynamic: per GSMA Intelligence research, new spectrum allocations and wide-area coverage (enabled by appropriate spectrum) rank as the top two 5G RAN investment areas for operators. Regulators, in general, are playing their part: by mid-year 2021, more than 140 operators in 42 markets had been allocated 5G spectrum.

Yet, while the 5G spectrum imperative is well-understood, many questions remain as the industry looks to move from simply launching the technology to unlocking 5G success.

  • What is the role of high-band vs. mid-band and low-band resources? Is mmWave critical to the 5G growth story or simply a niche technology?
  • Absent adequate spectrum resources, what strategies are operators pursuing?
  • Amidst the industry buzz around virtual networks and open interfaces, where’s the role for spectrum and efficient spectrum management? Are all of these technologies competing for mindshare or are they better together?

Join GSMA Intelligence and experts from across the ecosystem as they debate the need for efficient spectrum management for operators’ open networks strategies in the 5G era.


  • Radhika Gupta, Head of Data Acquisition, GSMA Intelligence
  • Eugina Jordan, VP, Marketing, Parallel Wireless
  • John Kuzin, VP, Spectrum Policy & Counsel, Qualcomm
  • Ross Bateson, Special Spectrum Advisor, GSMA
  • Neeraj Jain, Head of 5G Engineering, Airtel


GSMA Intelligence is the definitive source of mobile industry insights, forecasts and research, used around the world. Our insights cover every mobile operator, network and MVNO in every country worldwide – from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Our team of analysts and experts use their deep understanding of markets, technologies and regulatory issues to identify and understand mobile trends, and form captivating analysis on the topics shaping the mobile industry.

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