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5G: Exploring C-Band

As 5G is starting to become available, spectrum is being re-purposed. Here we take a look at mid-band spectrum that has recently become more accessible for 5G.

What is the C-Band Spectrum?

C-Band spectrum is generally referred to as the range between 3.7GHz and 4.2GHz.

What was it used for before?

In February of 2020, the FCC voted to re-purpose the mid-band from satellite companies which had used it for downlink communication, mostly of radio and TV broadcasts.

Why is C-Band Spectrum Interesting?

Having a mid-band spectrum provides for a balanced approach between speed and coverage area, including communication across greater distances. In addition, some infrastructure can be leveraged more easily such as via the use of overlay networks. Additionally, the mid band can provide greater channel utilization. For example, transmit and receive could be enabled on a single channel in a TDD unlike a FDD system. And the c-band is also used by a number of countries for 5G, allowing for more internationally compatible devices.

How does it compare with mmWW?

One of the challenges with high frequencies is a greater need to have shorter distances between the end point device and a small cell/ wireless base station. C-Band provides a greater coverage area relative to other higher frequencies such as millimeter wave length (mmWW).


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