6G Spectrum Considerations

Commercial mobile broadband over its various generations has and will continue to rely heavily on readily available and usable spectrum. Access to spectrum is dependent on many technical and regulatory variables. Additionally, there are multiple types of spectrum access (unlicensed, shared licensed, and cleared licensed) and even within each type of spectrum access there are variances. Given that the demand for spectrum has grown with every generation of commercial mobile cellular, harnessing the full potential of 6G requires a comprehensive examination of all potential spectrum.

This white paper and its accompanying, soon to be published, companion white paper assesses potential 6G suitable spectrum bands based on applications and technology requirements, including required bandwidth/amount of spectrum. This paper focuses on a summary status for current allocations in Canada, Mexico, and the United States for 3G/4G/5G spectrum and a study of suitable bands for 6G. The companion paper will cover drivers for 6G spectrum needs and characteristics including target key performance indicators from a spectrum perspective for enabling technologies and applications performance requirements. The companion piece is intended to inform on the derivation of spectrum needs for 6G. Both this document and its companion document are meant to establish global consensus on 6G spectrum needs from the North American perspective.

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