Could the "2019" World Radio Conference be pulled up to 2017 to get product to market sooner?
Decker Anstrom will lead the U.S. Delegation to the 2015 World Radio Conference in November, a major event that sets international spectrum rules. He told an open meeting of the State Department ITAC that the meeting after that might be advanced from 2019 to 2018 for scheduling reasons. I spoke up with a suggestion that it be moved to 2017 if possible. Otherwise the standards process will delay the deployment of a potentially important technology, 5G in high GHz millimeter bands.
Engineers I respect are convinced gear could be ready by 2017. However, if the spectrum decisions aren't made until 2019, that gear won't get to the field before 2022-2023.
Dan Warren of GSMA, who works closely with almost all the major telcos, believes regulation delays will be a major factor. "We need a spectrum allocation from the ITU World Radio Conference, likely 2019. The standard will take a year or two after that. Then it will probably be a year or two more for gear to get into the field in volume."
Satoshi Nagata of NTT DOCOMO is looking for 5G "demonstrations" in 2018 and "deployments" in 2020. NTT's early 5G will use frequencies below 6 GHz. They will not use high frequencies before 2022 or 2023.