The deployment of mmWave 5G networks has been a slow roll. First, there was skepticism that mmWave was viable in a mobility use case which has been proved out in the field. Now there’s scrutiny on the business case, which through selective deployment in localized hot zones, as a fixed wireless home broadband service, and in many other use cases, has clear upside. But skepticism and scrutiny aside, mmWave is inevitable as demand for mobile data is growing far faster than can be accommodated over time by currentlydeployed bands.
Indeed, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report published in November 2021, year-on-year data traffic growth was 42%. The quarterly growth figure, 8%, equates to 5.6 Exabytes of data per month over a three-month period. Ericsson researchers say that’s the same data volume as all of the first quarter in 2016.
With regard to mmWave 5G, “This is the future,” said SureCall CEO Hongtao Zhan in an interview with RCR Wireless News. Referencing the tens of billions of dollars spent by U.S. carriers on C-Band spectrum, he said, “If you look longer term, it’s still going to run out and they will have to find new spectrum.