Author: Gavin Hayhurst, Director of Product Marketing, looks at how operators can utilize DSS technology, delivering both 5G and 4G LTE services using the same spectrum.

Originally published: 5GRadar 14 August 2020

According to analyst firm Omdia, COVID-19 will have a significant impact on telecoms revenues this year; a $31.8billion impact, in fact. This comes as little surprise. The world has ground to a halt and every industry has been impacted in some way by the virus.

So as the world starts to emerge from the disease, and as countries ease lockdowns, how are operators rethinking their 5G strategy in the face of even tighter cash constraints?

Two technologies with one spectrum band

One technology gathering momentum is Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS). This game-changing technology essentially allows operators to provide 5G coverage and improved speeds using existing 4G spectrum. This is possible because many of the 4G radios in use in networks today were designed to be ‘5G ready,’ and therefore support both technologies without the need to buy additional spectrum, or re-farm other available bands.

DSS is essentially a software upgrade. When launched, determining which technology needs to be supported by which radio is decided according to the device, service requirements, load levels and amount of buffering required. The network then dynamically and instantly allocates 4G or 5G capacity as needed. Spectrum and network resources are then portioned out to the millisecond, which is the true requirement and measure, for DSS success.

ASSET 2020  provides DSS planning and modeling capabilities, which will ensure a trouble-free implementation of DSS, allowing CSPs to dynamically switch between LTE and 5G NR using existing 4G hardware and spectrum. DSS will be key for CSPs wanting to implement 5G NR standalone without compromising the experience of existing LTE users or the capacity of existing spectrum.