Introduction to 5G frequency ranges FR1 and FR2
Frequency range 1 (FR1) and frequency range 2 (FR2) are the two main frequency ranges for the fifth generation (5G) of mobile technology. FR1 (Frequency Range 1) is an industry term used to describe a frequency range within the 5G Broadcast service that can be used by both licensed and unlicensed operations. FR1 may be considered as a new frequency band, meaning that it is not associated with traditional terrestrial mobile network operations. FR2 (Frequency Range 2) is another industry term which identifies the upper part of the ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio spectrum from 45 – 55 GHz which can be re-purposed for various industrial applications including wireless communications, sensing and remote monitoring of industrial assets. FR1 (Band 41) and FR2 (Band 42) are the two frequency bands that 5G uses. The ITU-R has assigned bands from 27.5 to 37 GHz for use as FR1, and from 24.25 to 29.25 GHz for use as FR2. The FR1 band will be used for downlink transmissions, while the FR2 band is used for uplink transmissions. The lower frequency of FR1 (1525 to 1559 MHz) is able to penetrate walls better, while the higher frequency of FR2 (2600 to 2690 MHz) can achieve faster speeds by using bigger antennas with gain.
The main areas of application for standard frequency ranges FR1 and FR2 are the “user-centric” 5G NR shared spectrum band at 28 GHz, which is primarily intended for indoor small cells. The shared spectrum bands of 5G NR (FR1, FR2) also include applications in rural areas , such as fixed networks, backhauling, fixed wireless access. The 5G band is defined in the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 2019 as a frequency range between 2 and 6 GHz. Counting from 2 GHz to 6 GHz, this is divided into three ranges known as FR1, FR2 and FR3. FR1 (TDD-LTE) is found in the range of 2496 – 2600 MHz and FR2 (FDD-LTE) is found in the range of 700 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz. 5G Frequency Ranges FR1 and FR2 are allocated for Short Range device (SRD) operation. They differ from the existing bands for these applications but only for limited frequencies in each band, between 6-8 GHz and 9-15 GHz. The new bands were identified as an evolution from previous cellular bands that were originally designed for wide area communication links between base stations and mobile handsets, or fixed devices with short range link distances to those base stations or other fixed devices. For example, 4G LTE bands operate at 24 GHZ in Europe and the Americas and at 28 GHz in Asia. Frequency Range 1 (FR1) is the sub-6 GHz frequency band between 3.3 GHz and 5 GHz. For example, this range includes frequencies between 3.3 GHz and 3.7 GHz (or 3.3 to 4 GHz), and those between 4.2 GHz and 5 GHz (or 4 to 5 GHz). Frequency Range 2 (FR2) is the sub-1 GHz spectrum including bands in the vicinity of 15 MHz that are allocated by ITU-R. 5G frequency range 1 (FR1) and 5G frequency range 2 (FR2) are both mmWave bands, operating in the 28 to 37 GHz and 26.5 to 49.6 GHz frequency range, respectively.