Leonard Dahmen


Intelligent 5G network: How does Dynamic Spectrum Sharing work?

The 5G network in Germany is growing. Deutsche Telekom already supplies more than 40 million people with the latest mobile communications standard. A new key technology makes this possible: Dynamic Spectrum Sharing. Read in this article how Dynamic Spectrum Sharing accelerates the 5G rollout and how it enables LTE cell phones to surf faster.

What is Dynamic Spectrum Sharing?

Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS for short) is a new antenna technology that for the first time enables the parallel use of LTE and 5G in the same frequency band. The technology determines the demand for 5G and LTE in real-time. The network then divides the available bandwidth independently and decides dynamically for which mobile communications standard it ideally uses the available frequencies. 

For the user, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing means: If you surf with a 5G smartphone within the radius of an antenna equipped with the technology, you are surfing in the 5G standard. On the other hand, if you surf with a 4G phone within the signal range of the same antenna, you surf with 4G. In short: one antenna, two networks. 

What advantages does Dynamic Spectrum Sharing offer? 

Dynamic Spectrum Sharing is an innovative technological achievement. Until now, at least two antennas were required to operate different mobile phone standards. Now an upgrade of the antenna is all that is needed to operate 5G. Thanks to Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, complex frequency refarming, i.e. the reassignment of certain frequencies or the purchase of additional frequency spectrum, is no longer necessary for 5G expansion. 

Deutsche Telekom is already using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing for the 5G rollout. For 5G network expansion, this means that existing antennas do not have to be extensively converted. It also requires fewer sites for new 5G antennas. Instead, today's infrastructure can be optimally used and utilized. This saves time and money. 

How LTE users benefit from Dynamic Spectrum Sharing

Dynamic Spectrum not only accelerates the 5G expansion. There are also new advantages for LTE users: The more efficient frequency allocation and optimized utilization leads to a better overall user experience. In addition, the LTE standard experiences an increase in bandwidth. By using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, additional and new frequency spectrum is made available to LTE customers. As a result, they too can surf even faster than before. 

The LTE band 1 at 2.1 gigahertz (GHz) plays a special role in this context. This frequency band was previously used for 3G/ UMTS. With its 5G booster initiative, Deutsche Telekom has been using 15 megahertz from this frequency band since June 2020 for LTE and 5G variably in the dynamic division of the spectrum. 

5G operates on two frequencies

5G is technically not a stand-alone network, but is added by the 4G cell for additional capacity. In addition to the 2.1 GHz frequency, 5G also operates at 3.6 GHz. However, this frequency is currently reserved for large cities. The reason for this is the characteristics of the radio frequencies.

The 2.1 GHz frequency enables long ranges at high speed. It is therefore ideally suited for 5G expansion in the area. The 3.6 GHz frequency achieves very high data rates at a shorter range. Therefore it is used in large cities. The interaction of Dynamic Spectrum Sharing and the expansion of certain sites on the 3.6 GHz frequency band is what makes the new 5G standard.



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