Smart Antennas Could Open Up New Spectrum For 5G

People in real estate joke that there are only three things that matter in the business of buying and selling property: location, location, location. The same could be said for radio spectrum. The frequencies used for cellular communications have acquired the status of waterfront lots—highly coveted and woefully scarce. And like beach-home buyers in a bidding war, mobile operators must constantly jockey for these prime parcels, sometimes shelling out as much as tens of billions of dollars for just a small sliver of the electromagnetic pie.

That’s because the cellular industry, throughout its four-decade existence, has relied exclusively on a strip of spectrum known as the ultrahigh frequency band, which comprises only about 1 percent of all regulated spectrum. 

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