5G NR (New Radio) has been developed to operate in two distinct bands; sub-6 GHz (3GPP 38.104-5.2.1 FR1), and mmWave (3GPP 38.104-5.2.2 FR2). Despite actually running into the 7 GHz band, FR1 continues to be commonly referred to as the "Sub-6 GHz" band.
- FR1: 410 to 7125 MHz
- FR2: 24250 to 52600 MHz
Each band may operate in either FDD or TDD duplex mode. A band may be a supplementary downlink-only (SDL) or uplink-only (SUL) band used to provide additional capacity in the respective direction.
Bands are also classified as SA - Stand Alone, meaning they can operate totally independent on 4G LTE networks, or NSA - Non Stand Alone, which require the data call to be established over 4G LTE with the 5G carrier then added as a secondary layer.
Due to the range of frequencies in use 5G NR uses four different Subcarrier Spacing (SCS) modes; 15, 30, and 60 kHz for sub-6 GHz (FR1) bands; 60 and 120 kHz for mmWave (FR2) bands. Channel bandwidths vary based on SCS, with many only supporting a 5 MHz channel width with an SCS of 15 kHz.
Deployed 5G Networks
The following chart shows the number of active 5G NR networks, distributed by NR frequency band. These data are rendered live and may update unexpectedly.