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Hoping to drive awareness of 5G mmWave technology, the GSMA today announced the formation of a global 5G mmWave accelerator initiative, with the first stage to be completed by February 2025.

China Unicom, NTT DOCOMO, Telstra, TIM and, Verizon, and vendors Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies Inc. will operate the accelerator, sharing mmWave best practices, intelligence and use cases in an effort to educate and inspire worldwide stakeholders.

The mmWave spectrum supports the highest speeds 5G speeds as well as low latency, but over relatively short distances. All major U.S. carriers use mmWave, with Verizon being the most prominent today.

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GSMA points out that mmWave is emerging as an important element of the 5G technology mix and will help mobile technologies and services contribute nearly $5 trillion to the global economy by 2025, as 5G connections grow to 1.8 billion.

Due to the distance considerations, mmWave technology is most popular in densely populated areas – such as campuses and entertainment and sports venues. Verizon is bringing the technology to NFL stadiums as an example.

The technology is a cost-effective way to increase network capacity, according to GSMA. “A combined mmWave and 3.5GHz network is estimated to contribute savings of up to 35% in the total cost of ownership compared to the sole use of sub-6 GHz bands. It also facilitates the expansion into new areas including Fixed Wireless Access with fiber-like speeds. There are already over 140 pre-commercial and commercial devices supporting 5G mmWave.”

The accelerator initiative is designed to drive projects that focus on everyday business benefits as well as to increase education efforts regarding technology.

“We’re excited to be assisting our members and partners in unlocking the huge potential of 5G, of which mmWave is a key element,” said Alex Sinclair, GSMA chief technology officer, in a prepared statement. “This GSMA accelerator initiative will demonstrate what harnessing 5G mmWave can achieve and inspire others as to its many benefits.”

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