Dynamic spectrum sharing can be thought of in a number of ways. It is a way of shifting spectrum to 5G uses in instances where many customers, but a declining number, use the 4G platform. It is a 4G-to-5G transition mechanism, supporting 5G operations until mid-band spectrum can be deployed for coverage.
It is a hybrid step that shifts spectrum assets to new uses before full spectrum re-farming. It also is a technology tool that allows a firm with limited mid-band assets to market 5G coverage before capacity platforms catch up with a “more complete” 5G offer. And it is a tool to offer and support 5G when a service provider is temporarily limited in its control of new mid-band spectrum.
Dynamic spectrum sharing also represents a new “soft” method of shifting spectrum assets from a legacy platform, compared to the “hard” method of shutting a legacy network completely down, or reassigning some channels from legacy to next-generation network use.
DSS also is a way of creating 5G spectrum assets and limiting stranded assets. Customer use of a next-generation platform always is inefficient at launch, as the full network has few customers. Conversely, a legacy network becomes progressively less efficient as customers abandon the legacy network and move to use of the next-generation network.
DSS limits stranded asset risk, reclaiming legacy network spectrum for next-generation network use on an “as needed” basis.
What remains to be seen is whether DSS turns out to be a hybrid or transition strategy only for 5G, or whether the principle is extended to use by future networks as well.