During mobile networks evolution a set of mobile services that are provided to subscribers becomes wider and wider and also this evolution is pushing user experience to new higher levels (e.g. higher data rates, lower latency). Initially mobile networks occupied primary frequencies around 900 MHz. 3G (the third generation of mobile networks) introduction was mostly about 2 GHz band to get new frequencies and to be able to build wider channels. So typically once a new mobile networks generation appears there are new frequency bands defined. However over time frequencies allocated to previous mobile generations are used for new generations as well (usually it's called as frequency refarming and a possibility to move bands from one technology to another depends on local rules defined by local regulatory body). New bands are added not only with an introduction of a new generation but continuously. For example LTE bands defined in the first 3GPP specification (aka LTE Release 8) were between 700 MHz and 2.4 GHz. Then it was extended and now (2019) it includes frequencies from 450 MHz up to 6 GHz (more details on LTE bands).
While low frequencies are mostly occupied by previous generations they are important for 5G to provide wide area coverage and also indoor coverage. So some parts of these frequencies will be used for 5G services either solely or jointly with another technologies (e.g. with LTE via Spectrum Sharing features). However just low frequencies are not enough for 5G as channel bandwidth at this band is quite narrow (not wider than 20 MHz). To build wider channels higher frequencies are needed and currently one of primary world wide band for 5G is 3 - 6 GHz. Within this band wider channel bandwidth up to 100 MHz or even higher is possible as frequency chunks assigned per operator is wider comparing to low frequency band. This band has quite good balance between coverage and capacity. However to meet extreme 5G requirements new bands are needed. And these bands are defined at high frequency range above 24 GHz also called as mmWave. There are much more free frequencies that can be occupied by 5G and channel bandwidth can be very wide like 400 MHz or even higher. This band has quite poor propagation so these frequencies are not used for coverage while it's used to provide very high data rates on very limited geographical area.
There are two Frequency Ranges (FR) defined for 5G by 3GPP specifications.
|Frequency Range designation||Corresponding frequency range, MHz|
|FR1||450 - 6000|
|FR2||24250 - 52600|
5G BandsBands defined by 3GPP for 5G usage are listed below.
|5G Operating Band||Uplink (UL) Operating Band, MHz||Downlink (DL) Operating Band, MHz||Duplex Mode|
|n1||1920 - 1980||2110 - 2170||FDD|
|n2||1850 - 1910||1930 - 1990||FDD|
|n3||1710 - 1785||1805 - 1880||FDD|
|n5||824 - 849||869 - 894||FDD|
|n7||2500 - 2570||2620 - 2690||FDD|
|n8||880 - 915||925 - 960||FDD|
|n12||699 - 716||729 - 746||FDD|
|n20||832 - 862||791 - 821||FDD|
|n25||1850 - 1915||1930 - 1995||FDD|
|n28||703 - 748||758 - 803||FDD|
|n34||2010 - 2025||2010 - 2025||TDD|
|n38||2570 - 2620||2570 - 2620||TDD|
|n39||1880 - 1920||1880 - 1920||TDD|
|n40||2300 - 2400||2300 - 2400||TDD|
|n41||2496 - 2690||2496 - 2690||TDD|
|n50||1432 - 1517||1432 - 1517||TDD|
|n51||1427 - 1432||1427 - 1432||TDD|
|n65||1920 - 2010||2110 - 2200||FDD|
|n66||1710 - 1780||2110 - 2200||FDD|
|n70||1695 - 1710||1995 - 2020||FDD|
|n71||663 - 698||617 - 652||FDD|
|n74||1427 - 1470||1475 - 1518||FDD|
|n75||N/A||1432 - 1517||SDL|
|n76||N/A||1427 - 1432||SDL|
|n77||3300 - 4200||3300 - 4200||TDD|
|n78||3300 - 3800||3300 - 3800||TDD|
|n79||4400 - 5000||4400 - 5000||TDD|
|n80||1710 - 1785||N/A||SUL|
|n81||880 - 915||N/A||SUL|
|n82||832 - 862||N/A||SUL|
|n83||703 - 748||N/A||SUL|
|n84||1920 - 1980||N/A||SUL|
|n86||1710 - 1780||N/A||SUL|
|n257||26500 - 29500||26500 - 29500||TDD|
|n258||24250 - 27500||24250 - 27500||TDD|
|n260||37000 - 40000||37000 - 40000||TDD|
|n261||27500 - 28350||27500 - 28350||TDD|
,where SDL - Supplementary Downlink, i.e. additional frequencies that can be used for DL transmissions и SUL - Supplementary Uplink, i.e. additional frequencies that can be used for UL transmissions. These frequencies are utilized to boost data rates and enabled via Carrier Aggregation feature.
Further details can be found in 3GPP TS 38.104 "Base Station (BS) radio transmission and reception".